Uncovering Oklahoma https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com Uncovering Creative Places and People in Oklahoma Thu, 02 Jul 2020 22:38:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://i0.wp.com/www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/cropped-Icon-Logo-for-Uncovering-Oklahoma-2019.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Uncovering Oklahoma https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com 32 32 8768895 Winchester Drive-In Theatre https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/07/winchester-drive-in-theatre/ https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/07/winchester-drive-in-theatre/#respond Thu, 02 Jul 2020 15:15:36 +0000 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/?p=22372

Keeping the tradition alive started by the Shanbour family in 1968, The Winchester Drive-In Theatre in Oklahoma City brings families together for a night under the stars and a giant movie screen. Austin Edwards, Jeff Massad, and Erich Massad give advice for those that have never experienced a drive-in before, what to expect, and their food offerings.

In regards to COVID-19 precautions, the Winchester Drive-In is only showing one movie, requiring masks when visiting the concession, and partaking in social distancing and strict sanitary guidelines. For the latest guidelines, visit their website or Facebook page.

As for my “reopening” plans here at Uncovering Oklahoma, I’m carefully easing back into filming new episodes. With all of the uncertainty, especially with businesses closing temporary or permanently, and with me taking on more freelance work, episodes will be less common for the time being.

Pizza at the Winchester Drive-In Theatre - photo by Dennis Spielman
Chicken Basket at at the Winchester Drive-In Theatre - photo by Dennis Spielman

Visit the Winchester Drive-In Theatre online at https://winchesterdrive-in.com or at 6930 South Western Avenue in Oklahoma City.

Thank you to my supporters on Patreon for helping to make Uncovering Oklahoma possible, especially during this time! Supporters get awesome rewards, like early access to my episodes. Big thanks to superstar supporters: Lynn and Steve Keller-Kenton Family and Revolve Productions.

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Monday Music Discovery for June 29, 2020 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/06/monday-music-discovery-for-june-29-2020/ https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/06/monday-music-discovery-for-june-29-2020/#respond Mon, 29 Jun 2020 14:59:50 +0000 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/?p=22362 Welcome to the Monday Music Discovery, a weekly mixtape of both new music video videos and singles of all genres of music by local bands in Oklahoma. In today’s Monday Music Discovery, enjoy new music from Salem Blue, The Imaginaries, Justin Logan, and Jabee. If you’re interested in having your music video or new single highlighted, connect here.

Around in My Head by Salem Blue

Artist Statement: Around in My Head is about heading down a dark path in life, and feeling so overwhelmed and swept up by it that you no longer feel like yourself. It’s a little bit of a journey and, in the end, a moment of reflection where you realize you’ve completely changed into someone you don’t want to be.

Revival by The Imaginaries

Artist Statement: Oklahoma Americana husband/wife duo, The Imaginaries, Shane Henry (guitar, vocals), and Maggie McClure (keys, piano, vocals), release their latest single “Revival.”

The video shows the duo on the run after quitting their outlaw lifestyle to live up to their true calling of spreading their newfound message of love, faith, perseverance, and positivity through their music. “’Revival’ is a spiritual song about finding hope and salvation,” says Maggie and Shane. “Our faith has an impact on our everyday lives and in our songwriting. ‘Revival’ is complete with biblical references from ‘not storing up treasures on earth,’ the warnings of ‘the love of money,’ and the mission of ‘spreading the good news.’ We all need a revival now more than ever!”

American Songwriter says, “Presented with a brief but instantly adventurous and gripping introduction for the first two minutes of the video, once the music of ‘Revival’ kicks in, the full strength of The Imaginaries’ musical skill…from delta blues to harmonizing gospel, to a touch of outlaw country colliding with Baptist lyrical metaphors. Moment to moment, the energy and performance personality put forth by McClure and Henry also flash moments reflecting Lindi Ortega’s vintage, southern-focused sound and aesthetic, Miranda Lambert’s unyielding vocal sass, Dan Tyminski’s unapologetically religious-minded messaging, and James Bay’s slick but sensitive crooning.”

Get It Right by Justin Logan

Artist Statement: Get It Right is the second single from Ada native Justin Logan. The track is a contrast to the first single, Dust, illustrating both the songwriting range of the Okie music maker and the wide breadth of influence that informs his music. A gifted multi-instrumentalist, Logan performed and recorded every instrument on the track, save a couple of rich and colorful synth parts added by Tulsa’s Andrew Bair, who also mixed the track. The track is available on all major platforms, as well as online at www.justinlogan.us/music

Praying Hands by Jabee

Now Available: “This World is So Fragile and Cruel Im Glad I Got You.”

Get your music video or new single featured in the Monday Music Discovery series by connecting here.

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Monday Music Discovery for June 15, 2020 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/06/monday-music-discovery-for-june-15-2020/ https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/06/monday-music-discovery-for-june-15-2020/#respond Mon, 15 Jun 2020 16:49:55 +0000 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/?p=22315 Welcome to the Monday Music Discovery, a weekly mixtape of both new music video videos and singles of all genres of music by local bands in Oklahoma. In today’s Monday Music Discovery, enjoy new music from Salem Blue and Jabee. If you’re interested in having your music video or new single highlighted, connect here.

Clic by Jabee

Artist Statement:  ima keep tellin yall til it. clic

please get the album https://foundation-media.ffm.to/twisfacigigy

SEA by Salem Blue

Artist Statement: Salem Blue was formed in 2019 by local artist/vocalist Sarah Elizabeth and musician/photographer Mikey Hevr. After spending a year writing in the depths of their spare rooms, the duo played an impromptu house show in January 2020 to get some feedback on their music. After much praise from their moms and siblings, they released a demo song on Spotify titled SEA. Driven by a desire to reinvigorate the music scene with their catchy-yet-spooky, dream-pop sound, Salem Blue have their debut official single slated for release on June 19th. With a full EP of songs and debut music video to follow soon after, the band looks forward to making a splash into the alt-pop scene.

Get your music video or new single featured in the Monday Music Discovery series by connecting here.

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Mix-Tape Vol. 1 at deadCenter 2020 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/06/mix-tape-vol-1-at-deadcenter-2020/ https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/06/mix-tape-vol-1-at-deadcenter-2020/#respond Sun, 14 Jun 2020 18:09:52 +0000 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/?p=22304 In this deadCenter Film Festival Q&A session, Lindsey Cox talks about Factory Obscura’s Mix-Tape Vol. 1 music visual showing at the festival.

1. Tell me a bit about yourself and your role in the film.

I’m Lindsey Cox and I work at Factory Obscura handling the box office, events, and music bookings! I coordinated the musicians and the concept of Mix-Tape Vol. 1!

2. How do you personally describe the movie to people?

Mix-Tape Vol. 1 is a visual album directed and filmed by Kyle Van Osdol that accompanies the audio version which was mixed and mastered by Tyler Garcia at 33rd St Studio and physically produced to cassette tape by Gregory Terry at 46 RPM. Each musician wrote an original song inspired by a specific room in the Mix-Tape experience. Each room is inspired by an emotion (Joy, Angst, Love, Melancholy, Hope and Wonder) that one might feel when creating a mix-tape or receiving a mix-tape as a gift. The film beautifully encapsulates the emotions that each song was inspired by.

3. Why should one see it?

This is a great example of the creativity and talent we have in the Oklahoma music scene. This is the first in a series of mix-tapes that will feature Oklahoma artists.

4. What are your thoughts on the deadCenter Film Festival?

deadCenter film fest does a fantastic job giving a platform to indie film-makers that might not otherwise be able to showcase their art.

5. What was the most challenging aspect you had during production?

Coordinating the recording and filming schedule for six bands was definitely the most challenging part.

6. What was the best part about filming in Oklahoma?

It’s the home of Factory Obscura as well as all of the musicians involved with the project. We’re proud to showcase music coming from Oklahoma!

7. What were some particular scenes or locations that were enjoyable to film?

I really enjoyed holding the bubble gun during Audio Book Club’s shoot!

8. What do you do to recharge your creative batteries?

Walking around my neighborhood and being out in nature helps recharge my creative flow.

