Behind the scenes of the Oklahoma Film Industry
From Scorsese to Stallone, the Oklahoma film market has exploded this past year, but what does that mean for Oklahomans?
Oklahoma City, Okla. (KSWO) - Two years after the “Filmed in Oklahoma Act”, global praise and recognition for Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” has put Oklahoma in the spotlight. Politicians are celebrating large Hollywood productions in the sooner state such as “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “Tulsa King”, but industry insiders say, films that are creating jobs, are not the ones you see on the big screen.
Smaller studios such as Green Pastures Studios in Oklahoma City, are a hub for local artists giving back to the community in a big way.
“We’re not funded by Hollywood, this is an Oklahoma-grown film studio...We’ll let them make their movies that’s great, and when they want to come here and spend a fortune, wonderful. But we can make projects that actually resonate with Oklahomans.” said Green Pastures Studio Co-Founder, Richard Janes.
As smaller budget films use local talent, creating more jobs, larger projects use outsourcing to fill their call sheet.
“If it’s a bigger film they are gonna come here, make the movie, and leave, and whatever impact they have during they were here, is going to be way less economically that it would be if they would hire locals” “Killers of the Flower Moon” makeup artist Laura Casey said.
Artists that seek bigger films for more pay and union benefits are now concerned that recent politics are bad for future business, “There is not much on the horizon, ‘Tulsa King’s’ not coming back. A big reason which I want people to consider and understand is that our Governor making sweeping laws against reproductive rights has had an impact on people wanting to bring work here.” Casey said.
Casey says her union offered travel reimbursement for reproductive healthcare while working on the set of “Tulsa King” just days after Governor Stitt banned abortion.
Studios such as Disney, Sony, and Paramount are offering similar resources to employees in red states.
With Scorsese and Stallone wrapping up, the home of the next Hollywood blockbuster is up in the air, but Oklahoma artists can still rely on independent studios and productions.
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