HomeLeadersEntertainmentWhat does having a growing film industry bring to Oklahoma's economy, workforce...

What does having a growing film industry bring to Oklahoma’s economy, workforce or quality of life?

What does having a growing film industry bring to Oklahoma’s economy, workforce or quality of life?

Three Oklahomans who work in the film industry explain what the growth in the industry could mean for Oklahoma’s workforce and its future.

Photo Provided.

Kyle Dillingham
Professional violinist and entertainer

We know many dream of packing their bags and heading to Hollywood for that big break, but there are very few who will actually be able to make this dream a reality. However, now there are many opportunities right here without all the risks of a big move like that. You can take a course, get a degree or attend a conference locally to educate yourself and then secure actual real-life experience in a market that is not overly saturated. There is real chance to stand out and secure work in the film industry in Oklahoma right now. What a dream! I think the result will be that we see more and more young people discovering this field and discovering their own passion to be a part of it without leaving this place they call home. We will discover the film industry workforce that never would have been! 

Photo Provided.

Stephanie Bellgardt
Boiling Point Media Lead Animator

The film industry provides hundreds of jobs to not only those who work on the film sets themselves, but also related industries like food, lodging and transportation. It also provides work for local postproduction houses like Boiling Point, which involve a wide range of disciplines including visual effects, editing, color and sound design. Additionally, the growth in film encourages graduating students to stay in-state and pursue careers here. As we grow local talent and production, we make Oklahoma a contender on the same stage as more traditionally film-oriented states like California or Georgia.

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Eva Aranda
Oklahoma Actor, Producer

Having a growing film industry in Oklahoma creates a sense of pride and excitement for those of us who call this state our home. It’s the same nostalgic feeling that many of us have when we watch iconic movies like Where The Red Fern Grows, The Outsiders or Twister. There’s just something magical about seeing your favorite restaurant or someone you went to high school with on the big screen. When we see someone or something that we feel connected to, we (in a sense) feel seen ourselves.  And there’s no debate that when someone has pride in something, they tend to value it even more. 

The Oklahoma film industry hasn’t just generated income and notoriety for national and local actors, but for all of its collaborators as well. From restaurants to resident’s homes to hotels to local bars and boutiques, the film industry has shined a light on so many of Oklahoma’s finest treasures and hidden communities. I’ve even seen some of my friend’s pets on screen! This industry isn’t just for the actor or crew member; it’s for all of us!  And we welcome everyone, from everywhere, to come join the fun! 

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