Tulsa film, music advisory board holds first meeting

TULSA - Tulsa was once known as the "Oil Capital of the World." Today, the city could one day be known as the "Hollywood of the Plains," at least according to members of the mayor's new film and music advisory board.

Made up of locals who have backgrounds in the film and music industry, the board's goal is to turn Tulsa into a destination that will attract movie and music makers from around the country.

"I just see so much opportunity that we have here in Tulsa and all of you have that capability to give us some leadership, some advice," said Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett.

Bartlett addressed the board before its inaugural meeting on Monday afternoon.

Most members agreed that since the city is home to several independent film and music makers.

"We do have a history. We do have a foundation for a creative community here in Tulsa," said Brian Paschal, a board member and executive director for the Tulsa Young Professionals. "Additionally, we have the advantage of our cost of living."

But turning Tulsa into a film and music maker's paradise won't be easy.

It will be even more challenging if state lawmakers do away with a tax credit entertainment companies depend on to help curb production costs.

"A lot of filmmakers are being drawn to these places where they can get cash incentives. It's hard to compete with that when there's not a cash incentive involved," said Tracy Trost, a filmmaker who has shot three movies in Tulsa.

The Oklahoma Film and Music office said they believe the tax credits will be spared by the legislature, but it will be a few weeks before they know for sure.

The mayor's film and music advisory board is determined not to let anything get in its way.

"In the future we can look at film and music in Tulsa, not as this little struggling industry, but as an identifying industry within our city, something people around the country look at Tulsa and say 'Yeah, that's a great place to make movies. Great place to make music,'" said Tulsa councilor Blake Ewing, a member of the board.

The following is a list of individuals who have been appointed to the film and music advisory board:

  • Brian Paschal, executive director of Tulsa Young Professionals
  • Jim Wacker, production manager at Steelehouse Productions
  • Jim Stovall, CEO, TV Network
  • Johnny Graham, VP of broadcast production for Brothers & Co.
  • Jason McInthos, Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
  • Scott Hutchinson, songwriter/producer, My Grace Music Publishing
  • Melanie Sweeney, Tulsa International Film Festival/filmmaker
  • Brian Horton, President of Horton Records/The New Tulsa Sound
  • Jody Parker, CEO of Anchor Stone
  • Jack Frank, videographer/filmmaker, owner of Jack Frank Productions
  • Tracy Trost, filmmaker, founder and president of Trost Moving Pictures
  • Michael Block, president of Circulus Records
  • Shaun Edwardes, co-founder of MooMat LLC and filmmaker
  • Julie Yeabower, Bulldog Productions and filmmaker
  • Mayor Dewey Bartlett
  • Councilor Blake Ewing, Tulsa City Council
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