The Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO) is proud to announce that FX has wrapped principal photography on season one of the series “Reservation Dogs” in Oklahoma.
Co-created by Oklahoma’s own Sterlin Harjo (“Mekko”, “Barking Water”) and Academy Award winner Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”, Thor: Ragnarok”), “Reservation Dogs” marks Harjo’s first foray into scripted television. Harjo and Waititi also serve as executive producers alongside Garrett Basch (“What We Do in the Shadows”, “The Night Of”) for the half hour coming-of-age comedy series that tells the story of four Indigenous teenagers who commit crimes to fund their efforts to leave their home in rural Oklahoma. Boasting Indigenous talents both on-screen and behind-the-camera, the series stars Devery Jacobs (“American Gods”), D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai (“Creeped Out”), Paulina Alexis (“Ghostbusters: Afterlife”) and newcomer Lane Factor, and wrapped principal photography in northeast Oklahoma at the end of May.
“Shooting in Oklahoma is dream,” said Co-Creator Sterlin Harjo. “It’s my backyard around the people I love. And, you can’t beat our locations.”
Multiple Oklahoma communities were positively impacted by the production, which filmed on-location at sites in Tulsa, Okmulgee, Sand Springs, Beggs, Inola and Terlton. KJRH News 2 previously reported how locally owned businesses in Okmulgee who were negatively impacted by the effects of COVID-19 received a huge lift in business from the visiting production, and other businesses like Terlton Grocery, which had been permanently closed for some time, were brought back to life with shelves stocked for the production’s filming.
“It was fantastic working with all of the talented and gifted people involved with ‘Reservation Dogs’,” said Jon Harrod, Owner of Terlton Grocery. “It was amazing to see all of the details that go into the production of even two or three scenes for the show, such as the retro labels they created for the candy and other products on the store’s shelves. Not only did they use my store, but I was able to suggest additional locations for them, including a local residence and our church, which created further economic impact within the community. This really was a positive experience for the whole town, and it was great seeing the community pull together for this.”
“Reservation Dogs” marks the first full time, scripted network television series to film the entirety of its season in Oklahoma. Early reports from the Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO) estimate season one of the series had an impact of over $10 million spent directly in-state with the creation of over 800 local career opportunities. Additionally, the series features a strong showcase of Oklahoma music talent whose songs are featured throughout the season, including artists Samantha Crain, Jacob Tovar, Broncho, Labrys and Lee Hazelwood.
“Oklahoma has been aggressively working to bring television production to the state, and we are honored to have been able to work with FX/Disney to host the production of ‘Reservation Dogs’,” said OF+MO Director Tava Maloy Sofsky. “The impact of this series on Oklahoma’s film workforce and local communities has been tremendous, and we are incredibly proud of homegrown talents like Sterlin Harjo who have helped champion opportunities like this for our state.”
Oklahoma’s film and television industry continues to flourish thanks in part to the increased efforts by state and city leadership as well as a number of statewide community partners to work alongside OF+MO to strengthen its workforce and infrastructure. During the state’s most recent legislative session, Senate Bill 608 (SB 608), authored by Senator Chuck Hall and Representative Scott Fetgatter, was passed, establishing the ‘Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021’ further increasing the state’s film incentive cap and eligibility threshold to host major motion pictures and television.
“As the State Representative for House District 16, I appreciate the opportunity to get to know and work with FX/Disney and all of the ‘Reservation Dogs’ crew members” said Representative Scott Fetgatter of Okmulgee. “Over the past year, seeing the community full of excitement, the hotels full and our restaurants catering on the sets has brought great financial opportunity to the area. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for the series and how we as a state and district can better partner to maximize the potential for us all.” He continues, “The impact of Oklahoma’s film and television industry, including ‘Reservation Dogs’, has given our rural area so much hope for the future, I believe together we can produce a better product in content as well as economic growth for our state.”
The pilot episode of “Reservation Dogs” recently celebrated its world premiere at New York City’s prestigious Tribeca Film Festival where it was lauded for its sharp writing, and authentic portrayal of Indigenous cultures. FX has announced the series will debut on the network’s streaming brand, FX on Hulu, in the United States beginning August 9, 2021.
“It’s been an honor to support Sterlin Harjo and his team with the Tulsa County Film Recovery Program, made possible by Tulsa County CARES funds,” said Abby Kurin, Executive Director of the Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture. “It’s humbling to see Sterlin continue to choose Oklahoma and bring his projects to the Tulsa area. The impact of his work touches many levels of industry in Tulsa, spanning hotels, restaurants, shops, vendors, locations and more. Congratulations to Sterlin, and the entire cast and crew!”
For more information on Oklahoma’s film infrastructure, workforce and other resources, visit okfilmmusic.org.
About Oklahoma Film + Music Office
Created in 1979, the Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO) strives to share all that Oklahoma has to offer by welcoming filmmakers and music professionals to the state and by creating a network of support to develop Oklahoma’s film and music industries. For more information about the Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program or the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, visit okfilmmusic.org.