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May 7, 2022

Since the signing of the “Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021” (the new Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program) on May 24, 2021, several films have already taken advantage of the possible 38% tax rebate. “The Studio'', “Finding Crickets Choir'', “Little Dixie'', “The Ghost Inside”, “The Adventures of Jurassic Pet II”, “Little Amens”, “Cricket”, and “I Ain’t Getting Killed” have all been conditionally prequalified to receive the benefits offered by the state.

Oklahoma’s former rebate program, the “Compete with Canada Film Act”, will continue to exist until its scheduled sunset date of July 1, 2027, to allow films in that program to finish out their claims, but no new applications for that program will be accepted. All new applications will apply for the new and expanded “Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021” rebate program. Since the COVID-19 pandemic shut-downs that occurred all over the world, several states have chosen to “beef up” their film tax incentives to boost their struggling economies.

What are the details of the incentive?

Projects approved for the Filmed in Oklahoma Act may receive a rebate of 20-38%, depending on which available percentage uplift opportunities the project qualifies for. Available uplifts are outlined below: 20% Base Incentive 3% Rural County Uplift 25% filmed on location in a county with less than 250,000 people: 3% uplift NOTE: For your days to count as being filmed in a rural county, you must be filming on location, excluding soundstage production, in a rural county. 2% Small Municipality Uplift 25% filmed on location in a municipality less than 13,000 people: 2% uplift NOTE: For your days to count as being filmed in a rural municipality, you must be filming on location, excluding soundstage production, in a rural municipality. 5% Soundstage Uplift 25% filmed at a certified soundstage facility: 5% uplift *In order to meet either of the certified soundstage uplifts, 1% of direct expenditures must be spent at the soundstage in addition to meeting the minimum filming percentage threshold. 2% / 5% TV Uplift 2% for a pilot or 5% for a season If a pilot is part of a multi-film deal, they can qualify for the multi-film 5%, but cannot receive the pilot 2% 5% Multi-Film Deal Uplift 5% if a multi-film deal 3% Post-Production Uplift If at least 3% of qualified expenditures spent on Oklahoma post-production: 3% uplift

What is the Apprenticeship Program?

Each production approved for the “Filmed in Oklahoma Act” rebate program is required to hire a certain amount of apprentices depending on their direct qualified production expenditures. < $7.5m Direct QPE – 2 apprentices $7.5m – $15m – 4 apprentices $15m – $25m – 8 apprentices

$25m – 16 apprentices According to the Administrative Rules, “a person is considered an Apprentice as defined by the act if he or she meets all of the following criteria: The Apprentice is an Oklahoma resident; The Apprentice is supervised by an experienced Master Tradesperson in the trade, craft, or profession being practiced by the Apprentice in the production; The Apprentice works in a trade recognized by OFMO as necessary for film production; The Apprentice works under the supervision of the Master Tradesperson at least one-half (1/2) of the days the Master Tradesperson under which the Apprentice is learning is actively engaged in the film; The Apprentice completes a questionnaire or survey provided by OFMO to be returned to OFMO with the Final Application.” A person is considered a “Master Tradesperson” if they are skilled and experienced and will instruct an Apprentice through the use of practical experience so the Apprentice may learn a trade, craft, or profession. You can find a list of production apprentices on the Production Directory which has a designated Apprentice category that includes positions in accounting, art, camera, director, editing, make-up, post-production, and much more.

What are the qualifications?

You can find the full list of qualifications on the Administrative Rules pdf. A sampling of the qualifications are highlighted below:: Applications and all necessary forms may be submitted to OFMO through the OFMO website or as otherwise specified by OFMO. Unless otherwise authorized by OFMO, Eligibility Applications submitted for projects filmed inside the State pursuant to 68 O.S. §3635 may be submitted no earlier than one (1) year prior to the start of Principal Photography but no later than forty-five (45) days prior to the start of Principal Photography. The exact specifications of the Eligibility Application are shown on the OFMO website, and include but are not limited to: (A) General information about the Production; (B) Contact information; (C) Preliminary production milestone dates; (D) A copy of the screenplay (or treatment if appropriate); (E) The Production Budget top sheet and estimated headcount; (F) Various acknowledgments of program and OFMO criteria and agreements to abide by them. Eligibility Applications may be submitted to OFMO after the start of Principal Photography if OFMO deems that conditions exist which make submittal prior to the start of principal photography not feasible. While projects are only required to submit their applications a minimum of 45 days before the start of principal photography, it is preferred that projects submit their application before the evaluation date prior to their desired quarter of principal photography. If a project is awarded conditional prequalification, there are three benchmarks leading up to principal photography where the production must submit documentation as specified in the Administrative Rules. Prior to paying salaries or wages to a production company’s employee in Oklahoma, the production must submit a certificate of workers’ compensation insurance with limits pursuant to Oklahoma Law. 45 days before principal photography the production must submit: This is the last day that a project can submit an eligibility application 50% proof of funding for the full production budget 30 days before principal photography the production must submit: 100% proof of funding for the full production budget Current one-line schedule Updated script (if applicable) 10 days before principal photography the production must submit: A certificate of general liability insurance with a minimum limit of $1,000,000 in coverage (or a binder for such with a state date no later than the estimated Start of Pre-Production) A certificate of automobile liability insurance with minimums of $250,000/500,000/250,000 coverage (or a binder for such with a state date no later than the estimated Start of Pre-Production) OR certification that no employee of the Production will drive an automobile as part of the Production During principal photography, a production must include members of OF+MO on the daily call sheet distribution list. Within 90 days of completion of the production (or the last qualified expenditure, if later), the production must submit their final application on the OF+MO website.

What is the Certified Sound Stage uplift?

Productions that are accepted into the Filmed in Oklahoma Act rebate program can receive a rebate uplift of up to 5% if the production films at least 25% of main crew principal photography on a Certified Soundstage and spend at least 1% of their direct expenditures at the soundstage. The list of current Certified Soundstages is below. Please click each link to see more information about each soundstage in the production directory. Cherokee Nation Covid Response Virtual Soundstage Green Pastures Studio Prairie Surf Media A facility may be considered a State Certified Industry Standard Soundstage Facility (State Certified Soundstage Facility) if a building, or complex of buildings, building improvements, and associated back-lot facilities on a property meets all of the following criteria: Multiple Productions are, or are intended to be, regularly produced at the facility throughout the year; The primary revenue source for such a facility is from industry Productions and ancillary services to such Productions; The facility is marketed and made available to third party productions planning to rent such facility and the facility is able to be listed on the OFMO website for such rental; The facility provides additional industry-specific on-site services and amenities for third party Productions; The facility contains at least 7,500 sq feet of combined and dedicated studio space which: Features acoustically treated walls; Achieves a noise criterion rating of 30 or better Has a height of at least 15 feet and; Is equipped with sufficient heating and air conditioning for filming without the need for supplemental units (but supplemental units may be used). Otherwise meets the criteria for a qualified soundstage facility as defined in the Act.

How do I apply?

You can apply for the Filmed in Oklahoma Act rebate program by following the link below: Filmed in Oklahoma Act Eligibility Application Stand-Alone Post-Production Incentive Application

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