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State bridge makes cover of magazine

State bridge makes cover of magazine

This article first appeared in the Journal Record.

April 28, 2009

OKLAHOMA CITY – A bridge in southern Oklahoma found its way to the cover spot on an international magazine produced each year for those looking for locations to film movies and television shows.

Locations Magazine, a publication of the Wyoming-based Association of Film Commissioners International, is distributed to film producers and showcases options for filming sites around the world.

On the cover of the 2009 edition is photographer David Fitzgerald’s photo of the Roosevelt Bridge in Kingston, which extends over the Wichita River at Lake Texoma.

Jill Simpson, director of the Oklahoma Film & Music Office, said the bridge has not appeared in any movies, television shows or commercials.

Each year, film commission offices from around the country submit photos to the publication. Simpson said she loved the photo but did not know it would make the cover until she got a call in February. It is the first time any site in Oklahoma has been featured on the cover in the 20 years the magazine has been published.

 “Every year they ask us for photos,” Simpson said. “That’s a part of the state we wanted to spotlight.”

The 2009 edition of the magazine has features on filming locations used over the last 50 years of the James Bond franchise and articles on filming locales for other high-profile movies over the last few years.

Oklahoma is no stranger to film production, Simpson said, but she would like to see more movies, television programs and commercials filmed in the state.

Some of Oklahoma’s most notable appearances on the silver screen were in Rain Man, Twister and The Outsiders.

But Simpson is not content with Oklahoma’s past appearances on film. She hopes the inclusion on the magazine’s cover, as well as a full-page ad promoting Oklahoma, will help highlight the state’s diverse terrain and efforts by the state to offer rebates and tax credits for film projects here.

In the past six months, Simpson said, several location scouts have been to the state looking for a place to film various projects.

“If you can get them over the hump of their preconceived ideas, they fall in love with Oklahoma,” she said.

One notable project to start filming soon in Oklahoma is The Killer Inside Me, starring Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson and Casey Affleck. The film is based on a novel by Jim Thompson.

Since the magazine was released last week in Los Angeles, Simpson said, the calls from Hollywood haven’t been flooding in just yet.

The Roosevelt Bridge, known as a Warren-type truss span, was a Works Progress Administration project and completed in 1942.

“It is an honor for Oklahoma to be represented on the cover of Locations Magazine,” said Hardy Watkins, executive director of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. “Oklahoma has many unique locations that are attractive to filmmakers and we welcome this opportunity to share this image with a worldwide audience.”

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