Based in Oklahoma City, Justin Parks is an Oklahoman who works locally as a stunt performer. Previous production credits include “Wild Indian,” “Reagan,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Reservation Dogs Season 2,” “Tulsa King,” “Turkey Bowl,” “Infamous,” “Land of Gold,” “One Day as a Lion,” “Seven Cemeteries,” ” The Line,” “Unexpected,” “All Terrain” and “Fancy Dance.”
How did you get started in the ﬁlm industry?
After experiencing a few roles in some bigger budget films, I wanted to turn my focus towards more stunt like roles in the industry. I began reaching out to friends and associates in the Atlanta, GA, area developing relationships that allowed me training in the basics of stunt work and the likes of fight choreography, tactical weaponry and on camera reactions, etc., with some of the most accredited stunt people in the industry. They taught me the number one rule is safety.
Did you have any formal education or training related to your speciﬁc department on- set?
I have not had any previous training or experience with stunt work prior to my introduction into the film industry. My experience is through the desire to reach out, train and soak up as much knowledge from the people who could help me pursue a career that I was very passionate about to learn. I worked hard and pursued my goals of being successful in an industry that is often very competitive and difficult to have the opportunity to be a part of.
What are some of your most recent successes (credits or accolades) related to your career in the industry?
Some of my most recent accredited films would be “Retribution,” “The Beldham,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Reagan,” “Reservation Dogs” S2 and “Tulsa King.”
What has your career in the state’s ﬁlm industry taught you?
My knowledge and development have increased tremendously working in Oklahoma’s film industry. Aside from the countless hours of hard work, dedication and perseverance, my roles have expanded and opportunities more abundant. Not only just for the stunt opportunities of things and the work it brings for myself and others, but seeing it help Oklahoma in other things like generating revenue for our local businesses and cities that the production companies decide to film in.
What is the highlight of your career thus far?
I would say the highlight of my career would be being able to work with people I’ve grown up watching and idolizing on the big screen. How many people get the opportunity to take a punch from “Rocky” (Sylvester Stallone) during the filming of “Tulsa King” and have that on their resume? LOL
What is your favorite aspect of working in Oklahoma’s ﬁlm and television industry?
My favorite thing about being able to work in the Oklahoma film and TV industry is that I am able to work right here in my home state where I grew up. Really a dream come true. This allows me to be home, work and live the dream all while being here for my family. It’s great how the out of town stunt coordinators come in and trust us locals to get the job done for them. A big part of the success of the stunt industry is a big thanks to the likes of Freddie Poole, Richard Bucher, Stephen Pope and Danny Edmo. They have all helped us local stuntmen to be able to get work and show what Oklahoma can do.
What’s the best piece of advice you have for someone starting their career in Oklahoma’s ﬁlm industry?
A piece of advice I would give to someone trying to get into the Oklahoma film industry is to stay true to yourself, be respectful to all and any crew or cast regardless of titles. Show up on time and work hard.
How does someone in your ﬁeld/department best promote/market themselves to those hiring in your industry?
For someone wanting to get into the stunt world, I would say, train, stay healthy and active, make reels, continue building your craft and skill whatever it may be. Try and set yourself apart and continue making content and training even when you’re not working on a project.
Are there any local ﬁlm organizations, resources or events that have been beneﬁcial to you in your career?
There are a few local film organizations that have great meetings and networking events that are very beneficial to attend. Check Facebook pages as well that have some great groups that are created specifically for people in our industry that are local to Oklahoma. The number one thing I would do is subscribe and connect with the Oklahoma Film + Music Office. They always have great stuff to read and up-to-date information on all aspects of current events pertaining to jobs, events, etc. that’s happening here in Oklahoma!
What’s the one item you can’t live without on-set, and why?
The one thing I couldn’t live without on-set would have to be my snacks. Don’t get me wrong, crafty services are always amazing, but I just need a little more healthy alternatives sometimes.
Would your career be impacted without the state’s ﬁlm incentive program? If so, how?
I feel like my career would be impacted without the state’s incentive program. It allows me to be able to work not far from home and still be able to go home and take care of my family. Without this, the incentive that would go away and make it more difficult to travel and be away from my family. The incentive just generates so much growth and opportunity not only for the state and its local businesses but for the people of Oklahoma as well with jobs and opportunities they may not have had if the incentive program wasn’t here.
Where do you see yourself – AND – Oklahoma’s ﬁlm industry in the next ﬁve years?
I think over the next five years Oklahoma is on the brink of becoming the next Hollywood, but on the prairie! It’s BOOMING and going to continue to do so especially with the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, the people at Prairie Surf and Thunderbird Films just to name a few of the great companies helping Oklahoma thrive in this industry! I only hope over the next five years that the film industry here will continue to grow and prosper within this great state.
What are you working on now or next?
There are a lot of projects coming up that I am very fortunate to be able to be a part of! Be on the lookout and make sure and check and subscribe to the Oklahoma Film Office website for opportunities to get involved and support this booming industry.
Each featured individual or business is given the provided questions to answer in their own voice. Other than formatting and grammar, the answers are personal to each featured voice, and are not provided by the Oklahoma Film + Music Office.