OKC to Miss Out on Filming of Kevin Durant’s Movie Due to Lockout

by August 29, 2011

The city in which Kevin Durant and the Thunder play won’t get to reap much of the financial benefits from KD’s film project, and it’s largely due to the NBA lockout. Reports the Oklahoman: “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 Louisiana offers a tax credit of 85 cents on the dollar, making the state a premier destination for filming. 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. ‘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 increase a studio’s budget to produce a film. Simpson called the loss ‘heartbreaking’ and said her office worked closely with the Oklahoma City Chamber to secure private funding. NBA rules, however, prohibit team owners from assisting financially because of the possibility of salary cap circumvention. That eliminated several locally based corporations, including Chesapeake Energy, MidFirst Bank and SandRidge Energy. Because of the lockout, as well as the small window before the start of the film’s production, the studio and other deal brokers were unable to communicate directly and effectively with key Thunder sponsors to gauge whether they’d be interested in supporting the movie. ‘With the NBA lockout,’ Simpson said, ‘there are so many restrictions to what the NBA will allow and won’t allow that at the last minute we found out that some of the people we brought to the table would be unable to participate.'”