9. What do you think should be placed as a marker for the dead center of the universe?

A giant planetary theme park!

10. Anything else you wish to add or share?

You can get your copy of Mix-Tape Vol. 1, which includes a free download of the visual album at Factory Obscura’s online store! All of the proceeds benefit the musicians that contributed to the project!

The 2020 deadCenter Film Festivals runs from June 11-21. Read more Question and Answer sessions with other deadCenter filmmakers, past and present, here.

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Shifter at deadCenter https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/06/shifter-at-deadcenter/ https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/06/shifter-at-deadcenter/#respond Wed, 10 Jun 2020 12:00:00 +0000 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/?p=22267 In this deadCenter Film Festival Q&A session, the team behind the time-travel thriller, Shifter, talks about their feature film.

1. Tell me a bit about yourself and your role in the film. 

JLB: My name is Jacob Leighton Burns and I am the writer and director of Shifter, along with being one of the co-founders of Planet Thunder Productions. 

VH: My name is Vinnie Hogan. I wrote the score for Shifter and served as a producer as well. I was raised in Oklahoma City and started producing and scoring short films for Jacob and Zach Burns back in 2007. I now live in Austin, TX, and was shooting a sci-fi feature (until COVID-19 crashed the party).

NF: I play Theresa Chaney, scientist and inventor. I’ve been acting on-camera for about ten years—one of my first films was actually Planet Thunder Production’s ‘Broken Boy,’ which also screened at deadCenter in 2011 or 2012. I have a Bachelors in Vocal Performance from OCU, recently produced my first short, and most importantly, have a cat named Jasper to whom I refer as “my son.”

AM: My name is Ashley (AJ) Mandanas, and I’m a non-binary, Asian American actor. I play Blake Douglass in Shifter. Blake is a visual artist/librarian who strikes up a strangely intimate relationship with Theresa, even as she begins to literally fade away.

Blake (Ashley Mandanas) and Theresa (Nicole Fancher) form an unlikely bond in the time travel horror film Shifter. Photo by Zachary Burns. © Planet Thunder Productions.

2. How do you personally describe the movie to people?

JLB: Shifter is a time-travel horror film about a young woman who experiences painful and gruesome side effects after an experiment with time-travel goes wrong and causes her to shift through time at random. 

VH: I describe it as your run-of-the-mill time travel/body horror/character drama with a sprinkling of 80s flair.

NF: I play a scientist who invents a time-travel device, and then things go very, very, wrong. And there’s a cat.

AM: Shifter is a Time Travel, slow-burn horror that brings a new and terrifying meaning to the term “ghost.”

3. Why should one see it?

JLB: We did our best to make something truly unique that maybe people haven’t seen before. As a long time fan of the time-travel genre, I didn’t want to just remake the films I loved, I wanted to create something unique and approach it from a different angle. We asked ourselves, “what’s the horror of time-travel?”, so I hope people will be interested to see what we came up with!

VH: Because it takes two very familiar genres (time travel and horror) and creatively smashes them together in a really fascinating way. Because it brings characters that you’d not normally see in this type of movie. Because it is an incredible example of what a time of creative and smart working Oklahomans can do on a low budget.

NF: Although it’s a sci-fi horror, it has elements of comedy and romance as well. Also, the cat.

AM: In this time of isolation, it’s especially difficult to find/keep/cultivate connections with other humans. This film explores all sorts of missed/jumbled/awkward connections as we follow Theresa warily navigate a world of others’ expectations versus her own. One of the searing horrors of this film is abject loneliness. Like, am I really completely alone in this vast, chaotic Universe? Does anyone understand me really? Will anyone ever truly see who I am and what I can do? What if I disappeared? Anyone can relate to that. Also, there’s a pretty dope cat in a few scenes. That never hurts!

4. What are your thoughts on the deadCenter Film Festival?

JLB: I love deadCenter! Not only is it an amazing showcase of work from around the world, it gives me an opportunity to meet and discover new, talented, and awesome people. I’ve been attending every year since I first heard of it, and it’s always a highlight. Can’t wait for what this year has in store!

VH: I love the deadCenter Film Festival. The more I am able to travel to new cities and new film festivals, the more I realize what a gem deadCenter is. It is marvelously well organized and has supported OK based filmmakers like us for decades. I am particularly grateful that the festival found a way to not even let a global pandemic stop them!!

NF: It attracts a lot of talent and I’m grateful they’re screening our film.

AM: I’m ecstatic that the festival is still happening! I love the virtual options, as well as the outdoors, socially-distanced options for pass holders. Even if we can’t gather together closely in person, we can still collectively celebrate the amazing cinematic art this festival has to offer! 

5. What was the most challenging aspect you had during production?

JLB: We shot the film in the middle of winter so it was FREEZING. We even got shut down one day due to an impending ice storm, so that was pretty rough. Luckily though, our cast and crew was amazing and we were able to make up any lost time without hurting the quality of the film. 

NF: Like Theresa, I was in pain. I definitely identified with the character because of that. I was in a series of accidents that led to neck and brain injuries, and so was dealing with that pain, along with residual side effects such as dizziness, balance issues, migraines, etc. I don’t often say this about myself, but I’m proud of what I accomplished given my physical limits at the time. So the screams I do in the film are real (jk)

Ed Campbell (Paul T. Taylor) is disturbed by an encounter with Theresa in the time travel horror film Shifter. Photo by Zachary Burns. © Planet Thunder Productions.

6. What was the best part about filming in Oklahoma?

JLB: The people for sure. I’m so grateful that so many talented and awesome people shared their time, energy, and talent to help bring this film to life. It wouldn’t have been possible without them! 

VH: The willingness of the local people to help us with our micro-budget passion project. 

NF: A tight-knit film community that values indie productions, and talented crew and cast. Also, shooting some scenes at my alma mater, OCU!

7. What were some particular scenes or locations that were enjoyable to film?

JLB: My absolute favorite thing to film was the opening title sequence. It’s inspired by both “The Thing from Another World” and “John Carpenter’s The Thing.” It looks CGI but we filmed it practically in my mom’s garage with the help of some poster board, a fish tank, trash bags, and fire. It was amazing. 

NF: My scenes with the other characters were all fun to shoot for different reasons, but I think the most fun would be a date scene in a restaurant (you’ll have to see the film to find out who it’s with!) It was a lot of fun seeing how many different ways we could play that conversation. Also, all of my scenes with Cleo the cat were fun. It was also fun to learn how to solder. Can you tell I had fun? (I apologize. I’ll see myself out.)

8. What do you do to recharge your creative batteries? 

JLB: I try to step away and look to other outlets, like reading, music, or exercise. Watching movies outside of my normal viewing habits helps too, if I see something new or unique that I haven’t seen before, that can be a huge morale booster. 

VH: I watch classic films, go on walks, and try new skills. When I get stuck in writing, I switch over to video editing, when that gets stuck, I move on to writing music, etc…

NF: Meditate, listen to music, exercise, talk with my creative friends about what inspires us.

9. What do you think should be placed as a marker for the dead center of the universe?

JLB: A time machine. 

VH: The deadCenter Film Festival. 

NF: A bulls-eye.

Theresa (Nicole Fancher) reflected in the window of the device she just built  in the time travel horror film Shifter. Photo by Zachary Burns. © Planet Thunder Productions.

10. Anything else you wish to add or share?

JLB: I hope all the deadCenter attendees enjoy it!

VH: Thank you for interviewing us and supporting local filmmakers!

deadCenter has added a pass holder only outdoor screening on Friday, June 12, at 9:00 pm, at the Tower Theater parking lot (425 NW 23rd St, 73103). Pass holders are allowed one guest each (or their family) and should bring their own chairs. Pass holders will be asked to present their digital pass for admission. Spots will be marked off for each guest/group, in accordance with social distancing recommendations.

ALL-ACCESS PASS INFO: You can buy an All-Access Pass, which is half off their normal price this year, at deadcenterfilm.org and this will give you unlimited access to all the films online and entry into the Outdoor Screening.

