Top actors want to ditch La-La Land and make Texas ‘the film capital of the world’

As California Governor Gavin Newsom struggles with a $32 billion budget deficit, the Lone Star State is moving to make Texas “the film capital of the world,” and it’s enlisted a number of Hollywood A-list actors to help them do it.

In a video published last week by “Good For Texas,” a group that supports the Texas Film Incentive, actors and Texas natives Dennis Quaid, Woody Harrelson, Matthew McConaughey, Billy Bob Thornton, Owen Wilson, and Glen Powell highlighted the importance of the film industry to Texans and promoted legislation aimed at bringing film productions back to the Lone Star State.

Well, okay… Billy Bob Thornton isn’t actually from Texas, but he did play Davy Crockett in a movie.


(Video: YouTube)

“We love our home state of Texas, and what we really love is making movies here,” the actors say. “With its varied and iconic landscapes and incredible talent, Texas looks good up on the big screen.”

But as Good for Texas explains, “Over the years, funding for the Texas Film Incentive has diminished, leading to the migration of film productions and jobs to neighboring states.”

Even films that are meant to be set in Texas are now filmed elsewhere, including in New Mexico, Louisiana, Georgia, and Oklahoma, taking thousands of jobs for electricians, carpenters, drivers, makeup artists, hair stylists, “and countless other Texas-based workers” with them.

Quaid appeared on Fox News’s “Jesse Watters Primetime” to discuss the “more business-friendly” legislation in the Texas State House that aims to take film funding from $40 million and boost it, potentially, to $300 million.

“We want to make Texas the film capital of the world,” Quaid told Watters. “That’s what Texas used to really have – a great film incentive program and a great film crew base. About nine or 10 years ago, I made some great movies there and [I] love working there.”

The actor can’t say the same about working in California.

“I can’t remember the last time I made a film in California, to tell you the truth,” he said. “You know, they still do their game shows there and talk shows and stuff…everybody films in Georgia or Oklahoma or whatever – because it doesn’t matter where it’s supposed to take place cause – it’s cheaper.”

After chasing the film industry out of Hollywood with restrictive COVID-19 lockdowns, Newsom is doing his best to lure the movie-makers back to the Golden State.

“You know, they’re getting 30%, up to 40% of their money back, you know, through tax credits there,” Quaid explained. “And we want Texas to compete with that.”

And with no state income tax, Texas stands a chance to do with the film industry what it has done with Big Tech.

“Texas did a really good job at taking a big share of the tech industry away from Silicon Valley,” said Quaid. “You go down to Austin and you can see that really clearly. And the same thing can be done with movies and television shows. It’s a great place to shoot.”

“Think of the California gold rush, you know?” he continued. “It’s like a few people did strike it rich, but the people who really made money were the shopkeepers and people selling shovels and spades and stuff like that who were doing other things besides mining for gold. And that’s kind of what happened here.”

 

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Melissa Fine

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