Sapulpa Now Certified “Film-Friendly”

Move over, Hollywood, and make room for Sapulpa.

Sapulpa is now a certified “Film-Friendly” City, by the standards of the Oklahoma Film and Music Office, a division of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

Sheri Ishmael-Waldrop, with Sapulpa Arts & Humanities Foundation, worked for over a year to get the certification for the city, and was finally awarded the achievement last month. 

Waldrop has trained to work with movie industry representatives, and the city now requires a permit completed to film within the city limits. “This is very important because it requires proof of insurance which protect our property owners and the actors in case of an accident,” she says.

Waldrop says the Sapulpa Chamber of Commerce and the City of Sapulpa began working to get the certification “as soon as it became available.”

Crews film portions of “The $25 Million Kiss” in Burnett Mansion.

“Because Sapulpa is positioned close to Tulsa, but retains that small town feel and look, we have a lot of interest,” she said. 

Sapulpa has already been the site of several big and small-screen projects over the last few years, including a movie called “Unplugged” starring Matt Walsh and Eva Longoria, and a popular television show called “The Story Behind the Story,” which is based on the popular podcast and book titled “The Way I Heard It.” The show has featured several prominent Sapulpa locations, including the Burnett Mansion and an old livery stable on Hobson Avenue.

Alberto Gayoso (left) and Hunter Cates (right) film a scene in an episode of “The Way I Heard It,” filming in Sapulpa.

Waldrop says the achievement is a great one, but took some effort to get there, which they believe will pay off in the long run.

“Over the last few years we have developed a positive reputation of working closely with film crews,” she said “This designation reinforces that, and lists us on the state’s site of contacts.”

She also says the work is just getting started. “I hope to develop a contact list of locations and local film professionals, such as film crew, food trucks, electrical and carpentry companies, beauticians, etc. who are trained to work with the film industry.”

Those looking for more information on this training visit