Oklahoma’s film production sector, which the state has designated an essential business, has continued building on growth that has some industry watchers comparing it to Atlanta as a top U.S. filming destination.
“Our state has been investing in and incentivizing this sector for many years, and we have built a solid foundation and cultivated an industry that only has room to grow,” Tava Maloy Sofsky, director of Tourism & Recreation at the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, told The Center Square by email.
“In the last five years, the number of film and television productions (utilizing the state’s rebate program) has grown from an average of four movies per year to an average of three per month,” Maloy Sofsky said.
Production budgets are also increasing, translating to hundreds of jobs on any single movie or TV series, and positive economic impact on communities around the state.
While the Oklahoma Film + Music Office has helped talent and businesses to thrive, the private sector has invested in the development of workforce and permanent infrastructure. This has been done with new training programs and sound stages being built to meet the needs of the industry, Maloy Sofsky said.
While other production centers across the country were closed down amid the current pandemic, last June, Oklahoma became one of the first states to reopen its economy. In July, Gov. Kevin Stitt deemed the motion picture and recording industries essential businesses, helping avert potential shutdowns in that sector. See more here.