Step aside Hollywood, Oklahoma is quickly becoming one of the top locations for movie and television production. MovieMaker Magazine recently ranked Oklahoma City #15 out of 25 large cities to live and work in the film industry. The ranking was determined using a variety of factors including tax incentives, available production facilities, and ongoing projects.
Late in 2020, a lease was approved to transform the 1.3 million square foot Cox Convention Center into a film studio with multiple sound stages. According to The Oklahoman, “The deal coincides with an increase in content demand from online streaming services and a need for controlled environments during the ongoing pandemic.” As of January 2021, film production has begun at the new studio space, leading to exciting new jobs for the city and a further diversified economy.
If you’re looking for work in OKC’s burgeoning film industry, you’re in luck. A movie or television set employs dozens, hundreds, sometimes even thousands of people, depending on the size of the project. Below is a breakdown of the most popular film industry jobs here in Oklahoma. Whether you want to style props, direct talent, or carry a microphone, there’s something for nearly everyone!
Production The production department is in charge of the project, ranging from initial funding to day-to-day operations and post-production editing. The top job in this department is the producer. Depending on the size of the project, there may be many other roles available including line producers, production coordinators, and production assistants.
The director carries out the producer’s vision, oversees the technical crews, and literally calls the shots. In addition to the main director, he or she may have a number of assistant directors working in different units.
Location If a project is filmed on-site rather than in a sound studio, there may be a number of individuals responsible for scouting out the perfect location and managing on-site logistics.
Transportation The transportation team consists of a transportation captain, transportation coordinator, and a number of drivers. This department provides transportation for cast members, staff, equipment, and props. A love of logistics, attention to detail, and a keen knowledge of the local roads is key for these positions.
Camera The camera department is one of the most essential pieces of film production. This crew prepares and operates the cameras and monitors during the shoot. The director of photography leads a crew that includes a 1st and 2nd assistant camera as well as several equipment operators.
Grip Working in tandem with the camera crew is the grip team. The key grip, best boy grips, and assistant grips hold and move all electrical equipment such as lights during the filming.
Electric The electric crew is responsible for setting up and maintaining all electrical cables for the set. Experienced electricians are often needed for this department.
Sound This team is responsible for recording all sound during filming, whether that’s a conversation between characters or essential background noise. Typical positions include a production sound mixer, sound designer, and boom operator.
Art & Props The art and props departments work together to carry out the producer’s creative vision. Typical jobs include production designer, set decorator, set dresser, prop master, prop maker, food stylist, animal wrangler, and weapons master.
Wardrobe, Hair, & Makeup
This team is pretty self-explanatory. If you have experience with costume design, hair styling, or makeup application, this department is calling your name!
Stunts and Special Effects From fight scenes to daring jumps, the stunt coordinator will direct stunt performers for the sequence. If the project requires special effects—i.e. something that does not exist or appear in real life such as a dinosaur—a visual effects crew will be hired to create the imagery.
Although it sounds like an arts and crafts crew, this department is actually in charge of food and beverages. Keeping the staff and cast fueled and happy is an essential part of any project. If you have an interest in catering, this type of job could be for you.
This is perhaps one of the easiest ways to get a foot in the film industry. Many projects require background actors—extras—to serve in non-speaking roles. Anytime a television or movie scene includes a large crowd or people standing in the background, they’re likely hired extras.
From the production crew to stunt teams and extras, film industry opportunities are budding in Oklahoma City. If you live in the area and dream of working in movies, you don’t have to go far to seek exciting opportunities. And if you’re looking for a home in the area, talk to one of our community managers and let us help you find a space that suits your needs.