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There isn’t a branch of the American media that Bud Elder hasn’t tried to ruin. Add state government. And education.
Hailing from the small town of Purcell, OK, Bud created and produced an in state travel program called Discover Oklahoma for some 250 episodes. Upon leaving the show (which remains on the air) in 1995, he was named Oklahoma Film Commissioner, which brought together his passion for all things Sooner State with a premeditated love for movies. While serving as film commissioner, Bud partnered with Oklahoma City Community College to develop what is believed to be the first hands-on film and video production degree program of its kind sponsored through a film commission. To supervise the students and the state of the art soundstage built for hands on work, Elder convinced Gray Frederickson, a proud Oklahoman and Academy Award winning producer – the only such to have three films (The Godfather, The Godfather, Part II and Apocalypse Now) in the American Film Institute’s “Top Ten American Films” list – to relocate back to his native state after 40 years in Hollywood. Elder also recruited Fritz Kiersch, director of such films as Children of the Corn, to participate in the program as well.
Elder has also hosted his own radio show for many years, and is currently the film reviewer for 107.7 The Franchise sports station in Oklahoma. He was also the editor of Distinctly Oklahoma magazine and wrote features on such disparate Oklahomans as Elmore Leonard, Leon Russell, B.J. Thomas and Miranda Lambert.
A longtime film reviewer (his first were published in a student newspaper in 1975), Bud’s been a Bits reader from the early days of the site. You can read his thoughts on film and stories about his long association with the industry in his regular column here at the site, View from the Cheap Seats.
Bud writes about the movies, mostly undiscovered classics available on DVD and Blu-ray and shares stories of his many friends in the Hollywood community. He is currently co-authoring a book which will celebrate the great many movie cowboys who were originally from the Sooner State.