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Jill Simpson to step down as Oklahoma's film and music office director

Simpson said past decade has been filled with hard-won progress
From Staff Reports Published: July 30, 2014

Jill Simpson has announced she is stepping down as director of the Oklahoma Film & Music Office after 10 years. Her last day will be Friday.

“We can likely all agree that it has been a challenging and sometimes tumultuous decade, but it has also been a period of significant progress and growth for our Oklahoma industries,” Simpson said in a news release. “The progress has been hard won for all of us.”

Simpson, who grew up in Norman, worked on films while in Hollywood including “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Gardens of Stone,” “Stand by Me” and “Real Genius.” She has worked in film for more than 30 years and even wrangled 300 extras in Tulsa for the filming of Francis Ford Coppola’s “Rumblefish” in the 1980s.

The release said Simpson has accepted a job in the academic realm.

Film rebate put to use

Oklahoma recently extended its film rebate for an additional 10 years.

In 2013, The Oklahoman spoke with “August: Osage County” director John Wells about shooting in Oklahoma and how instrumental Simpson was in helping “producers and location scouts find ideal places to shoot the film.”

“August: Osage County” also benefited from the state’s Film Enhancement Rebate Program, in which a 35 percent rebate is paid to a film project on all production expenditures it makes in Oklahoma, or 37 percent if music by Oklahoma artists is included in the soundtrack. John Fullbright and Kings of Leon songs are featured in the film.

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Fortunately in Oklahoma, Jill Simpson and everyone at the film commission had the means to get us to come here. Jill, very wisely, never let me leave the state.”

director John Wells,

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