The 2020 deadCenter Film Festivals runs from June 11-21. Read more Question and Answer sessions with other deadCenter filmmakers, past and present, here.

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Laura https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/06/laura/ https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/06/laura/#respond Tue, 09 Jun 2020 16:18:35 +0000 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/?p=22262 Movie still from Laura

For true-crime fans, I spoke with Cade Thomas about Laura, a two-part documentary series about Laura Long, a 1977 Claremore High School graduate who was murdered three months after her 18th birthday. In this creator conversation, Cade talk about the project, how it got started, the hardest part to film, and more.

Tell me a bit about yourself and your role with Laura.

I guess you could call me an up-and-coming Tulsa filmmaker. I grew up in Broken Arrow and graduated from Rogers State University in 2019. I’ve made several short narrative films, plays, short documentaries, and a feature film. “Laura” was my first documentary series.

I produced and edited “Laura.” The series was also co-produced by Maegen Swenson and Ian Marcum, both of whom I went to RSU with.

What’s your synopsis for the documentary?

It is a two-part documentary series that tells the story of Laura Long, a 1977 Claremore High School graduate who was murdered three months after her 18th birthday. The series is told from four people’s point-of-view: Laura’s mother, the police officer who took the initial missing person report, a local newspaper reporter who covered the story, and the investigator who reopened Laura’s case decades later.

How and why did you become interested in telling Laura’s story?

The project began as an idea in a Documentary Production course at RSU. I wanted to tell a story that never got the attention it deserved. When I found out about Laura’s case, I was shocked that I had never heard about it and that there wasn’t a lot of public information on it. I knew from the beginning that if I wasn’t going to tell her story, there was a good chance this case would be forgotten. As I dug deeper into Laura’s story, I realized I couldn’t let that happen.

Why do you think people should watch it?

People should watch “Laura” to learn the full story of this young person’s murder. She never got to live a full life. I hope she will be able to live on through this documentary series.

What was the hardest part for you to film in this documentary?

The interview with Laura’s mother was definitely the hardest part. It was heartbreaking. The whole story is intangible until you see the impact in her mother’s eyes. Having to conduct an interview with someone who has experienced over four decades of emotional trauma is something that nothing in life has prepared you for.

 Behind the scenes of LAURA with Maegen (co-producer) and Chester Baldwin.

Any behind-the-scenes stories you wish to share or things you learned from making this project?

This is a project that changes you. It puts a lot of things in perspective. I am so very proud of the final piece and I’m glad the world finally gets to see it.

For those interested in other documentaries you’ve made, what do you recommend they check out?

A few years back, I made a short documentary about the history of Tulsa’s underground tunnels titled “Tulsa Underground.” It has over 200,000 views on YouTube right now. It’s an interesting video if you like local history or just want want to learn something cool about Tulsa. I also have a short documentary about the growth of competitive video gaming titled “The Rise of eSports.” I got 1st Place in the Documentary category from the Oklahoma Broadcasting Association for that video. It’s one of my best-edited videos and it is even fascinating to those who know nothing about the subject.

Anything else you want to say or let people know?

I wrote and directed a feature film shot in Tulsa titled “RIBBON.” It was an official selection at the Kansas City Underground Film Festival and CrashLanded Film Festival. Later this year, it will screen at Bare Bones in Muskogee.

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She’s the Eldest at deadCenter 2020 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/06/shes-the-eldest-at-deadcenter-2020/ https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/06/shes-the-eldest-at-deadcenter-2020/#respond Sun, 07 Jun 2020 17:33:41 +0000 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/?p=22236 Kicking off my coverage of deadCenter 2020 with a filmmaker Q&A session with the team behind the offbeat comedy and family drama, She’s The Eldest. Making its world premiere at deadCenter, this feature film follows three eccentric siblings as they return to their childhood home to reconnect but end up digging up the past of their parents’ mysterious disappearances.

1. Tell me a bit about yourself and your role in the film. 

Cate Jones: Writer and Director and I played Leanne’s sister Polly.

Beth Alonso: I am an executive producer and my company, Betmar-Heliand Productions, is one of the film’s production companies (along with Freestyle Creative). I also have a tiny acting role in She’s the Eldest (blink, and you’ll miss me). In 2012, I discovered and thoroughly enjoyed some locally written and produced independent films. I met some of the local filmmakers, was impressed by their creativity, and decided to help with financing some projects. It has been a wickedly good ride ever since.

Alex Palmer: My name is Alex Palmer and I am one of the producers for She’s The Eldest. I am also the president of the Oklahoma Film Society and an attorney. 

Kelley Gann: I’m Kelley Gann — president at Freestyle Creative and a local film producer. I was thrilled to work with Cate and the team as a producer for “She’s the Eldest.”

Jacob Burns: I’m a filmmaker in OKC, been working in film for almost ten years on projects of all shapes and sizes. For She’s the Eldest, I was fortunate enough to be the cinematographer on this awesome film.

Holli Taylor: I’m a jackass of all trades generally, which came in handy for this film because although my official role was assistant director, I also ended up filling many other roles on set, even to the point of being a few different characters in the film which was a blast. 

Mary Buss: I’m Mary Buss. I play Leanne Bradbury in She’s the Eldest. 

Mickey Reece: My name is Mickey and I play Jamie, a hot shot lawyer who becomes HIV positive and files a suit against his own firm, after he is fired over his illness and lifestyle choices.

Kyle Penington: My name is Kyle Penington and I am from Oklahoma City. I play the role of Sean. 

Alex Sanchez: My name is Alex Sanchez, I play the would-be love interest. He’s very laid-back and incredibly handsome.

2. How do you personally describe the movie to people? 

Kelley: She’s the Eldest is a homegrown indie drama featuring an all Oklahoma cast and crew. Equal parts offbeat comedy and family drama, the film follows three eccentric siblings who return to their childhood home to reconnect but end up digging up the past of their parents’ mysterious disappearances. It’s written and directed from a female perspective — exploring a woman’s need for her own creative outlet, motherhood, and our tendency to sacrifice ourselves to nurture others

3. Why should one see it?

Mary Buss: Families are messy.  Messes are tragic and funny.  Anyone with a family can relate. Eldest is a nod toward the real repercussions of neglect, abandonment and generational trauma.  Skeletons from the past reverberate in each of the Bradbury children’s lives. Leanne, Jamie and Polly cope with their emotional wounds differently, yet are drawn to each other when crisis arises.  They are compelled to cobble together family identity, however dysfunctional. In the trenches of trauma they share love, humor, brokenness, ghosts, anger, acceptance, survival  and the will to keep walking.  

4. What are your thoughts on the deadCenter Film Festival?

Beth: The festival is an amazing opportunity to see independent films plus an array of short films and documentaries, both foreign and domestic. It also provides opportunities for filmmakers and those interested in films to connect and learn. This year’s virtual presentation changes some former aspects of the festival, but the fundamentals persist with the ability to access panels and films. It remains a first rate experience.

Cate Jones (Director), Mickey Reece (Jamie), and Jacob Burns (DP) for She's The Eldest

5. What was the most challenging aspect you had during production?

Kyle Penington: Being a part of this film was a pleasure. Not challenging. I had worked with Cate Jones on another project and was happy just to be on set. The rest of the cast was made up of people I have always wanted to work with.

6. What was the best part about filming in Oklahoma?

Alex Palmer: The best thing about filming in Oklahoma is the local film crews. People are so giving of their time to help on local films, that even micro-budget films, like She’s The Eldest, don’t look so micro once it’s on screen. Our crew went above and beyond to help make She’s The Eldest the best film possible, and I’m sure every producer in Oklahoma would echo that sentiment.

7. What were some particular scenes or locations that were enjoyable to film?

Jacob Burns: I really loved the scene where all three siblings are together on screen for the first time. It’s a fairly simple scene from a camera perspective, but getting a front-row seat to watch Mary, Cate, and Mickey bring those characters alive was so much fun. Also, I loved shooting the movie within the movie, Corgis 2, because I got to hang out with a bunch of Corgis!

