It appears the NBA lockout has cost Oklahoma City a date with Hollywood.
The bulk of filming for the feature-length Warner Bros. film that Thunder forward Kevin Durant has agreed to star in will be filmed in Baton Rouge, La. rather than OKC.
It’s likely that the final few days of filming will be shot in Oklahoma City. But by losing the majority of the project, both Oklahoma City’s economy and its growing status as a bustling city on the rise has been dealt a blow.
The entire project couldn’t be shot in Oklahoma City because of a snag with state incentives for film production. The state of Oklahoma offers a 37 percent rebate for companies filming in the state, but the Oklahoma Film & Music Office had already run out of funding for this fiscal year. The state of Louisiana does not have a cap on tax credits.
“It was a significant amount of money that we had to raise,” said Jill Simpson, director at the Oklahoma Film & Music Office. “The difference that they would get with the rebate was well over a million dollars, probably close to two.”
The rebates and tax credits essentially take a percentage off of a studio’s budget to produce a film.