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Oklahoma Odyssey

This US state has a generous incentive programme and breathtaking locations to suit a range of genres

Oklahoma is one state in the US that takes you on an epic getaway filled with Western adventure, diverse outdoor experiences and historic wonders. Offering vibrant American-Indian culture, stunning state parks, and the country’s longest stretch of colourful Route 66, Oklahoma is ready to take the guesswork out of your filming plans.

Oklahoma is located in the South-Central region of the US. The state’s name is known informally by its nickname, The Sooner State and The Great Plains state, and ranks 20th in size in the country. It exemplifies 11 distinct ecological regions, with terrain including flat, fertile plains, sand dunes, high mesas, dense forests, cypress swamps, rolling hills, and mountains covered in rock or trees.

Black Mesa, the highest elevation in the state, stands 4,973 feet above sea level in the far northwest; the lowest elevation, 289 feet, is located near Idabel in the extreme southeast. Oil and natural gas wells can be seen throughout much of the state. Oklahoma’s plains also host large herds of cattle and vast wheat fields.

Climate

Oklahoma is located in a temperate region and experiences occasional extremes of temperature and precipitation typical in a continental climate. Most of the state lies in an area known as Tornado Alley characterised by frequent interaction between cold and warm air masses producing severe weather. Due to its position between zones of differing prevailing temperature and winds, weather patterns can vary widely between relatively short distances and can change drastically in a short time.

Incentives

Rebate ProgrammeThe Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate offers up to 37 per cent on Oklahoma expenditures to qualifying companies filming in the state, capped at $ 5 million per year. The rebate is extended to film, television and commercial productions. The company must have a minimum budget of $ 50,000 and spend $ 25,000 in Oklahoma.

The company must provide proof of complete financing prior to commencement of principal photography. If the film is not bonded, no rebate money will be released until evidence is provided that all Oklahoma crew and vendors have been paid, along with evidence that there are no liens against any production company in the state of Oklahoma. General liability insurance with minimum coverage of $ 1 million, and workers’ compensation policy pursuant to state law are required. Rebate is payable beginning July 1 following the fiscal year in which documented expenditures were made.

Construction Tax Credit

State income tax facilities On the construction of film production facilities, investors can receive:

– 10 per cent state income tax credit on a construction project with a minimum expenditure of $ 350,000.

– 25 per cent state income tax credit on a construction project with a minimum expenditure of $ 1 million.

Sales Tax Exemption

Point of Purchase (POP) tax exemption   There is no minimum budget or expenditure requirement to take advantage of this incentive. The state’s current sales tax is 4.5 per cent. Local taxes, which vary from city to city and county to county, average between 3 per cent and 4 per cent. The POP tax exemption cannot be used in conjunction with the 35-37 per cent rebate.

Permits

Oklahoma Film Commission aka Oklahoma Film & Music Office helps you throughout the permit process in the region. Following is a three-step guide to gaining permits for filming.

Step 1: When considering Oklahoma as a filming location, fill out a Project Information Form. This form is for the records and will give them a better idea of the project so that they can help to move forward. Along with this completed form, it is a good idea to send along any preliminary materials that may help in the pre-production process. Examples of these materials include locations breakdown and conceptual artwork or images.

Step 2: Once you decide on Oklahoma as a location for filming and draw nearer to principal photography, you need to fill out the Oklahoma Filming Permit. This form gathers all of the information the office needs to begin assisting you in securing locations for filming. It is important that you be as clear and detailed as possible so that they can streamline your permitting process.

Step 3: Next, the Oklahoma Film and Music Office will help you secure locations we can assist with, excluding private property negotiations.

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