Texas may be a half-country away from California and
New York, but the Lone Star State seems appropriately situated,
given the amount of film production that takes place here from both
the Hollywood and independent film worlds.
Austin continues to lead the state in film
productivity, with at least 175 major feature films and television
movies coming out of the city over the last two decades. That
includes the work of Austin-based Richard Linklater and Robert
Rodriguez, who is creating an industry unto himself as a one-man
don’t let the big names give you the wrong impression—hundreds of
indie auteurs are also based here, working hard to carve their names
out of the city’s diverse landscape. Many of them seem to be
succeeding, as evidenced by the quotes you’ll read here.
Austin may arguably be the state’s number one city for
indies, but its neighbor to the southeast, Houston, is quickly
gaining ground. And with good reason—tax-free equipment and
services, tax-free hotel stays and permit-free shooting! Not to
mention the fact that it shares many of Austin’s more attractive
attributes: moderate weather, beautiful landscapes, diverse urban
locations, low cost of living and very talented crews.
For our Fall 2003 “On Location” report, more than a
dozen moviemakers sound off about life and moviemaking in the
capital city, and Space City, respectively.
The diversity of people and the
overall energy that this city produces makes for a very cool pool of
creativity to pull from. As an actor, there is no
comparison to the quality of hip and professional people
to work with. Austin is the place to be for making flicks.
— Jake Coe,
All the knowledge I possess as a moviemaker has been
learned through hands-on experience while working on local projects.
Austin’s greatest educational resource is its moviemakers and their
willingness to donate time and energy in an effort to see other
local moviemakers’ dreams become reality.
— Will Moore, Bandwagon Films
More than its vendors, studios, user-friendly film
commissions and locations, Austin offers up an amazing talent pool
of people to collaborate with—both in front of and behind the
camera. Simply put, that’s the reason to shoot, live and work in
Austin: the people.
Ohlson, Moviemaker http://www.824pictures.com/
Austin is a more than an adequate place to make films.
city lacks viable job opportunities compared to the
demand, young moviemakers have a place to work creatively, most
importantly, and learn low-budget filmmaking with good crews. The
Austin Studios are a great resource for a relatively young film
production city and two of the best film festivals in the country
take place in the spring and the fall: SXSW and the Austin Film
Rodriguez, Writer/Director (Mockingbird)
Austin’s film community is as eclectic as its
inhabitants. The scene is growing so fast and everyone is kind of
doing their own thing. When we all start working together and
getting involved in larger projects locally, the whole process will
be much easier. The train is leaving the station. We just have to
make sure and get on board.
Austin is an amazing center of artistic, cultural and
technological activity. It’s no wonder why so many moviemakers are
born and bred here. Rapidly being respected as a true “Third Coast,”
Austin has a real sense of community. It’s that Texas “can do”
spirit meets Hollywood’s “let’s do lunch” attitude.
Austin has become a haven for moviemakers at every
level. Cast and crew routinely jump from big studio productions to
small independent films. Because of this cooperative environment,
I’ve been able to make low-budget movies that have played at
prestigious film festivals and aired on the Independent Film
Channel. In Austin, it’s all about making the movie, no matter what
Stedman, Writer/Director/Producer/Editor, 05minute
Austin is a city in love with cinema. From free
screenings of Luchino Visconti gems to huge premieres of Spy Kids 3,
Austin embraces and supports its own budding and seasoned
filmmakers, financially and theatrically. It’s absolute heaven
making films here.
Candler, Writer/Director/Producer (The Absence
of Wings, The Disease Trilogy) http://www.absenceofwings.com/
Walk 20 paces in Austin and you’ll run into someone
who’s making an independent film, or composing the music, or
projecting it onto the side of their apartment building at two in
the morning. It’s less a business here, and more like those
altruistic movie dreams I had as a kid.
— Damon Brown, Director (Burning
Man: Beyond Black Rock) firstname.lastname@example.org