TV series REDEMPTION prepares to film in Blackwell: "it will heal a broken nation"
While Martin Scorsese is wrapping up his own Oklahoma-based epic in Pawhuska with “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Blackwell is about to find itself in the industry’s spotlight with “Redemption Oklahoma,” an upcoming faith-based series set to film in America’s Hometown.
“I think we’re set to officially start later this year,” said creative director Tray Goodman with GCM Media, the production company behind the series. “We’re finishing up the scripts now for the series, and we’re all really excited to officially begin filming.”
Goodman and his team were in Blackwell in late April. They scouted filming locations and met with various community leaders, groups, and business owners. They also interviewed local residents for inspiration and story ideas to incorporate into “Redemption.”
On July 29 and 30, Goodman was at the Top of Oklahoma Museum. He invited residents to speak to him about the show. He said Museum Director Melissa Hudson was more than welcoming by helping him set up the Q&A, and by walking him through Blackwell’s history as a basis for the series.
“What we’re trying to do here for ‘Redemption’ is capture lightning in a bottle,” Goodman said. “This is the kind of series that will highlight a hard-working community who believes in a day’s work for a day’s pay. This is going to be something for people that might be tired of so-called ‘woke’ TV and media. ‘Redemption’ will be something for the whole family regardless of race, gender or creed.”
Goodman said every episode will have a scripture to accompany it, and that the Bible verses will play into the themes of each episode.
Goodman spent his time in Blackwell speaking to various residents, including historian and author Terry Whitehead.
Goodman said the success of the break-out series “The Chosen,” a streaming series hosted on its own private platform that was not hindered by any service or network, paves the way for something like “Redemption” to be viable.
“The Chosen” series, chronicling the life of Jesus Christ, debuted on its own mobile app for free before it was offered on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Uptv and NBC’s Peacock streaming service.
Goodman said “Redemption” will put Blackwell on the map, and that it will be a major boost for tourism by inspiring visitors from around the world to seek out the location of the series. He compared it to Springfield, Missouri, being the home of “The Simpsons” and to Schuyler, Virginia, as the home of “The Waltons.”
“Redemption” is being pitched as a “spiritual” spin on similar small-town dramas such as “Twin Peaks,” “The Waltons,” “Picket Fences” and “Virgin River.”
In “Redemption,” a single mother by the name of Mary Sims moves to the idyllic small town of Redemption, Oklahoma. She is looking for a second chance when fate puts her in the path of Pastor Jack. But she’s not the only lost soul that finds Redemption – or whom Redemption seems to find.
“Our goal here is to heal a divided nation by starting in the middle,” Goodman said. “It’s called the Heartland for a reason. We want to create a genuine, true, faith-based drama that comes off as sincere rather than hokey or forced.
“If people have stories they would like told, I would strongly encourage them to message me on Facebook or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can add me on Facebook or contact me however they want to. The more we can get to make this series authentic and respectfully honor the people of Blackwell, Kay County, and Oklahoma, the better.”
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