Texas Cut the Budget for Film Incentives. Now Filmmakers Are Leaving to Shoot Elsewhere.
A year ago big cuts hit Texas’ film incentive program, and now the industry is starting to feel it.
“See I have this giant list, but it won’t get bigger,” said Mike Blizzard, the board president of the Austin Film Society. He was hunched over his phone, on which he'd just pulled up a tiny spreadsheet. “Ah, there we go.”
Now that he could actually see it, Blizzard read off a list: "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "True Grit," "Dazed and Confused," "What’s Eating Gilbert Grape" – all were features filmed in the Austin area. Blizzard scrolled through another 300 or so features, documentaries and shorts shot and produced in town.
“We have a 45-year history of making feature films in this town,” he said.
As a production location, Texas has a lot going for it: a romantic Western image, a versatile landscape and a pool of actors and crewmembers to staff big projects.