It failed last year when it was quickly and quietly brought up to a vote to prevent supporters from making their voices heard.
It failed yesterday by three votes.
But today, the Compete with Canada Act (HB 2580) passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives by a vote of 65-28. A Senate version of the bill has already passed. The Film Incentive needs only to get passed reconciliation and get the governor's signature.
What does this mean?
It means we will continue to see great films come to our state and our talented crew base get jobs. It means that the businesses that have sprung up, started by my fellow filmmakers and yours truly, can continue to build our careers and generate economic growth for the state.
I cannot begin to tell you how different things are today in the Oklahoma film and video community as a result of the first film incentive. Making a living ten years ago in this industry was a very difficult task. Today, there are more aspiring filmmakers than I can count. Every time I meet up with industry comrades, I meet several new people.
The ancillary benefits of bringing big movies into the state are just as important! It's allowed people to specialize in various aspects film & video production. Editing, gripping, camera, even rental houses have sprung up in the last ten years. And with more talent and equipment available, video production for local commercials and web videos has exploded. Projects that would see Dallas or other out-of-state filmmakers come to town to make are now going to Oklahomans! Local marketing, advertising, and PR firms are get larger Oklahoma-based companies as clients because they are able to offer high quality video services in state instead of looking elsewhere.
Keeping the film incentive in place gives filmmaker like myself the chance to build off the success of the last ten years. In the near future, I want to start bringing regional and national commercial work into the state. And eventually movies and television series of my own!
The Oklahoma film and video community is a strong and vibrant business and we've only just begun to impact the state's economy! I applaud the Oklahoma State Legislator for getting it right and keeping the incentive. I can't wait to see what our industry looks like ten years from now!
Filmmaker | Owner Video405