Cast members of "Sorry To Bother You" at a screening of the film on June 20, 2018 in New York.

Anthony Behar/Sipa USA

Coming Soon To A Theater Near You, It's The City Of Oakland

Holly Quan
July 05, 2018 - 2:06 pm

Two major films debuting this month are giving Oakland a chance to star on the silver screen. 

"Sorry to Bother You," about an African-American telemarketer who becomes successful by using his so-called "white voice," open on July 6. Two weeks later is the opening of "Blindspotting," in which a black man on probation trying to stay away from trouble becomes a witness to a police shooting. 

It's no surprise that Oakland features prominently in both films. The creators of both have ties to the area.  Daveed Diggs, who grew up in Oakland and Berkeley, co-wrote and stars in "Blindspotting." Boots Riley, a rapper from the Oakland-based group "The Coup," wrote and directed "Sorry To Bother You." 

"It is an abundance of riches," said Jim Macilvaine of the Oakland Film Commission. "That is a rare thing for any city of our size to have two major feature films being done at the same time." 

There was a 38 percent increase in filming in Oakland from 2016 to 2017, Macilvaine said, largely because the two films were on-location in downtown Oakland. 

Oakland even gets a cameo appearance in "Ant Man and the Wasp." An Oakland parking lot was used for one day of filming in November, Macilvaine said.  He hopes that more location scouts will find places to shoot films, videos and commercials. 

The blockbuster comic book adaptation "Black Panther" had some scenes set in Oakland, but they were actually filmed elsewhere.