Movie studio opens up in Sand Springs

Tuesday, August 26th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The former Hissom Memorial Center in Sand Springs is now home to a little bit of Hollywood. Zepper Studios officially moved in Tuesday.

Lots of state and local officials were there for the ceremony along with our News on 6 reporter Rick Wells who reports no one is more excited about this than the filmmakers themselves.

Jill Slane: "We're like a couple of kids in a candy store here, there are buildings we haven't been in yet.” The former Hissom Memorial Center in Sand Springs is the new home of Zepper Studios. 170 acres and all 22 buildings worth. They'll make movies in Sand Springs, Jill and Rod Slane and their production company Dreams Beyond will do the movie making. They have ten movies planned. The first has been shot; some of the shooting was actually done here.

They used the diving pool to shoot the underwater scenes. Jill: "It's like a dream come true it absolutely is." Because the center was an all inclusive residence facility and school there are endless possibilities for movie sets. There's a gymnasium. You could remake Hoosiers in here. There's a surprise around every corner. "Oh man look at this." It's the center beauty shop most of it still intact. Jill: "Sometimes you look in a drawer and there's still stuff in there."

State officials like the Lieutenant Governor and the Director of the State Film Office, Dino Lalli, are excited by the movie making possibilities this new facility gives Oklahoma. "If you wanna do an urban thriller, or a gothic period piece, or a contemporary romantic comedy, what ever they want we have here."

There are plans to someday operate an accredited film school here. First they have to learn their way around, not having been in every building yet presents problems. Jill: "There's the other thing. How do you get out of here?" Rick Wells: "I don't know."

Sand Springs city officials are hoping this new relationship will lead to some pretty decent movies, and a few hundred jobs for the area as well.