You may have noticed over the past few years that Hollywood movie stars are being spotted all over the Texas Hill Country. From the bars of Austin to the wineries of Fredericksburg, film luminaries are seeming to flock to Texas. They all know that Central Texas is a great place to hang. Even better, many of them are arriving to actually work.
It wasn’t that long ago that Robert Rodriquez gave Hollywood a good bitch-slapping when he released “El Mariachi” to critical acclaim. I imagine the eyes of many an L.A. accountant were opened when Rodriquez accomplished this with a few of his friends and under $5,000. That kind of money doesn’t pay a day’s catering in Hollywood. Rodriquez has stayed true to his Texas roots and is filming much of his current work at his production facility hanger at the old Robert Mueller Airport in Austin.
The Texas Film Commission and the Governor’s office have done a great deal to make Texas a film-friendly state. From tax abatements on production costs to a highly skilled workforce, Texas is becoming a film production destination and film makers are taking note. We have oceans, mountains, hill country, piney woods – you name it. Central Texas is a location scout’s dream. Have a scary movie and need an old wood barn to hang your victims from the rafters? Probably a couple thousand in Texas to choose from. If a western is more your taste, there are plenty of locations to be found from Enchanted Springs Ranch in Boerne’s authentic cow-town to the Alamo Village down in Bracketville. Texas has it all. Did I mention the weather? Cold rainy days are, thankfully, a rarity most days of the year and Heaven knows we have a lot of sunlight for good lighting.
Over the summer I got the chance to test the waters of Texas film-making first hand. I had written a script about the assassination of JFK about a year ago and decided to commemorate the anniversary of the grievous event with a short film.
It was incredibly easy finding people who are as enthusiastic as I am about film-making and we started shooting in earnest with a modest DSLR camera.
From the opening scene by the creek in Camp Verde to the final explosive scene in Kerrville, the film is all Texas. The Hill Country Film Group, a new association of film pros, hobbyists and enthusiasts have a number of other productions coming up in 2014.
If you love film or the film-making process – maybe you would like to try your hand at acting, visit hillcountryfilmgroup.com and check out upcoming productions and casting calls.
We will see you on the red carpet!