The Oklahoma Film & Music Office is pleased to announce that House Bill 2580, which preserves the $5 million per year in funding for the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program and extends the program’s sunset date to July 1, 2024, was signed into law by Governor Mary Fallin on April 2, 2014.
“The film rebate has helped to create jobs and bring millions of dollars in investment to the state of Oklahoma,” said Governor Mary Fallin. “I am pleased to sign the extension of this program into law and to send a message that Oklahoma continues to be ‘open for business’ when it comes to the film industry.”
The Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program has a proven track record, consecutively selling-out funding each of the last three years. In Fiscal Year 2013, the program’s annual funding cap of $5 million was utilized by two films which returned over $15.5 million in direct dollars to Oklahoma’s economy. Film and television production numbers have also grown by 800% from $11 million in economic impact in 2005 to over $80 million in 2013. The program now serves a growing sector of local crew, who now, with the passage of this bill, may be able to remain in Oklahoma and seek employment in the film industry.
“The ten-year extension of the rebate program marks a huge victory for Oklahoma’s film industry,” said Jill Simpson, Director of the Oklahoma Film & Music Office. “We are sending the message that there is stability for our program, which is essential in securing filming in the state. The net result will be more jobs for our hardworking local crew base, and a greater volume of business for our industry support companies. We are excited for this opportunity to grow an emerging industry that will have a positive impact on Oklahoma’s economy.”
In addition, the program also encourages entrepreneurship and industry development across other sectors in the state in both rural and urban areas. With steady support and growth of the program and the resulting increase of film production, an increasing number of support service companies are starting to emerge, resulting in more full time jobs. These companies range from visual effects, desktop animation, faith-based production companies, construction and a number of equipment houses.
Other businesses frequently used by productions include vehicle rentals, hotels, office equipment rentals and restaurants. In the case of August: Osage County, the production rented over 12,198 hotel nights in the Bartlesville area, spent over $256,180 on food and catering, $1,190,798 on rental cars and gas, and $253,200 on production office expenses. The impact of film production purchases such as these positively affect the community in which a production decides to film.
The ten-year extension of the program paves the way for strengthening and solidifying the future of the growing Oklahoma film production industry.