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July 15, 2013 12:55 PM
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State Film Commissions Guide: Texas

Smithville, Texas Texas State Film Commission
What are some of the greatest financial perks of filming in your state? In addition to our incentive program, Texas has additional tax exemptions for which a project may be qualified. They include: Up-front 6.26%-825% Sales Tax Exemptions on most items rented or purchased for direct use in production; refunds of the 6% State Occupancy Tax on hotel rooms occupied for more than 30 consecutive days; and, Refunds on fuel taxes paid on fuel used for off-road in generators, boats or unlicensed vehicles, such as tractors. Our well-established infrastructure includes world-class, experienced crew and talent, as well as facilities and support services located state, putting resources at your fingertips while keeping travel and shipping costs down.



What tax credits are available for productions in your state? Texas offers grants, not tax credits, for qualified feature films, television, reality television, commercial and video game projects. Total Texas Spend Option Incentives from 5-15% are available for films and television projects, 5-15% for video game projects, and 5% for commercial and reality television projects. Film and television projects may also opt for the Texas Wages Option from 8-25% in lieu of Total Texas Spend option. An added 2.5 (Total Texas Spend Option) to 4.25% (Texas Wages Option) available for projects producing 25% of their schedule in a economically distressed or underutilized area.

Minimum in state spend - $250,000 for films, television and reality television projects and $100,000 for commercials and video game projects

No per project cap


What are some of the locations in your state that filmmakers should know about? Our state is most likely the most diverse for locations in the US. Texas' locations have served as the American Midwest, Manhattan, Mexico, the Middle East and more. From contemporary urban settings to coastal beaches, we have the perfect location for your next project. The Texas Film Commission has an extensive library that features thousands of locations throughout the state, and our team can create customized location packages for filmmakers with first-rate turnaround times. 



Are there studios and soundstages that the state hosts that filmmakers should know about? Please see the Texas Production Directory on our website



What can you tell us about talented labor in your state? Do you have robust union representation? Texas has great depth in both independent, non-union and union crew base. Texas has a historically well seasoned and experienced crew and talent which allows producers to easily meet the requirements of 70% in-state cast and crew hires to benefit from the incentive program.


Houston, Texas Texas State Film Commission
What are some of the recent productions that produced films in your state? "Dallas," "The Lying Game," "The Good Guys," "Temple Grandin," "Friday Night Lights," "Bernie," "Parkland," "True Grit," "Sin City 2," "Tree of Life," "There Will Be Blood"



What cities have their own film commissions in your state?  Amarillo, Austin, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, South Padre Island, The Woodlands

What should filmmakers do if they're interested in shooting a film in your state? Who should they contact if they have more questions? Please contact us at the Texas Film Commission! texasfilmcommission.com



Interested in the incentives offered by other state film commissions? Check out Indiewire's full guide to state film commissions HERE.

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