“Moving Images in Oklahoma,” a 30-minute film that runs continuously during the Oklahoma History Center’s open hours, presents clips from 70 films that, like it or not, have helped Oklahomans and others define the state.
“I came up with 450 films that were either about Oklahoma, set in Oklahoma, had a character from the state or contained a song about Oklahoma,” said Oklahoma City native Elizabeth Anthony, who spent six months creating the documentary.
Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, came up with the idea.
“The concept started with the idea that people think they know Oklahoma history, but what they really know is what they have seen in a movie or on TV or in a book,” Blackburn said. “I wanted this film of images to be set within our galleries because here visitors can find historical accuracy against which to evaluate the film images.”
Anthony said she spent more time getting permissions from the film studios than in making it. The complicated and frustrating licensing process wasn’t complete until a year after the museum opened.
“Faye Dunaway wanted $10,000 per second for permission to use a scene from ‘Bonnie and Clyde,’ so ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ became ‘Clyde’ in my film. Warren Beatty and Gene Hackman signed for free,” she said.
Ultimately, Anthony and Blackburn secured permission without paying anyone. The permissions came without costs, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t have a price, and because of the arrangement, the film can’t be shown outside the museum walls, Blackburn said. “Kathryn Jenson White