Laron Chapman and Ben Hall - She's The Eldest

8. What do you do to recharge your creative batteries? 

Alex Sanchez: When I’m creatively burned out I like to play a really in-depth, almost boring video game. It helps my right brain relax while my left brain takes over. 

9. What do you think should be placed as a marker for the dead center of the universe?

Cate: A melting pot that says “All ingredients welcome. Only quality combos served.”

Cate Jones (Director) and Holli Taylor (Producer, 1st AD) - for She's The Eldest

10. Anything else you wish to add or share?

Holli: I’m so insanely honored to be a part of this project and excited for more to come!

The 2020 deadCenter Film Festivals runs from June 11-21. Read more Question and Answer sessions with other deadCenter filmmakers, past and present, here.

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Oklahoma at deadCenter 2020 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/06/oklahoma-at-deadcenter-2020/ https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/06/oklahoma-at-deadcenter-2020/#respond Thu, 04 Jun 2020 12:00:00 +0000 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/?p=22286 The deadCenter Film Festival celebrates its 20thanniversary from June 11-21, with an extended 10-day schedule, and more movies and panels than ever before. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, deadCenter Film moved the entire festival slate of award-winning films, filmmaker panels, celebrity discussions, screenplay readings, and film classes online for 2020, utilizing the latest streaming and community engagement technologies.

Of the 1,600 films considered for the 2020 festival, 140 films were selected, with of them 20 being feature-length movies and 120 short films. With licensing issues, be aware that some of the films are only available to be streamed in Oklahoma and some are only available on specific dates. Thirty of the chosen films were made in Oklahoma or by Oklahoma filmmakers. In this article, I highlight all of the Oklahoma films with their synopsis and trailers. I’ve also included links to my Q&A sessions with Oklahoma feature filmmakers that responded to my interview request.

For passes and more information, go to www.deadcenterfilm.org.

Okie Features


When Luke Bellamy is released from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary he is apprehensive about his prospects. However, one thing is certain; he desperately wants to reconnect to his 8 year old daughter, Adeline, whom he hasn’t seen for a decade. The truth is, with all his hopes and dreams shattered, it’s hard to return to his small-town home. It’s no secret to most locals that Luke just served an 7 year sentence for negligent homicide because of a drunken accident that killed his wife. It was a tragedy that left his baby daughter without her mother or him. The good news is that Addie is doing well… she is an incredibly smart girl with a deep interest in ornithology who is being raised well by her loving grandparents (the parents of her mother)… the bad news is the family wants nothing to do with Luke. Their deep seeded anger at him is only re-ignited by Luke’s return.

Breaking Them Up

Tired of his parents’ constant bickering, 15 year old Damien is certain they’re all wrong for each other— he would know, he’s a relationship expert. Damien and his best friend Erin have a side hustle coupling-up classmates for the right price. So when Damien discovers his parents may have had a shotgunning wedding, he convinces Erin to turn their efforts toward finding his parents new partners— but the cost of doing business may come at the price of everyone involved.

Love and Fury

Filmmaker Sterlin Harjo follows Native artists for a year as they navigate their careers in the US and abroad. The film explores the immense complexities each artist faces concerning their own identity as Native artists, as well as, pushing further Native art into a post-colonial world.

Mix Tape: Volume 1

Read my MIX-TAPE Vol. 1 Q&A Session

Factory Obscura presents MIX-TAPE Vol. 1. A collaborative musical and visual album inspired by the “MIX-TAPE” experience. Including Audio Book Club, stepmom, Bad Jokes, LCG and the X, Jabee & L.T.Z. and Jarvix featuring Elecktra.

Parkland Rising

PARKLAND RISING follows the high school students and families who became fierce leaders of a national movement for gun reform following the shooting of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in 2018. With unparalleled access, this documentary goes behind the news headlines to share the personal stories of the students leading the movement, as well as the families of victims who are working together to create meaningful change. PARKLAND RISING joins David Hogg, Jaclyn Corin, Emma Gonzalez, grieving fathers Fred Guttenberg and Manuel Oliver and other emerging youth activists in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. The film documents their unfolding journey for nine defining months as they channel their anger into action and engage in an epic battle of wills with the gun lobby.

Robot Riot

Unconcsious soldiers are dropped into a testing site and discover their memories have been wiped. Once docile machines are the new intelligence.

She’s the Eldest

Read my She’s the Eldest Q&A Session

Three eccentric siblings return to their childhood home to reconnect but end up digging up the past of their parents’ mysterious disappearances.


Read my Shifter Q&A Session

SHIFTER is a time-travel horror film about a young woman who experiences the painful and gruesome side effects of an experiment with time-travel gone wrong that causes her to lose control and shift through time at random. Subverting many time-travel movie tropes and led by a primarily female cast, SHIFTER is not your typical time-travel film. Not only is it a tense horror thriller with scares and gruesome gory effects, but also a character drama that explores themes of depression, isolation, and the dangers of an unchecked hubris.

Okie Shorts

1717 Primrose

A group of kids are out with a borrowed drone, shooting video of their neighborhood. But when the drone crashes into a mysterious neighbor’s second-story window, one boy gets more than he bargains for.


Two inept brothers prove that no matter what age, boys will be boys.

Code Red

Life in rural Oklahoma can be beautiful, filled with the freedom to roam and time to grow up slowly. Unless you are Kiara Folsom and your mother is incarcerated. With the small town knowing everyone’s business, Kiara finds safety in her one close friend. She builds a wall around the outside world that comes crashing down on her the day she gets her first period and the entire lunchroom is made aware of it.

Code Red is the story of one young lady becoming a woman, all alone.


In a world of adrenaline and speed, a quadriplegic race car driver pushes to keep his dream of racing alive


The darkest place you can live is within the depths of your own past.

Feel So Good

Young Omi’s night out with friends takes a strange turn when he’s hypnotized through the TV by local hypnotist Valentine. He wakes up the next morning alone and bruised, with something, or someone, in his trunk, struggling to remember what happened.

Guessing Game

A man invites two old college friends to dinner, where a simple game will have unexpected consequences.

Home Sweet Home

A young woman’s fears get the best of her after she arrives home late at night to find her front door open.


We were able to create moments of a young man life the day of his passing. Moments of the unknown. Moments of truth.

Little Chief

Against the landscape of a rural reservation in Oklahoma, the lives of a Native woman and nine-year-old boy intersect over the course of a school day. Exhausted and burned out, Sharon struggles to provide stability to her fifth grade students. Bear is having a particularly hard time, enduring challenges both at home and in the classroom. He is desperate to escape it all, and Sharon is left chasing a little boy who is running to nowhere.

Lost Kings

Searching for food, a boy breaks into a neighborhood home. But when the homeowners return, he becomes trapped inside with those he’s stealing from.

Love Stories

Love stories told from multiple perspectives are brought to life by experimental animations in a touching exploration of what it means to experience love in this world.

Party Magic

When an amateur party magician is abducted by an obsessive wanna-be wizard, he must escape his interrogation for magic’s biggest secret or die trying.


Twelve year old Vivian is counting the days to her first period. But armed with scant information (it’s the 80’s!) and the help of only her single dad and best male buddy, she finds that navigating “the event” is way more complex and comedic than she ever expected.


The duo searches for truth on their journey away from their past towards redemption.

Road Block

An eager clothespin salesman will let nothing get in the way of landing that next big sale.

Send Me Wings

Send Me Wings tells the story of a fashion designer living in the city who inherits a church in her hometown. When she returns to sell it, she discovers a sick boy staying there, forcing her to confront her past and her purpose.

The Chest

Jessica, a put-upon real estate agent is forced to work alongside Blake, her merciless and cruel superior, in selling a large estate to The Steves, a pair of potential buyers. When a tragic accident befalls the pitiless Blake resulting in his untimely (but maybe deserved?) demise, Jessica seizes the opportunity to make the sale on her own by hiding Blake’s body. It’s the perfect crime with one small problem, Jessica’s phone won’t stop ringing. Even worse, it’s Blake. Suspenseful hilarity ensues as Jessica attempts to close the sale before anyone finds out, but secrets rarely go uncovered for long.

