Studying the bulldoggish layers already covering Sheri Wise’s face, Nathan Bright dipped a brush in black paint and carefully continued transforming the model into a petite, pink-faced pup.
“Sheri, she is phenomenal. … I absolutely adore her to no end,” Bright said as he daubed black paint onto the muzzle he had already applied to the patient model’s motionless, increasingly canine face. “We thought we’d come out here and do a little fun one today.”
An Edmond-based special effects makeup artist, Bright was among the dozens of exhibitors and hundreds of attendees to crowd the second-floor rotunda Feb. 28 for Film Day at the state Capitol.
It was the second annual Film Day organized by the Oklahoma Motion Picture Alliance but the first at the state Capitol, after last year’s inaugural event took place at the Oklahoma History Center.
“This is extremely exciting for the industry,” said Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, one of many elected officials to visit the array of tables circling the rotunda during Film Day. “Most large industries have a day at the Capitol. So, for our film and music industry to have a day at the Capitol, it’s a signal that this is an industry that’s real, that’s only going to grow and that’s going to help diversify our economy.”
Who exhibited at this year’s Film Day?
The exhibitors at the alliance’s first Film Day at the Capitol ranged from Oklahoma actors and costume designers to representatives from local film education programs and production companies. The tempting smells of soul food served by OKC Black Eats tempted attendees and proved the importance of craft services to any film project.
“One of the misconeptions is that the film industry is just crew, and what you’ve got to remember is that there are a huge amount of supportive industries all around the state that provide services to these films. … All of these businesses, they’ve got brick and mortar, they’ve got staff, and we’re supporting all of that as well,” said Richard Janes, a co-founder and board member of the Oklahoma Motion Picture Alliance.
“It’s an entire support network that goes into making these (projects), and I think a lot of people just don’t see that.”
Dressed in a leather bomber jacket and mirrored sunglasses, Wynnewood-based actor and filmmaker Dathan Smith paid homage to “Maverick” Pete Mitchell, Tom Cruise’s character from the “Top Gun” movies, during Film Day.
Part of a group of Oklahoma actors who dressed as film and television icons like Wonder Woman, Will Rogers and Lucy Ricardo for the Capitol occasion, Smith moved to the small Garvin County town five years ago.
“I decided my career was over … and I thought, ‘Well, I’m just never gonna act again or do anything again.’ And then I moved there, and now I’m working like crazy,” said Smith, who appeared in a brief speaking role on Season 1 of the hit Paramount+ series “Tulsa King,” which filmed in Oklahoma.
“I work more here than I did in Dallas, than I did in New Orleans when it was a film capital, than I did in South Florida. I’ve been in those major markets. Oklahoma has been the best.”
A creator, director and writer on the near-future sci-fi series “L.I.F.E. Anthologies,” Smith said he also has found his adopted Oklahoma hometown a friendly place for filming.
“I feel like I can do more with film here. The town will just be like, ‘Yeah, what do you want to shoot? When do you want to go? We’ll be quiet.’ It’s amazing,” said Smith, who co-founded last year the Red Brick Road Film Festival in Pauls Valley, which will return Oct. 13-15.
What big announcement did Film Day attendees hear about the state film incentive?
Props ranging from oversized chess pieces and a large dinosaur skull embedded in rock to a Viking shield and matching helmet shared the Film Day exhibitor space occupied by Oklahoma City’s Shryock Fabrications. Plus, employees of the family-owned business showed off a 3-D printer as well as a Bolt X high-speed motion-control robotic arm, one of only eight in the United States.
“We want to be a one-stop shop for the film and entertainment industry in Oklahoma. We don’t mind doing work for out-of-state, but we want to bring the money here. We want to bring the jobs here,” said co-founder Peter Shryock. “If it’s going to be an out-of-state production, we want that out-of-state production to come here and use our services.”
In a plot twist a Hollywood screenwriter could appreciate, Film Day attendees happened to be on hand at the Capitol to learned that House Bill 1362, which would more than double the annual cap for the state film incentive, had passed out of committee. Authored by Rep. Scott Fetgatter, R-Okmulgee, HB 1362 would boost the annual cap for the state film incentive from $30 million to $80 million.
Although he works all over the world on film projects and military training exercises, Bright, the makeup artist, celebrated the news of the bill’s advance along with the other exhibitors.
“I’m always excited for anything to become better,” Bright said. “I enjoy this a lot, obviously, as I’ve been doing it for well over a decade. There’s a lot of great people here, and I’m always excited for things to move forward.”
- Alex Shares Her Simple Makeup Routine for a Glowy, Natural Look
- 13 Drugstore Makeup Dupes That Are Just as Good as Luxury: Foundation, Bronzer, Mascara
- Revamp Your Makeup Removal Routine With These Natural Products
- Natural and Organic Cosmetics Market Worth USD 33.04 Billion by 2027 at 9.76% CAGR
- 5 bridal beauty tips from Irish MUA Bonnie Ryan