CHAMPIONSHIP SHOOT: Johnny Graham with World Champion Angler, Kevin Van Dam in the Everglades shooting “Toyota on Tour.”
Tulsa-based Cloud Nine Productions, Inc. (C9) is celebrating 30 years in the production industry this year. Johnny B. Graham, founder and president of C9 Productions, is an industry veteran who has experienced much success.
A native Oklahoman, Graham grew up in Oklahoma City where his early roots were in music. In Graham’s early years, he earned a recording contract with Atlantic Records at the age of 16 with his band, Midnight Rebels. The following year he earned a music scholarship from Oklahoma City University.
From he moved to Hollywood, where he completed an audio engineering program at Capitol records. Soon after, he became a broadcast producer and for the next five years was responsible for running recording studios and producing national commercials. With this wealth of knowledge, Graham ultimately decided to come back home.
“It was always my dream to have my own full-service production company,” says Graham, “so I formed C9 Productions in Tulsa. C9 has always been my playhouse because I have every production asset together under one roof, giving me the freedom to shoot, edit, record, design and create with the latest in high tech toys.”
Graham’s success stems from C9’s attention to detail. “The key to our success always begins in the pre-production process. Focusing on the upfront details of every production and ensuring that every element is carefully planned is crucial,” says Graham. “Because of the emphasis we place on pre-production planning, the actual shooting days stay focused on execution, creative flow of the concepts, and ideas and the ability to capture that vision on the screen.”
C9 has worked with some very noteworthy clients. “We’ve worked with hundreds of clients like Toyota, Wal-Mart, Popsy Interactive, Remington, and Bushnell,” says Graham. “We’ve also worked with big networks and studios such as , Outdoor Channel, Disney and Pixar.”
C9 has also worked with a fair share of celebrities such as Ben Affleck, Brett Farve, Segio Garcia, Nolan Ryan, James Earl Jones, Vincent Price and Orson Wells and music artists including Ronnie Dunn, Vince Gill, Amy Grant and Frankie Avalon.
Graham cites other notable clients: “Being a partner and giving back to our community has always been important to C9 and we’re fortunate to work with our non-profit friends, the Tulsa Area United Way, American Red Cross, Food Bank, American Lung Association and so many others”.
Graham’s wife, Suzy Graham, is a highly-regarded make-up and special effects specialist. She has also been involved in film and television for 30 years and was the first professional artist to bring airbrush make-up for HD to the Oklahoma film community. She also has extensive experience and expertise in special-effect make-up techniques, having studied under several professionals including Vincent Keyhoe of Make Up Labs in Los Angeles.
Graham keeps his success in perspective. “I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with so many talented, creative and ‘Out of the Frame’ people during my career. Production is such an exciting and rewarding business and to be able to work in this industry in my home state with people that are near and dear to me is fantastic.”
Graham says that Oklahoma is a talent rich, production-friendly state, whose tax incentive program has evolved to help the state become one of the most competitive in the country. He has been involved in working with leaders of the state to make a stronger film industry.
He says, “I remember being appointed to the Oklahoma Film Advisory Committee () during both Governor Henry Bellman and Governor George Nigh’s terms in office. Governor Mary Fallin was also on the committee.”
The state of Oklahoma has seen much growth in the film industry since Graham started C9. “Back then, not much attention had been focused on the potential for Oklahoma to be a force within the film and television industry. was the prelude to our current Oklahoma Film & Music Office. The goal of was to begin the process of identifying shooting locations, talent, production resources and reaching outside our state to bring more production projects to Oklahoma. At the time, it was a big initiative for the committee to tackle.”
Graham recognizes that the organization he helped start has blossomed into something special. “Looking at the success that Jill Simpson and her team have accomplished at the Oklahoma Film & Music Office (),” says Graham, “I’m happy to have played a part in the early development of what has now become a nationally recognized presence within the entertainment industry.”
C9 specializes in video and film production, sound, voice over, custom music, video editing, graphic design/motion graphics, website design and make-up. C9 houses two recording studios and has just completed renovations on their state-of-the-art sound studio, which is available for rent. The business is located at 4466 S. 74th E. Ave.
In January 2011, C9 opened a satellite office in Oklahoma City located in Bricktown at 409 E California Ave, Suite 230. For additional information about C9, please see www.cnine.com.