The deadCenter Film Festival is honoring three Oklahoma film professionals who have done acclaimed work behind the scenes with the 2019 Oklahoma Film ICON Awards: Oscar-winning makeup artist Steve La Porte, gaffer and lighting technician Steve Mathis and location scout Alison Naifeh-Dick.
As previously reported, the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, which celebrates its 40th anniversary as an official state agency this year, also is receiving the Oklahoma Film ICON Award at this year’s deadCenter, set for June 6-9 in downtown Oklahoma City.
An Oklahoma City native, LaPorte is a world-renowned makeup and special effects artist and educator who won an Academy Award for “Beetlejuice,” scored an Emmy for “The X-Files,” and served as makeup department head for “Lost” for six seasons. From “X-Men: First Class” to “The Color Purple” to “Longmire,” LaPorte works across every genre and format to create unforgettable movie magic.
Mathis is a John Marshall High School and University of Oklahoma graduate who has created beautiful images as gaffer and lighting technician on more than 90 films and television series, including Oscar winners “Glory,” “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Moulin Rouge.” He recently returned home to Oklahoma and dedicates his time to helping students and local filmmakers improve their craft.
Naifeh-Dick is an Enid native and Oklahoma State University graduate who started on “Twister” and became the most prolific location scout and location manager in the region. She is the first point of contact for nearly every film produced in Oklahoma, providing gorgeous locations for local movies, commercials and studio films like “August: Osage County” and “I Can Only Imagine.”
The Oklahoma Film + Music Office is celebrating its 40th anniversary as the key driver of the Oklahoma film industry. Its rebate program, production guide, location database, and networking events have put Oklahoma on the map as a key destination for movie and television productions, resulting in $100 million in production spending this decade. The Oklahoma Film + Music Office is the first organization to be honored with the Oklahoma Film ICON Award, according to a news release.
“Any festival is really kind of writer-director driven … but we really want to acknowledge the fact that none of these movies would be made if it weren’t for crew members like these,” said deadCenter Executive Director Lance McDaniel in an interview.
“This year, our focus is going to be on the process of making movies, so we’re spending a little more time focusing on crew. Because we were honoring the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, we thought, ‘What a great opportunity to honor the 3,000 crew members that are working in Oklahoma and really are what make up the film industry.”