Oklahoma Film Family


family campthe hilarious feature from the Oklahoma-based Christian comedy team The sketch guysis now available to rent or buy on all major streaming services, Red Box and On Demand. family camp just wrapped up a successful theatrical run at the end of June, grossing nearly $4 million from 1,057 theaters and hitting the top 10 at the box office three times in its two months, according to Box Office Mojo.

family campThe rapid transition from the rental market is a perfect strategy for an independent film. It’s nearly impossible to break the noise when marketing an indie film against the studio blockbusters that storm theaters all summer long. But positive word of mouth, good press, exuberant reviews and an audience score of 84% on rotten tomatoes of the theatrical race give family camp a perfect marketing boost to succeed in the rental and purchase markets before they land on a major streaming service this fall.

Skit Guys, the production company that created family campwas founded in high school by Tommy Woodard and Eddie James, the comedic duo who star in the film and have been performing together for decades. Skit Guys is now a full-fledged production company that employs several Oklahoma filmmakers to create scripts, skits, shorts and videos that are used in churches around the world.

One of Skit Guys’ frequent collaborators is the Woodward-based filmmaker Chris Beaver. On family camp, he is credited with creating the storyboards, visual effects, music, and behind-the-scenes video. He is also listed as a drone pilot, a role he knows very well. Castor is one of America’s leading drone filmmakers.

Chris Castor fell in love with creating and storytelling while a student at Oklahoma University of Science and the Arts in Chickasha. He joined the film industry after graduation and became fascinated with drone technology. In 2017, Castor and his 5-year-old son created a drone film titled Cardboard Cadet, about a boy who builds a cardboard airplane that comes to life when he sits in it. The film became a global sensation, winning awards and nominations for best narrative drone film from Los Angeles to New York and beyond. And that made Castor a top filmmaker in the drone industry.

Inspired by the community excitement he’s witnessed at the various drone festivals he’s attended, Castor and his producing partner Nathan Vacation launched the Thunderbird Drone Festival last year in Woodward, Okla. The inaugural festival attracted 150 film submissions and drew hordes of people to Woodward to demonstrate drones, watch drone movies and participate in drone races. The city council, arts council and volunteers from all walks of life have welcomed hundreds of people from 25 different countries to Woodward, all because of a drone film festival.

The 2022 Thunderbird Drone Festival returns to Woodward on August 12-13. Submissions for this year have doubled to 300. Attendance is also expected to double. If you want to see how the growing film industry is positively affecting communities in Oklahoma, plan to attend the Thunderbird Drone Festival in Woodward. I meet you there.


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