On the Horizon: The New Hollywood

One of Oklahoma's young producers ~

I love going to the movies. It’s always interesting to see how they make them and where they are filmed. But I often wonder, why aren’t more films done here in Oklahoma? Especially the ones about Oklahoma, that would make sense after all. We have the wide open spaces you see so often depicted in movies and our cities are prettier than many on the East or West coast. Take Tulsa for example: I was there just the other day, up in a very tall building looking out over the city area and was amazed at all the green. Houses and buildings were interspersed throughout all the trees almost like they built them around the trees. How much prettier is that than the concrete jungle you see in most cities/movies.

Now don’t get me wrong, there have been some movies shot here in places like Tulsa, but I think most people just don’t think of Oklahoma when then think of movies. And it can be big business for Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Film and Music Office is working toward making Oklahoma the next Hollywood. What they’ve discovered is that for every dollar spent in Oklahoma’s film industry, an impact of $1.72 is made on our state’s economy. The impact just continues to grow. Due to recruitment efforts, the 2010 production of “The Killer Inside Me” was filmed almost exclusively here in Oklahoma even though the story was set in Texas. Another Red River Rivalry??? That production spent three million dollars in Oklahoma in only six weeks to make the movie and generated over five million for the state. That’s huge. Some may complain about tax rebates the film industry gets but overall, I think it’s worth it. You have to have some kind of incentive to bring the film industry out of their comfort zone and into our state.

In this week’s video blog, meet one Oklahoman who didn’t run to Hollywood to make his movie, but kept it right here in Oklahoma using local talent and local crews.

Alisa Hines