The Stories Within

“The Story Within” takes a glimpse into the artistic mind of Oklahoma City artist Denise Duong. Giving us a rare peek inside her creative heart and soul.

You Know the Drill

A normal school day in rural Wyoming becomes combative as students flip tables, dog-pile on trainers armed with plastic guns, and ponder whether they could fight back in a real shooting. Over 1,000 miles away on a southern California beach, a child psychologist watches her own children play in the waves after counseling a middle schooler with active shooter drill anxiety. She warns that if we don’t start researching now, it could take 17 years before society knows the consequences of conducting aggressive drills in schools.

Music Videos

“Street Light” by Branjae

Street Light was birthed at a moment when one’s higher self is empowered to seek help through resources and community. The story line in the video is just that; a survivor in a domestic violence situation who is empowered to leave said situation and seek support in their community.

“Enough?” by Cavern Company

This Wes Anderson inspired music video is filled with a comedic irony that develops a short story about letting go. Paired with Cavern Company’s indie alternative single “Enough?” from their “So This Is Happiness EP” the lighthearted video keeps a high energy and delightfully entertaining feel from start to finish.

“My Baby’s Gone” by Steelwind

“My Baby’s Gone” Steelwind’s first single off their album, Blue.

“Tie Me to the Bed” by Joe Sparrow

Director J. Logan Alexander’s music video “Tie Me To The Bed” for Los Angeles-based artist Joe Sparrow” is a descent into lust and desire, exploring the shadows of powerlessness and losing control.

“Heart” by Mike Jawz

Set in a futuristic supernatural world, Mike Jawz (Mike Muscala) takes on the evil nemesis and his underground crew, and tries to recapture the heart of his vigilante partner and love of his life (Albreuna Gonzaque). Along the way, the tables could turn in this 1940’s film noir inspired music video.

“Cigarettes and Coffee” by The Nghiems

This is a music video for The Nghiems – Cigarettes and Coffee.

The 2020 deadCenter Film Festivals runs from June 11-21. Read my collection of Question and Answer sessions with other deadCenter filmmakers, past and present, here.

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Monday Music Discovery for June 1, 2020 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/06/monday-music-discovery-for-june-1-2020/ https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/06/monday-music-discovery-for-june-1-2020/#respond Mon, 01 Jun 2020 15:01:21 +0000 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/?p=22182 Welcome to the Monday Music Discovery, a weekly mixtape of both new music video videos and singles of all genres of music by local bands in Oklahoma. In today’s Monday Music Discovery, enjoy new music from Jabee and Original Flow. If you’re interested in having your music video or new single highlighted, connect here.

No Allegiance by Jabee

Official music video by Jabee performing “No Allegiance.” Listen to the album “This World is So Fragile and Cruel I’m Glad I Got You” out 6/26/20.

Lately by Original Flow

Artist Statement: When I wrote Lately, I was in a rough place in my life mentally. One of my good friends was murdered and my mother had just told me her cancer had returned and it was much more aggressive than the last.

I had a lot of things racing around in my brain. It was really difficult to open up about how I felt. So I gave it a try and the first thing I wrote was Lately.

The visual for the song soon followed and they changed a lot over time. After a few months, my mother had passed away from her aggressive cancer and honestly I was thinking of discarding everything at this point but I tried to use what I felt internally visually. I wanted people to feel what I felt. I wanted to be as honest as possible. That’s my real bedroom, it’s my house that we’re shooting in. I wanted everyone to know especially our young black men that it’s okay to show emotions, it’s okay to cry. You’re stronger for that. I just want everyone who watches the video to know they can be vulnerable and still come out on top with a smile on their faces.

Get your music video or new single featured in the Monday Music Discovery series by connecting here.

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Mathewson, OK by Colourmusic https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/05/mathewson-ok-by-colourmusic/ https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/05/mathewson-ok-by-colourmusic/#respond Thu, 21 May 2020 16:06:51 +0000 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/?p=22103 Bringing “a polytempic ambient piece that pays homage to an unremarkable landscape,” Colourmusic talks about their ambient album in this creator conversation.

Let’s start by getting to know you. How do you describe yourself and your music?

The last person who can really answer this question is us.  Pretty tough question honestly for artists to answer. I think that is the question we are trying to unravel when making sounds.  What is it you are trying to find?  We call it New Age Noise Rock.  I think that works, for now, cause it’s so stupid.  

Use only seven words to describe your album, Mathewson, OK?

Can I borrow four more words?  A polytempic ambient piece that pays homage to an unremarkable landscape.

Why do an ambient music album? 

It’s actually the best music genre.  It strips sound to its essentials and can actually change the feel of any environment you are in without needing the constant attention of the listener.  Plus, we’ve been doing this kind of stuff for a long time we just never released it.

What activities do you think go well with the album? 

Anything.  I like to turn it on when I’m anxious.  Or helps me to fall asleep.  I like to turn it on while watching TV and turn the sound off the TV.

What were some challenges and creative discussions you had when making the album?

Just figuring out what musical ideas expressed here are interesting enough to pursue.  

What behind the scenes stories do you want to share about the album?

Well the album is trying to capture the feel of a small plot of land in Oklahoma that used to be a town called Mathewson, which is now a neighborhood, rebuilt after being destroyed by a tornado.  All that exists of that town is gone. The neighborhood as I remember it is now gone.  So really the only existence of that memory is what’s left in my mind.  So that is the story so to speak.  Each song references a special area of my youth.

What’s something positive you try to keep in mind or do when negativity surrounds you?

Nothing nobody hasn’t thought of before.  I always think of how it could be worse, and that makes me feel better.

What can you tell us about Mathewson, OK?

A town that used to exist.  Most famous detail I had heard was that the post office got robbed by the Dalton Brothers.  Now all that really exists is a cemetery.  That’s pretty fitting to the album’s theme I’d say.

What are some of your favorite places to perform or listen to live music in Oklahoma?

The Tower Theatre is really special.  I actually think it might be my favorite venue we’ve performed at, ever.  

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Monday Music Discovery for May 18, 2020 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/05/monday-music-discovery-for-may-18-2020/ https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/05/monday-music-discovery-for-may-18-2020/#respond Mon, 18 May 2020 12:00:00 +0000 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/?p=21999 Welcome to the Monday Music Discovery, a weekly mixtape of both new music video videos and singles of all genres of music by local bands in Oklahoma. In today’s Monday Music Discovery, enjoy new music from Sophia Massad, About Wallace, L.T.Z, and Casii Stephan. If you’re interested in having your music video or new single highlighted, connect here.

She by Sophia Massad

Artist Statement: The song will be Massad’s first release in 2020, in anticipation for her full-length album release which has been postponed due to COVID-19. “She” is a simple yet melodic song that reveals Massad’s own self-doubt and romantic fantasies. The song features Garrison Brown on horns, Tristan Todd on lead guitar, Raul Alfonso on bass, Ethan Neal on drums, and of course, Sophia Massad on rhythm guitar and vocals. With the delay of Massad’s album, there is plenty of excitement for the new release.

Massad is currently a vocal instructor at ACM@UCO and the owner of Oklahoma City Vocal Studios, all while pursuing her music career. She released her first album in 2014, then joined The So Help Me’s in 2017, and started this passion project with the mission to create and share her rawest music in 2018. Her style, inspired by the Alabama Shakes and Amy Winehouse, is both formidable and poetically honest. Sophia Massad and her band (Tristan Todd, Michael Fabri, and Levi Sherman) plan on releasing their full album in late 2020.

You Didn’t Mind by About Wallace

Artist Statement: Songs should tell the truth, right? Even if the truth isn’t pretty. 

“You Didn’t Mind” isn’t about a pretty story, but we think it’s honest, and that’s what we’re going for. We hope people find something they can relate to in the song, maybe even something beautiful.

73120 (The Good) by L.T.Z.

Artist Statement: This is a song near & dear to my heart. It is about the summer of 2005. It’s about hanging out with my big brother. It’s about hanging out on the NorthSide of OKC which I call home. Chips produced a perfect background to the storytelling I did. He (Chips) is a true champion in making my stories come to life.

