Announcing Oklahoma’s New Film & Television Studio
I am enormously excited to announce that next month we are opening Green Pastures Studio, a 12-acre film and television campus in Oklahoma that will be home to various productions, entertainment support services, and the Oklahoma Film & TV Academy (OFTA) which we are launching alongside the studio.
While Amy and I have dreamed for many years of owning and operating a movie studio where creative minds can come together to produce inspiring work that demands attention, so too have a large number of people who have been working tirelessly throughout Oklahoma to bring something like this to the state. Oklahoma is a state that is (surprisingly to many) one of the most geographically diverse states in the country, harboring more than 10 distinct ecological regions, and perfect for film and TV productions with it’s low cost of living, wide open spaces, and just as wide welcoming arms that were a big draw to Amy and I just 18-months ago when we decided to relocate from Los Angeles to the dead center of America.
We’ve got a lot of work to do. As part of the land purchase, we already have 35,000 SQFT of office/teaching space and art dept. rooms etc., together with a 5,500 SQFT concrete enforced hall which will be transformed into a fully soundproofed soundstage. More sound stages will follow over the next 12-24 months ranging from 12,000-20,000 SQFT.
With the 37% tax rebate for OK spend, the State has been attracting a ton of movie and TV productions ranging from Matt Damon’s new Amblin/Participant movie (which we were lucky enough to place some crew on as an early test for OFTA) through to Martin Scorsese’s new project which has just started preproduction and will shoot for many months in the state.
We are in for an exciting ride and anyone who wants to join us is more than welcome!
It’s strange how life all comes together. I feel that everything we’ve done before this moment was to line us up for this, from the indie movies and documentaries we produced, writing and producing for the studios, running Fanology where we created digital campaigns for some of Hollywood’s top talent and IP, the branded entertainment we’ve produced for global brands, all the way through to my work in personal branding and career development for entrepreneurs and those in the creative industries.
All of this now has a home. The Fanology team will be shooting content in the studios, I’ll be hosting personal brand and career development seminars at the campus, and some of those scripts that have been sitting on the shelves collecting dust might even see the light of day. Our other businesses in LA and Dallas will continue to operate with teams in those locations, but central management will be run from Green Pastures.
But what I am most excited about is the economic impact that this can have on the state, the jobs it can provide to the local community and beyond, the amazing rural towns throughout Oklahoma that are struggling but picture perfect for a TV series to set themselves. With the streaming wars in full swing, there are billions of additional dollars being spent on content (Netflix announced another 2 billion in October and Quibi just committed another $400M just 6 days ago). This demand is going to need to be met with new sound stages and additional ‘production ready’ crew – there simply isn’t enough available to meet the demand.
And so a new era dawns. For the Janes’ family, for all those who have worked tirelessly in Oklahoma for years to set the stage for this moment, and for the wonderfully welcoming, hardworking, innovative, and entrepreneurial people of Oklahoma.
We’ll have more announcements over the next few weeks which will come from Amy, our wonderful partner Melodie Garneau, and yours truly. We’ll be announcing new permanent tenants who are joining us as residents of Green Pastures, we’ll be letting you know about two movies that are penciled to shoot in March/April (and will be needing crew), and we’ll be updating you on the kick off of our inaugural OFTA class open to anyone over the age of 18 (which we are currently accepting student applications for here: www.OklahomaFilmAndTVAcademy.com).
And speaking of OFTA, we’ll also let you know when non profit status has been granted to OFTA as we are certainly going to need some generous support with this – both in-kind from industry partners with equipment, access, and day classes, as well as financial donations to ensure we can support students from all socio-economic backgrounds, race and gender.
And I’ll leave you with this…
In 2007 Georgia’s film industry went from a $67.7 million direct spend to a $2.7 billion direct spend in 2017 with an estimated economic impact of $9.5B. Wouldn’t it be great to see even a fraction of that sort of lift in Oklahoma? A lift that could diversify our economy at the same time as putting thousands of Oklahoman’s to work and producing products that are seen all over the world driving travel, tourism, and showing people how fantastic this State really is?
So here’s to the next 10 years Oklahoma. And to the entertainment industry around the world… we are open for business. #InvestInOklahoma
(So many people deserve a shout out but it would be remiss of me if I didn’t call out the fantastic work of Governor Kevin Stitt, Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell, Representative Jason Dunnington, Senator Roger Thompson, and all the house and senate representatives who are supporting this growth, together with Tava Sofsky and her wonderful team who are working like crazy to process all the new rebate applications at the OK Film and Music office – you are all making an impact on so many!)
Please share this update so as many people as possible are aware of what is happening, can get involved, and let’s get more movie and TV productions investing in Oklahoma!
Happy to answer any questions in the comments below this video – a video which might surprise some and give you a little bit of a taste as to one of the many reasons the Janes family decided to call this fabulous state our home. 😉
Author: Richard Janes
Richard Janes is an Emmy winning filmmaker, entrepreneur, and career coach working with fellow entrepreneurs and those in the creative industries to build their brand and open up more opportunities for them to shine doing what they do best. In 2019, Success Magazine introduced him as America’s top personal branding expert having helped launch, revive, and catapult the careers of many actors, athletes, musicians, television hosts, executives, and entrepreneurs.
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