Filmmakers Offered Rebates To Bring Action To Oklahoma

Wednesday, April 8th 2015, 7:36 pm
By: News On 6

Oklahoma's film industry is growing and bringing in crews from across the country to shoot movies.

Filmmakers are learning about a new rebate program designed to get cameras rolling in the state; and one movie using the incentive just started shooting.

The film crew is shooting in the Tulsa area for the next month and a half. One of the reasons why they chose our area, other than it's in the script, is because an incentive from the state of Oklahoma.

John Swab, Corey Asraf and the crew started early, using the Pogue Airport in Sand Springs as a movie set.

"It took a lot of timing and prep, but we got exactly what we wanted. It was pretty amazing," Swab said.

Swab and Asraf's film, "Let Me Make You a Martyr," has Oklahoma roots. Swab is originally from Tulsa and started working on his script when he was 16.

He and Asraf believe shooting in locations like Oklahoma will make their film stand out from the others that typically shoot on the east and west coasts.

"We're allowed to tell a unique story with a unique perspective that really hasn't been touched on in a really long time," Swab said.

Asraf said, "Where I live in New Jersey there's tons of light pollution, you know? Out here you can get isolated and you can really get a certain type of aesthetic you really can't get elsewhere."

If you're directing a movie or commercial, Oklahoma will pay you to film it here. Swab and Asraf's film is getting a rebate from the state of Oklahoma's Film & Music Office.

The catch to get the rebate is they have to hire local crews and services that support the local film industry.

"And that really helped us solidify that we were going to shoot here. On a budget like ours, 37 percent back is a good chunk of money and can really help you out," Swab said.

Abby Kurin with Visit Tulsa, and the Tulsa Chamber said the incentive program makes Oklahoma more competitive to draw in casts and crews that spend days on location.

"This is big for Tulsa. This is a win on our economic impact," she said.

Asraf said, "There's something really enchanted about this place, that's why we chose it."

The film, "Let Me Make You a Martyr" will also include other lead characters including: Marilyn Manson, Niko Nicotera, Sam Quartin, and Mark Boone Junior.

They will wrap in Tulsa on May 1st.