Trapeze Artist by Casii Stephan

Artist Statement: Somewhere between A Christmas Carol and Alice in Wonderland, this story resides. Let us take you on a journey of hope as we navigate the ups and downs of life in a slightly fantastical version of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Get your music video or new single featured in the Monday Music Discovery series by connecting here.

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Introducing Amy Jack https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/05/introducing-amy-jack/ https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/05/introducing-amy-jack/#respond Tue, 12 May 2020 15:12:42 +0000 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/?p=22061 In this Creator Conversation, I talk with country singer/songwriter, Amy Jack, about her debut album. Amy also shares a favorite Oklahoma memory, how to keep positive, and places she enjoys performing in the state.

How do you describe yourself and your music?

Growing up, my mother was my voice teacher and I’d like to say I have a smooth and complete voice. A voice of purpose, similar to Crystal Gayle.

What pushed you to share your music with the world?

When we got our first radio station in my hometown of Sulphur, Oklahoma and, of course, meeting the icon Merle Haggard in Oklahoma is what really pushed me to share my music with the world.

Album Cover for Introducing Amy Jack

What were some challenges you faced when making the album?

Everybody who worked on the album was great, the only challenge that comes to mind is traveling. I had to travel to Nashville to write the songs, which Nashville is the greatest place to write songs, maybe in the world. The city has the greatest concentration of writers and writing skills. When I was flying out of Dallas to go to California, to record at Merle’s studio for the first time, my flight was delayed due to weather. I missed getting to see Merle, Theresa and his whole band laying down the tracks for the first two songs. I learned a big lesson, if you’re supposed to be somewhere, fly out the day before. Or even the day before that. (laughs.)

What behind the scenes stories do you want to share about the album?

Because I wasn’t there, someone in the band said ‘hey, anyone know of a vocalist?’ and trying to be funny Merle said ‘I can do it.’ They say he never does this, but Merle sang the vocals to lead the musicians so they could lay down the tracks, in place of me. I’ll never forget that. Merle’s legendary saxophone player, Don Markham, may he rest in peace, drove five hours to play saxophone for me on “Got Lonely Too Early.” I’ll cherish that for the rest of my life. Also, being able to record the album at Merle’s ranch in Northern California was amazing.

What’s something positive you try to keep in mind or do when negativity surrounds you?

I try to think of the good, honest people that I’ve been lucky to meet and know and how they keep on moving forward. We all have some bad days, but there’s always someone going through it worse. Now we’ve lost people to this pandemic, it reminds us that every day is a gift.

What is your favorite Oklahoma memory?

I have two that stand out the most. Going to Cheyenne, Oklahoma (the real West) to visit my relatives. We would always ride horses or go to rodeos. In the summertime, when it’s 100 degrees, we went to Chickasaw National Recreation Area and would jump off the falls at Little Niagra into 50-degree water.

What are some of your favorite places to perform or listen to live music in Oklahoma?

The Deli in Norman, Oklahoma, which is owned by a dear friend. WinStar or Riverwind Casino, they’ve had so many great artists perform there. Civic Center Music Hall, the Zoo Amphitheatre, Remington Race Park and the Blue Note which are all in Oklahoma City are also some of my favorite places to listen to live music.

What else would you like people to know about yourself and your music?

It’s been such an honor to have my music played for the U.S. Olympic Committee, ESPN March Madness, the NCAA Rotary Lombardi Awards, FOX Sports and the songs have been played in sports stadiums nationwide. Having the support of these organizations is such a humbling experience that I’m so grateful for.

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Monday Music Discovery for May 11, 2020 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/05/monday-music-discovery-for-may-11-2020/ https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/05/monday-music-discovery-for-may-11-2020/#respond Mon, 11 May 2020 16:52:25 +0000 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/?p=22058 Welcome to the Monday Music Discovery, a weekly mixtape of both new music video videos and singles of all genres of music by local bands in Oklahoma. In today’s Monday Music Discovery, enjoy new music from KALO and Husbands, plus a Choose Your Own Interview with Klamz from Make Oklahoma Weirder. If you’re interested in having your music video or new single highlighted, connect here.

No Shame by KALO

Artist Statement: KALO has released the much-anticipated single, “No Shame,” a guitar-driven rock song about embracing pain and fear and feeling no shame in life’s struggles.

Recorded at BlueHouse Media in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the song features Bat-Or Kalo on guitars and vocals, Mike Alexander on drums and Tony Tino on bass. It was engineered by Joel Wade, Michael Block and Brett Baldwin and mastered by Dave McNair.

“So many want to take the easy route in life,” songwriter Bat-Or Kalo said. “But the path of least resistance – whether that’s taking a pill, a drink or finding other ways to blur inconvenience with vice – never has the results we want.”

She said the fear of failure, of not being accepted and of rejection can not be dulled for long.

“It’s a matter of driving your way through, feeling the pain and fear, and continuing anyway,” she said. “Sometimes those trying experiences we have to go through shape us and make us better on the other side.”

The music video for the single shows Bat-Or Kalo in stark black and white, playing her guitar in front of stacks of amplifiers. The video was also filmed and edited at BlueHouse Media in Tulsa by Joel Wade.

Manhorse by Husbands

Director Statement: All animations were captured in-camera using card stock and transparency sheets. Scanimation, also known as barrier-grid animation, kinegrams, or picket fence animation is an optical illusion that originated in the 1890s. To make the base image for the scanimations several frames of video were combined into one interlaced image, which was then printed on card stock. A transparent bar mask was printed next, placed on top of the interlaced image, and moved back and forth to create the illusion of movement.

Choose Your Own Interview with Klamz

In Make Oklahoma Weirder’s Choose Your Own Interview, their triple pilot concludes with OKC rock & roll trio Klamz. Learn a bit about the making of the band’s new EP, Smoke, as well as a bevy of other music and bartender talk. These guys made for an incredibly fun interview, and it isn’t hard to see why they do so well together as a music project. Chemistry counts! 

Get your music video or new single featured in the Monday Music Discovery series by connecting here.

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The Well Announcement https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/05/the-well-announcement/ https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/05/the-well-announcement/#respond Thu, 07 May 2020 17:09:01 +0000 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/?p=22042 Cleveland County has finalized plans for The Well, the healthy living block located in the county seat of Norman. Included in the county’s 5-year master plan approved in 2017, The Well will bring together physical and virtual health and wellness resources to residents and visitors of Cleveland County. The new facility, in partnership with the Cleveland County Health Department, will be the hub for activities and services, including online and in-person fitness classes, cooking demonstrations, Norman Regional Health System clinic and other wellness resources and events. The Well will also be the new home of the Norman Farm Market.

Planned to open to the public in 2021, The Well will be located near the Cleveland County courthouse near downtown. The area will feature green, walkable space for outdoor events and a new, 2-story community building with 14,000 square feet of classroom and meeting space. People will also be able to visit The Well virtually, accessing many events and classes through the website. Additionally, the public will have access to a wide variety of health services and professionals at The Well.

“Our vision for The Well and the reason we included it in the master plan is to make residents of Cleveland County the healthiest and happiest they can be,” says Darry Stacy, Cleveland County Commissioner. “The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us that health and continued learning are vitally important to the wellbeing of our community and families. The Well will be a healthy destination for individuals, families and communities no matter if they visit in person or from their homes.”

The Well recently unveiled a logo and new website that offers more information about the area and hints at what visitors can expect. 

“Visitors to the website can see a site map of what’s planned for the block, renderings of the building and recent news,” Stacy said. “People can also sign-up to receive updates on The Well’s progress and businesses and services that will be available. We will be adding more to the website as The Well continues to grow and develop so visitors can join in on the journey of The Well.”

In 2022 the Norman Farm Market, currently located at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds, will relocate to The Well. The expanded space will be able to accommodate additional vendors while continuing to provide visitors and shoppers quality local produce and goods.

The Well is a new concept for Oklahoma, an all-in-one destination where people can shop, learn, play and exercise to improve their health. It will be a resource and a destination for all Cleveland County residents and visitors regardless of income, background or geography.

