Dear Oklahoma Film & Music industry and friends,
It is with mixed emotions that I say goodbye. My last day with the Oklahoma Film & Music Office will be Friday, August 1. After an amazing ten years, I recently accepted a new position in academics.
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. The progress has been hard won for all of us.
I am very proud of what we have accomplished together in further developing our incentives program and the work that it generates. While comparatively small, we now have a rebate that is very popular and well-utilized by the industry. It is proving to be a benefit to not only the film industry, but our musical talent as well. There is much work still to be done, but with the recent ten-year rebate extension, there is now a strong foundation on which to build.
Through efforts such as The Buffalo Lounge and the creation of the Oklahoma Music Guide, we’ve gotten better acquainted with our Oklahoma musicians. It has been wonderful to see how the seeds planted years ago to help grow the film industry in our state are now also creating opportunities for the music industry.
With the August 15 launch on Travelok.com of Phase 1 of Rhythm & Routes, the virtual Oklahoma music trail, an even brighter spotlight is about to shine on Oklahoma’s rich and diverse musical talent and heritage. That spotlight is long overdue and much deserved.
I will be leaving the Film & Music Office in excellent hands with two recent appointments.
Tava Sofsky takes over as the Oklahoma Film & Music Office’s new Director on August 4. She is an Oklahoma native who spent many years in Los Angeles working on film and commercial productions before returning to the state last year. Her credits include The Mask of Zorro, The Fast and the Furious, Beyond Borders, Drop Zone and Jack. She also brings valuable music industry insights and relationships.
Jeanette Stanton joined the team in early June as the new Deputy Director. Jeanette spent several years at Crowe & Dunlevy and has a strong background in administration, business development, strategic planning and marketing. She will manage the day-to-day internal operations of the office and assist in the promotion and development of the Oklahoma Film & Music Office.
Please join me in welcoming both Tava and Jeanette. I know you will extend them the same support and spirit of collaboration that you have to me over the years.
I urge you all to stay the course and keep up the great work. It’s been my honor and privilege to work with you. I wish each of you the very best.