The City of Oklahoma City has granted Prairie Surf Media (PSM), the newly established multi-media production company, the rights to establish Prairie Surf Studios in the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. The new entity will house the largest clearspan soundstages in the Midwest.
Rachel Cannon and Matt Payne, co-chief executive officers of PSM, in jointly announcing the new partnership, said Prairie Surf Studios will encompass more than 260,000 square feet of production space, including 140,000 square feet dedicated to five clearspan soundstages ranging from 25,000 to 32,000 square feet each. The production facility will also offer attached hotels, a diner with a separate kitchen, a commercial-grade kitchen and an underground tunnel system connecting to shops, hotels and restaurants.
Cannon and Payne, who have both spent decades working in the entertainment business in Los Angeles, saw an opportunity in their home state to help elevate the industry by providing infrastructure. They jointly stated, “We are passionate about empowering storytellers while creating jobs that will truly create economic diversity for Oklahoma. The entertainment industry is not just actors and directors. Each production is packed with high-paying jobs that range from construction workers and electricians to accountants and tech. With unemployment at an all-time high, we want to show Oklahomans how their existing skillsets can pivot into this brand-new industry.”
They continued, “Launching Prairie Surf Media has been a labor of love and we are eager to introduce filmmakers across the globe to our beautiful state. Among our state’s highlights are our famed Tallgrass Prairie, Little Sahara, Black Mesa, charming small towns and growing downtown metropolises. Our environmental diversity will serve as the perfect backdrop for countless stories in television, film, documentaries and commercials.
“As productions continue to ramp up, we are acutely aware of capacity issues and safety concerns that the entertainment industry currently faces due to the pandemic. With that said, we can confidently say when we open our doors it will be to a safe environment following industry-wide protocols. With an attached hotel and commercial-grade kitchen, productions have the capability to self-contain their crews for safety.”
Securing the space was no small feat for PSM. Cannon and Payne said, “We are indebted to our investors led by Christian Kanady of Echo Investment Capital, and many other supportive individuals including Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, a visionary who helped put our deal together with the Cox Center, Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell who provided unyielding guidance for which we’ll be forever grateful, as well as other state leaders.”
Tava Maloy Sofsky, director of Oklahoma Film + Music Office, said, “I have known and worked closely with Matt and Rachel for years. Their dedication and love of the arts, their creative minds combined with their savvy business sense, will surly make Prairie Surf Studios a premier destination for all types of productions. Suffice it to say, I am beyond thrilled that these boomerangs are back home sharing their years of entertainment industry expertise to help mentor and launch the next generation of talent both in front of and behind the cameras.”
For more information on Prairie Surf Media and Studios, visit prairiesurf.com/studio/.
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 please visit okfilmmusic.org.