Monday, June 1, 2009
Texas film incentives get $60 million
The Texas Legislature has given a total $62 million ($2 million goes to administration) to fund the state’s new-and-improved film incentives program for the next two fiscal years. It wasn’t easy, insiders say, with the $40 million increase over the previous (and first) incentives fund at one point tied to FEMA reimbursements related to Hurricane Katrina, but in the end coming from the general revenue fund. Add $8 million unspent from a previous two-year allocation, and Texas should quickly be competitive. Give major credit to lobbying by the Texas Motion Picture Alliance. A big shout out alos to state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, who fought off late slashing of the program’s proposed budget. A speedy application/approval process is the next goal, with staff for this at the Texas Film Commission increased from one to eight. The likely first Austin shoot to latch onto increased incentives? Machete, Robert Rodriguez’s full-length version of what had been a fake coming attraction seen in Grindhouse. Look for it to lens in Austin this summer.