OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Film crews were at the State Capitol today highlighting Southeast Oklahoma being the alleged home of Bigfoot. Lawmakers also say they are bringing in jobs through the film industry. They recently passed legislation to make sure more big budget productions are headed to the state
“We are shooting a series on Big Foot, isn’t that awesome?” said Rep. JJ Humphrey.
Wednesday on the House floor, film cameras highlighted a push by Humphrey and the Department of Tourism to put a $3 million dollar bounty on the safe, humane capture of a Bigfoot
“We’d really like make sure that Oklahoma is known for the home of Bigfoot and bring people from all over the world to come see our great state,” said film producer Stephen Stafford.
Film crews were throughout the State Capitol on Wednesday, working, but also taking advantage of the current Oklahoma Film tax credit. That credit is about to get a lot bigger.
“It’s a huge incentive and its actually one of the best in the nation,” said Stafford.
On Monday, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed the “Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021.” It increases the tax rebate cap from $8 million to $30 million .
“This really focuses on job creation and it really focuses on diversifying the economy,” said Sen. Chuck Hall.
The Republican from Perry teamed with Rep. Scott Fetgatter to write the law.. He says the law is written with extra incentives to use newly constructed sound stages in Oklahoma City, but it also has a extra 5 percent rebate for productions that shoot in counties with under 250,000 people and in towns with under 13,000 residents.
“Film is very interested in Oklahoma. They can centrally locate and go out into the rural communities of Oklahoma, get a lot of neat and unique ecosystems to be able to film from,” said Hall.
There are rebate dollars set aside for smaller budget Oklahoma films, but local filmmakers say big budget productions are now targeted to get those extra non-production jobs hired, like plumbers and construction crews to build sets and food and hotel jobs to cater to film staff and actors.
“Brent, it’s fantastic for me and everyone working in the film industry in Oklahoma. This is a big industry that has the potential to be huge, and now the legislators bought into that and now I think you are going to see a huge uptick in films for the next two years,” said Oklahoma Filmmaker Lance McDaniel.
McDaniel says the Scorsese movie in Pawhuska is currently the biggest film being shot in the world. He says to expect more like it in years to come.