“When the community approved the plan for The Well, we travelled the country looking at places that are successful at bringing together health resources, community classes and events that everyone wants to be a part of,” says Melody Bays, executive director of The Well. “And during the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve learned a lot about the different ways people need to access information and connect with their community. We’re confident we’ve brought the best ideas and technology to Cleveland County to benefit the health of our residents and visitors.”

The Well is scheduled to begin construction on the community building in July 2020. The facility is designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris architects and will be built by GE Johnson Construction. 

For more information, visit thewellok.org

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Negatives by The Fills https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/05/negatives-by-the-fills/ https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/05/negatives-by-the-fills/#respond Tue, 05 May 2020 19:41:07 +0000 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/?p=22017 Composed of “friends who like to make the kind of music that we’d want to listen to,” the Art / Alt-Rock band, The Fills, talks about their energetic EP, Negatives. In this Creator Conversation, The Fills also share their music-making process, their thoughts on the best moonshine, and answer, “If time is your worst enemy, what or who is your best friend?”

How do you describe yourself and your music?

We’re just four friends who like to make the kind of music that we’d want to listen to. We all come from different backgrounds, and from different areas of the state, and we love putting our heads together to make music that we’re proud of. We would describe our music as a mix of all of our unique influences that we’ve picked up throughout our lives. 80s goth bands, 90s grunge icons, Hip Hop, early 2000s indie rock, and everything else under the sun. – The Fills

What pushed you to share your music with the world?

The main reason we wanted to share our music is pure self-expression. We started out just making 7-minute jam tracks in our bedrooms, but once we started churning out some songs with structure, we felt compelled to put them on the internet for others to hear. Also, we feel like rock music is falling out of the limelight, and we’d love to play a part in bringing it back. – The Fills

Use only seven words to describe your album, Negatives?

Energetic, independent, angsty, personal, eager, youthful, spinning. – The Fills

What was the greatest challenge you had when making your EP?

Definitely the mixing process. We recorded, mixed, and mastered this EP all by ourselves in our home studio, with gear we bought with our show money. We found out firsthand just how much work really goes into putting your songs into existence, but the process was very rewarding. – The Fills

What’s something positive you try to keep in mind or do when negativity surrounds you?

When negativity surrounds us, we try and realize how far we’ve come in the first place, and usually just crack jokes with each other. We’re friends first and foremost, so we’re pretty good about venting, picking each other up, and enjoying ourselves. Also, just going outside for a walk and enjoying nature does wonders with staying positive. – The Fills

If time is your worst enemy, what or who is your best friend?

The fleeting moments in our lives. Time loves to take these away, but thankfully there are always more to come. – The Fills

Who has the best “moonshine” in Oklahoma?

Red Brick Bar sells good moonshine jello shots, but the best moonshine in Oklahoma is usually the homemade kind! – The Fills

What are some of your favorite places to perform or listen to live music in Oklahoma?

We love playing at The Deli in Norman, it has a great atmosphere, great drinks, and the staff is very supportive. We also enjoy Red Brick Bar, and the Speakeasy in OKC. – The Fills

What else would you like people to know about your music?

Just how much we enjoy creating art and putting it out for people to enjoy. Hopefully, when people listen, they can recognize all of our influences with a little something unique mixed in. We’re proud to be doing what we do, and we’re so thankful to anyone who checks us out. – The Fills

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Oklahoma Quarantine Music Recommendations https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/05/oklahoma-quarantine-music-recommendations/ https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/05/oklahoma-quarantine-music-recommendations/#respond Fri, 01 May 2020 16:06:06 +0000 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/?p=21968 With a light appearing at the end of the tunnel, I reached out to various bloggers, influencers, community leaders, creatives, etc. for a list Oklahoma based music they’ve been enjoying during this time. Today, May 1, as well as on June 5, and July 3 (the first Friday of each month), Bandcamp is waiving their revenue share for all sales on Bandcamp, from midnight to midnight PDT on each day. When applicable, I’ve linked to the musician on Bandcamp.

Currently, I have recommendations from six different people. I’ll update this article with more as I hear back from people. Enjoy some Oklahoma music!

From Selena Skorman:

Selena Skorman

I love love love each of the bands and artists listed below. They are fun, funky, ambient, and always giving back to the community. All of them have been involved with the Plaza District Festival, so I’ve been fortunate enough to see them live and see how magnetic they are in front of a crowd.

Selena Skorman is the Executive Director of the Plaza District in Oklahoma City. Her passions include promoting local businesses and artists through high-quality events that are free and open to the public. She’s helping to continue to raise funds to help out of work employees due to the effects of COVID-19 through the Plaza Support Fund.

From Seth Lewis:

Seth Lewis

I like music that you can just kick back and have on in the background and then you just go about your day.  The kind where you’ll nod your head or tap your foot every once in a while, to a good beat, a great lyric, or the artist’s voice. These artists are what make up the perfect soundtrack for a sunshine-filled day.

Seth Lewis is a resident of Downtown OKC, and is the Projects Director for Arts Council Oklahoma City, producing Opening Night and the Sunday Twilight Concert Series.  Outside of work, he loves supporting the local shops/restaurants/bars, the arts, and the community of OKC! 

From Evan Jarvicks:

Evan Jarvicks

Enzhe Zheng (https://soundcloud.com/enzhe-zheng) is a University of Central Oklahoma composition student to whom I had the pleasure of being introduced earlier this year at an Electric Pizza concert at UCO Jazz Lab. I’m grateful I did because his musical output during the quarantine has been comforting and inspiring. Even with my level of Oklahoma music awareness, I probably would not have been aware of it if not for that chance meeting in February.

His recent works are beautifully contemplative with an occasional dash of experimentation. Since they often require only a few musicians to perform, they can be recorded virtually, and Zheng has taken advantage of this given how social distancing has affected band and ensemble music. His composite videos posted to Facebook have provided a rare bit of joy in my otherwise quite dour social media feed.

Evan Jarvicks is the founder of Make Oklahoma Weirder and has been covering Oklahoma music since 2015. He also creates multi-instrumental music under the name Jarvix.

From James Nghiem:

James Nghiem

I’ve been listening to a lot of lo-fi hip remixes of video game music during this quarantine. In terms of local stuff, I’m digging…

James Nghiem is a musician and comedian from Oklahoma City. He plays drums in The Nghiems, an indie-pop band, and runs Robot Saves City, a comedy label.

From Apollo Woods:

Apollo Woods

L-Smooth is an artist I was recently introduced to on Instagram. He’s a dope artist. I like his song Plateau.

In 2017, Apollo founded OKC Black Eats to increase awareness and visibility of Black-owned restaurants and culinary artists in OKC.  Our goal is to stimulate the local economy by circulating local dollars in predominately African/African American communities.  In January 2019, Apollo took a leap of faith into entrepreneurship to provide marketing and consulting solutions for minority-owned businesses in Oklahoma City.  In less than 3 years, OKC Black Eats has generated more than $420,000+ in direct spending for small business restaurants in OKC Metro. 

From Hannah Royce:

Hannah Royce

Home sweet Oklahoma – wow. We’ve got talent oozing out of the cracks and crevices. My top picks feature primarily Oklahoma POC because, to me, they are (and have always been) creating culture and music that needs to be spotlighted and lifted up. I also want to note: there’s big magic happening in Tulsa right now as their community creates projects such as: “Fire in Little Africa” – a multimedia hip-hop project commemorating the 1921 massacre of Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood known as ‘Black Wall Street’. The documentary and album with over 50 Oklahoma hip-hop artists will be released in 2021 — but you can listen to the FILA podcast right now. I’m in awe of this entire project. It aims to process generational trauma and promote community healing through music, art + entrepreneurship.

Hannah Royce is a creative lady who cares a lot. She’s the current President / Executive Director of the OKC Pride Alliance and is the founder of the womxn + non-binary empowerment experience, Confidence Con. She loves hip-hop and nice humans.

From Mayor Breea Clark

Kyle Reid, The Whiskey Gingers, and Mike Hosty!

Just a few of my faves!

