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  • Writer's pictureOKC Film & Creative Industries Office

Supporting the growth of the OKC film industry at SXSW

The Oklahoma City Film & Creative Industries Office recently hosted a roundtable discussion in advance of this month’s SXSW conference in Austin. The event, which draws over 300,000 attendees annually, is known for its focus on technology, film, culture and music. The discussion centered around engaging potential industry support companies at SXSW and exploring opportunities for growth and innovation in the local film industry.

Jennifer Martin, the Greater OKC Chamber's Business Development Manager, plans to attend the event's Tech sessions with a specific goal: enticing new businesses to enter the Oklahoma City market.  

“My goal is to connect with experts in various technology fields, from artificial intelligence and virtual film production to manufacturing, and logistics,” said Martin.

The roundtable included representatives from local film and creative services companies such as Filmmakers Ranch, Notis Studios, Boiling Point Media, Vox Audio Visual, Tabb Movie Makeup and Apex Sound. Jill Simpson, the Director of the OKC Film & Creative Industries Office, led the discussion, seeking insights into the types of businesses that would benefit the Oklahoma City film and creative industries.

One of the key needs identified by the group was transportation, particularly rolling stock. These work vehicles, such as vans, trucks or trailers, are essential for carrying equipment and serving as workspaces for cast and crew during production. Currently, there is only one vendor in the state with enough rolling stock for a studio film, leading studios to seek out-of-state options when this vendor is booked. Another need mentioned was more catering company options for productions.

The group also highlighted opportunities in technology, with video gaming and AI being areas of particular interest. The importance of storytelling and showcasing Oklahoma's offerings was another key theme. Many attendees noted that highlighting the state's strengths could pay dividends.

“Things like affordable property and utility costs are factors that impact a company’s bottom line and make us attractive to businesses, but they can’t take advantage of it if they don’t know about it,” said Simpson. “That’s why having a presence at major events like SXSW is so important.”

Richard Janes of Filmmaker Ranch agreed.

“A lot of people don’t know what Oklahoma is. When they can actually see what we have here, that can make a really big difference,” said Janes.

SXSW runs from March 8-16.

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