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State Film Commissions Guide: Oklahoma

By Indiewire | Indiewire July 15, 2013 at 12:50PM

State Film Commissions Guide: Oklahoma
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Hooker, Oklahoma
Oklahoma Film and Music Office Hooker, Oklahoma
What are some of the greatest financial perks of filming in your state? The Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate offers a tax rebate up to 37% on Oklahoma expenditures to qualifying companies filming in the state. The rebate is capped at $5 million per year. The company must have a minimum budget of $50,000 and spend $25,000 in Oklahoma. The sunset date for the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program is June 30, 2014. All available rebate monies have been allocated until this time. Oklahoma Senate Bill 330, currently under consideration, will extend this sunset date to 2024, double the annual cap to $10 million, and reduce the percentage to 25-27%. More information is available on our website at www.oklahomafilm.org


What tax credits are available for productions in your state? The Oklahoma Film & Music Office offers a cash rebate pertaining to film and television production in the state. In lieu of our most lucrative rebate offered by the Oklahoma Film & Music Office, filmmakers can elect to take advantage of the Point-of-Purchase (POP) Sales Tax Exemption administered by the Oklahoma Tax Commission which exempts film productions from sales tax on related production expenditures at the time of purchase.

What are some of the locations in your state that filmmakers should know about? Located just south of the geographic center of the United States, Oklahoma is equidistant from Los Angeles and New York City. The Great Plains state ranks 20th in size in the nation and exemplifies 11 distinct ecological regions, with terrain including flat, fertile plains, sand dunes, high mesas, dense forests, cypress swamps, rolling hills, and mountains covered in rock or trees. Marvel at Price Tower, Frank Lloyd Wright’s only skyscraper, cruise the longest stretch of historic Route 66 in the country, or share the largest protected tall grass prairie on Earth with free-range bison.



Are there studios and soundstages that the state hosts that filmmakers should know about? Oklahoma has a selection of studios and soundstages which can facilitate a project’s needs from pre-to-post production. For a complete listing of production facilities, please log on to www.oklahomafilm.org



What can you tell us about talented labor in your state? Do you have robust union representation? Oklahoma is a right-to-work state giving the filmmaker the flexibility to choose union, non-union, or mixed crew. Our state’s industry workers are talented, hard-working individuals. Currently, the state is two to three crews deep.

Are there deals that you have with equipment, craft service or other suppliers to make these services more affordable? As a state agency, OF&MO is prohibited from financially negotiating on a film’s behalf; however, Oklahoma has a variety of film-friendly businesses willing to work with film productions without red tape.



What are some of the recent productions that produced films in your state? In September 2012, production began on the film adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize winning play, "August: Osage County." Produced by The Weinstein Company and directed by John Wells, the film boasts an all-star cast including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, and Sam Shepard. Other films independent films recently helmed in the state include "The Jogger," "Home Run," and Terrence Malick’s "To The Wonder."



What cities have their own film commissions in your state? OF&MO is a state-wide film commission tasked with promoting the film and music industries. It is currently the only commission in the state.

Oklahoma City Skyline
Oklahoma Film and Music Office Oklahoma City Skyline



How many productions shot in your state last year? With an annual cap of $5 million, six feature productions were filmed in the state utilizing the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate in addition to a multitude of smaller film, television, & commercial productions which were unable to utilize the tax rebate.

What should filmmakers do if they're interested in shooting a film in your state? Who should they contact if they have more questions? Filmmakers should visit the OF&MO website as it contains necessary information on filming within the state including production resources and the guidelines for the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program. Additionally, the website hosts both our Production Guide, which provides credits and contact information for our state’s film crew and support services, as well as our Locations Guide containing thousands of our state’s finest areas which may be available for filming. If planning to utilize OF&MO services, please submit a Project Information Form A which can be found on our website, www.oklahomafilm.org



Interested in the incentives offered by other state film commissions? Check out Indiewire's full guide to state film commissions HERE.

This article is related to: Filmmaker Toolkit, State Film Commissions Guide






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