Mayor of Norman, Oklahoma. Mom of two boys & married to my high school sweetheart.

Upcoming Live-Stream Concerts Worth Mentioning:

Paseo First Friday From Home: As Oklahoma’s first arts district, the Paseo Arts District holds the safety of their visitors, artists and merchants as a top priority. With that in mind, the Paseo is excited to host First Friday From Home, a live stream of all the best things about Paseo, social distance style! Presented by The House Helps

Jabee is having a virtual listening party, Friday, May 1st at 7 pm. He’ll be spinning the test pressing vinyl of his album on Instagram Live and Facebook Live along with special guests 3 times Grammy Award Winner Symbolic One, Atmosphere, Statik Selektah, 88 Keys, Allie Lauren, and the Mayor of OKC, David Holt!

Scissortail Streams: Each week, Scissortail Park is filming free online music performances to help local artists and introducing people to different locations in Scissortail Park.

Live at Mix-Tape: Keep an eye at Factory Obscura for live concerts and other performances on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Depot TV: Come wind down with some groovy tunes played by local artists on Depot TV!

Art Moves: Follow the Arts Council OKC as they bring the arts to you.

Live Stream! on the Plaza: This month’s live stream will feature interactive trivia to win a deadCenter All Access Pass, Anthem beer tasting, how to make a pie crust with Pie Junkie, local music, and more! Tune in for a Plaza packed variety show Friday, May 8th at 6 pm.

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Yes! Women in Science! https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/04/yes-women-in-science/ https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/04/yes-women-in-science/#respond Fri, 17 Apr 2020 11:30:00 +0000 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/?p=21910

Yes! Women in Science!” explores the challenges women face in STEM careers and inspires change for better. The award-winning documentary short visits a diverse cast of women and professions in Oklahoma about what they love about their job and advice for those pursuing a career in the sciences.

The documentary made its premiere at The WIFI Film Festival on April 11, 2019, where it was Award Nominated for Achievement in Social Progress Through Film. It screened at Twister Alley Film Festival (Award Winner of Best Oklahoma Documentary Short and Award Nominated for Best Director of a Documentary Short), Doc Sunback Film Festival, and the Tri-Cities International Film Festival. With the festival tour over, the documentary was publicly released on YouTube on April 16, 2020.

The documentary filming process for Yes! Women Science! was a collaborative venture. Filming took place in 2017 and 2018. Guests were given questions in advance, which they were allowed to change, remove, or add to them. Guests also collaborated on filming locations, camera angles, b-roll suggestions, etc. Before the finished video was submitted to festivals, guested got to approve the video and make suggestions, including reshooting their interview.

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Tulsa Little Jam https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/04/tulsa-little-jam/ https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/2020/04/tulsa-little-jam/#respond Thu, 16 Apr 2020 18:10:08 +0000 https://www.uncoveringoklahoma.com/?p=21903

In this Creator Conversation, I speak with Juan Reinoso of the Tulsa Little Jam. The nonprofit music and talk show was designed to showcase emerging Tulsa music while also giving back to arts education through school music programs.

Tell me a bit about yourself and your role with Tulsa Little Jam.

Originally from Tulsa I moved to NYC for over two decades and established a career as writer/producer/director in film/theatre/commercials, etc… After losing my life partner Brittany and my father-in-law, my life was a bit in flux. So when my father started to fall a lot with age, I decided to semi-relocate back to Tulsa to help my mom out with my dad. That was when I was asked if I could help put the concept of Tulsa Little Jam on its feet and I wound up becoming the Host/Director/Producer of the show.

What is the Tulsa Little Jam and how did it get started?

Mary Janette Hammack, originally from Tulsa and now living in KC, came up with the idea about a decade before I started coming back.  She had partnered with Carlos Moreno and they had come close a couple of times to making it happen, but one thing led to another and circumstances kept it from happening. Carlos and I were introduced through a mutual friend and when learned about my work he asked if I would have a go at the show. Less than 6 weeks later we were taping. While I had worked on slightly similar formats over the years, I hadn’t done this type of show specifically. And with my original background in acting, I also enjoyed the idea of Hosting it, so I threw myself into it. But what I loved most about it was the fact they wanted to give some of the proceeds from the tapings to school music programs in the Tulsa area.

I wasn’t very familiar with the music scene in Tulsa at all, but I wound up falling in love with the immense level of talent there is here. It’s insanely good. So being able to bring more awareness to the talent that exists here while also giving back to the next generation in any small or big way possible was just awesome.

Tulsa Little Jam - Provided Photo

Why do you think people should watch Tulsa Little Jam?

The music scene here is super supportive of each other here. But what’s cool is being able to hear from fans who aren’t in the scene say how they never would have heard of a band if it weren’t for the show. Several bands have picked up lots of new fans because of the show. So it’s a great way to discover new bands and to fall in love more with some of the more established ones. It’s also a talk show. Between every song we sit down for interviews with the musicians and delve into what makes them tick. So viewers get some good looks into how the process works for each band. Sometimes it can be silly and fun, but a lot of times we can also get very introspective on an emotional level. It’s just a nice wide range and it’s a show Tulsa didn’t have before.

Tell us about your non-profit component and why it’s important.   

I mean, I think that part speaks for itself. To be able to give back to kids who have their own musical dreams is fantastic. A lot of the programs are lacking in funding. Some of them don’t have enough instruments or the instruments they do have are old and falling apart. Makes it hard for kids to be able to effectively learn that way, even if their teachers are astounding. So to be able to help in any way possible on our end is awesome. 

What have been some of the greatest challenges you overcame for this series?

Ha! We STILL have challenges every time we tape. We’ve still never raised the full production costs for a Season of the show yet. This is a real production in the sense that we have multiple cameras and a decent sized crew. We pay our crew the bands that appear. And a production like this is not inexpensive, so we rely on sponsorship. But we have yet to be able to raise the full production costs for an entire season, and so we aren’t able to give as much to programs as we’d like. However, as we continue to grow in viewership I am confident we will get there and we will be able to give more and more back.

How has the show evolved and changed over the seasons?

As with any show, we grew into ourselves. We started with zero set dressing and are now starting to add some production design elements to make it stand out more. I also think I was a little clunky at first as a Host, but hopefully, I’ve gotten better. lol. But the one constant has been the musical talent. Man, what TALENT!!

Any behind-the-scenes stories you wish to share or things you learned from making this show?

I like to keep the interview process very organic, natural. And I have no problem making mistakes and then actually keeping them in the show. One instance would be when I interviewed Casii Stephan. For some reason I am goofing up on her name and pronouncing it ‘Cassie’ instead of ‘Casey’, and that’s sad because I knew her for a couple of months before she even came on the show. So when I mispronounced her name on the show and she corrected me, I sheepishly left the stage and sat in the audience. It’s funnier when you see it in the show itself, which is a moment I kept in because it’s fun. But there are a LOT of tech goofs and other instances I will eventually make a fun little blooper reel of at some point.

What is your favorite jam to eat?

Strawberry Preserves. I don’t do traditional Jam. Except for the show.

What places in Tulsa do you recommend for enjoying live music? 

Well, that’s a tricky one. When I listen to live music in NY I tend to go to small dive-bar type venues. I’m a fan of more intimate settings. However, I’m also about to turn 45 and getting me out past 10p on any night is like pulling teeth. But, in general, I’m always up for adventure and that tends to be found in the places you don’t know. So if I were to venture out I would probably go to smaller venues I’d not been too before. But that’s the beauty of live music in Tulsa. No matter where you go you’re likely to find something exciting and new. (This is my worst answer ever. lol)

Anything else you want to say or let people know?

This is an incredibly difficult time for SO many of us, right now,  both emotionally and economically. From an economic standpoint, musicians are having a hard time, having had gigs canceled for months in advance as a result of the crisis. I hope your readers will consider exploring the various bands that are out there and supporting them, whether financially through donations or by just sharing their music with others. If you like someone, support them. We need arts now more than ever.

Tulsa Little Jam - Provided Photo

Learn more and watch the Tulsa Little Jam at https://www.tulsalittlejam.com

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