In April, Governor Rick Perry signed a bill that provides incentives for film, television, video and digital interactive media production projects. Partnership President and CEO Jeff Moseley says Texas has to recapture work that has gone to other states.
“Over the last ten calendar years, Houston has hosted more than 1400 film and video projects with expenditures exceeding $209 million. Competition for these jobs and for these dollars has increased dramatically. Our neighbors next door — Louisiana, New Mexico and Georgia are offering significant film incentive programs to lure away production dollars.”
Houston Arts Alliance CEO Jonathan Glus notes that the arts pump $626 million into the Houston economy each year. He says decisions about film locations boil down to three variables.
“The cost, the availability of sites and the support services or crews. Now we know that crew means camera workers and other production support. A large local film industry means more jobs for artists, more opportunities and often times better pay. So that means we can keep our creatives here and we can attract more to Houston.”
Texas Film Commission Director Bob Hudgins says he saw theatrical beauty as he looked out over Discovery Green, recalling a scene in North by Northwest.
“I had that exact scene in my brain as I watched someone walk across that beautiful park, and I was like ‘oh my gosh, this is…’ And I have lived in Houston in my past life, in the early 80’s. And that park didn’t exist. And this whole environment that y’all have created, it is so film-worthy, I can’t begin to tell ya.”
Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.