Filmmaker, deadCenter award winner
Straight off graduation from OU in 2012, LeRon Chapman worked on the set of August: Osage County with Meryl Streep, later working for a year on the set of Pioneer Woman, and spent time with Myriah Carey and Niki Manage working on American Idol.
That’s a whale of a start to a career for the proudly located-in-Oklahoma filmmaker. He followed up that start with his own first film, “You People,” which earned Best Oklahoma Film in 2018’s deadCenter Film Festival. It premiered at deadCenter and then appeared at 13 other festivals. And it won 10 festivals.
“deadCenter film festival is a great and really underrated film festival,” he said. “It spring boarded the success of my film and got my name out there. We have a thriving arts community, and we have a really wide swath of talent here and a lot of spaces to film.”
He’s in the process of creating his next feature film, all with plans to complete it right here.
“I haven’t had to go to L.A. or New York,” he said. “It’s a lot easier to make a movie in Oklahoma than in L.A. It’s a lot cheaper. As of right now, our film industry is very community-based and everyone is in the ‘I just want to see everybody win’ mentality, and that’s a great space to bring your creative work to fruition.”
The growth of the industry in Oklahoma has allowed growth for him as well.
“In 2012, when I was working part time job at Will Rogers Airport, it wasn’t sustainable for me to be a filmmaker,” he said. “But now it is. If we stay her and just nurse this space, we can make our own Okie-wood.”