Gov. Rick Perry, joined by State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, Texas Motion Picture Alliance President Hector Garcia and actor Dennis Quaid, today signed House Bill 1634 which provides $22 million to help Texas attract jobs in television and film production.
"Today I am proud to sign a $22 million film incentive bill that will help reverse the export of Texas filmmaking talent, that will bring jobs and economic activity to our cities, and that will make the diverse and beautiful images of Texas more prominent in motion pictures," Perry said.
House Bill 1634 provides filmmakers with grants equal to 5 percent of what they spend in Texas. To qualify, they must spend at least $1 million in Texas, shoot at least 80 percent of the project within state borders, and hire at least 70 percent of actors, crew and extras in Texas.
Since implementing a film incentive program in 2003, Louisiana has seen film production spending increase 30 times. Likewise, New Mexico has experienced a fifty-fold increase in economic activity related to film production following the creation of film incentives.
"The motion picture industry does much more than fill movie theatres with millions of people who love to hear a good story," Perry said. "It creates jobs, builds the economy and serves as an incubator for the development of the creative arts industry, as does the production of television programs, television commercials and video games."
For many years Texas has been a net exporter of creative talent, as industry professionals move not only to Hollywood, but other states and countries that provide an environment more conducive to film production.
The Texas Film Commission is aware of 32 film projects in the last four years that researched Texas for their production location but instead chose other states that offer film incentives. Twelve of those projects had storylines set in Texas, but chose other locations such as New Mexico, Louisiana and Canada.
The loss of those projects cost Texas an estimated $327 million in project spending and forty-six hundred jobs. In recent years, Texas lost 20 percent of its film workforce, including firms that provide specialized filmmaking equipment.
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