(The Center Square) – More opportunities to experience the bright lights and shiny stages of film and television sets are being brought to Oklahoma.
In the past year, filming has taken place in 30 locations across the state.
"Oklahoma’s central location, diverse landscapes and 12 distinct eco-regions, camera-ready workforce and infrastructure and low costs for living and business make it a formidable partner for the film and television industry," Tava Sofsky, director of the Oklahoma Film and Music Office, told The Center Square.
Recently, three films were shot in Enid and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
The state is also offering a film incentive, another factor that Sofsky said is attracting productions to set up in Oklahoma.
"The Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program provides a cash rebate to eligible productions on qualified local spend including crew, lodging, equipment rentals and much more," Sofsky said. "Eligible productions must meet certain criteria and benchmarks as outlined by the program, and upon completion of production and submission of the required financial elements, will receive a rebate check from the state of Oklahoma."
Critics say such tax credits place a larger burden on other taxpayers and aren't even necessary to lure production crews.
In Fiscal Year 2020, Oklahoma’s film industry saw significant growth, Sofsky said, employing 3,960 Oklahomans on 34 productions that utilized the state’s incentive program and contributed a direct fiscal impact of more than $32.8 million to Oklahoma’s economy.
"Currently, Oklahoma is hosting its largest feature film to date, Martin Scorsese’s 'Killers of the Flower Moon' from Apple Productions, as well as our first full run of a scripted network series, “Reservation Dogs” from FX Network," Sofsky said. "Additionally, Oklahoma’s infrastructure continues to expand with the opening of several new soundstages and organizations dedicated to film and television workforce development."