Oklahoma film offices join forces at American Film Market
2023 has been a big year for Oklahoma’s film industry. With the recent nationwide release of director Martin Scorsese’s “Flowers of the Killer Moon,” as well as work on a major film project being shot in Oklahoma City that is expected to be a summer blockbuster in 2024, Oklahoma’s film industry is booming.
Representatives from four Oklahoma film commissions joined forces at the 2023 American Film Market held in Santa Monica, California Oct. 31-Nov. 5. Together they worked to promote Oklahoma as a filmmaking destination to the scores of industry officials attending the event.
Representatives from the Oklahoma Film and Music Office; Oklahoma City Film and Creative Industries Office; Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts and Culture; and the Cherokee Film Commission are collaborating on this event, which is billed as the largest motion picture business market in North America. It attracts more than 7,000 attendees annually, many of them film producers and distributors.
Jill Simpson, executive director of the Oklahoma City Film and Creative Industries Office at the Chamber, said the four film offices are more partners than competitors.
“If a particular project chooses Tulsa, for instance, I still see it as a win for Oklahoma City because it’s helping grow the state’s crew base and infrastructure. And it also doesn’t mean that crew from Oklahoma City can’t go work on that particular film,” she said.
The Oklahoma film partners are sharing a suite at the host hotel where they will hold meetings with many industry executives and filmmakers.
“A good thing about our four offices coming together is that we opened our Rolodexes and jointly came up with a list of about 400 or 500 people we have all worked with from all the major studios and production companies. We invited guests from Universal, Paramount, Warner Brothers, Sony and Netflix. We have also gone to a second tier of smaller production companies that might be a good fit for Oklahoma as well,” Simpson said.
On Nov. 2, they hosted a Hollywood reception for 200 industry decision-makers and studio executives. The overarching goal is to talk about the value of bringing film projects to the Sooner State, beyond the state and local incentives.
“We want to share with them that Oklahoma is an easy place to do business and also to open their eyes and change perceptions about Oklahoma for people who have not been here,” Simpson said.