Actor Dennis Quaid says Texas should become the “movie capital of the world”.
The famous actor made his pitch for the Lone Star State to become the new Tinseltown during a appearance on Jessie Watters Primetime because legislation to encourage film and television production in the state must go through the Texas legislature.
New bills propose to offer tax incentives to production companies that choose to film in Texas in a bid to revive the state’s industry and take over business from neighboring states, including New Mexico, Texas. ‘Oklahoma and Louisiana.
California, home to Hollywood, has also seen an exodus of people to Texas since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of whom worked in the tech industry. Some Texans are now hoping a similar trend could affect the movie industry, as many have fled south to escape soaring costs on the coast.
Quaid also appeared in a video last week with fellow Texas actors, including Woody Harrelson and Mathew McConaughey, to defend the economic boost movie production would bring to cities and towns across Texas.
Dennis Quaid argued that Texas is becoming the ‘new movie capital of the world’ during an appearance on Jessie Watters Primetime
Actor Dennis Quaid said Texas should become the “movie capital of the world” and a lack of incentive had pushed production crews to neighboring states like New Mexico, Oklahoma and Georgia.
The video was posted by Good for Texas, a group that mobilizes “celebrity, influencer and community support to bring the film industry back to Texas.”
In a four-minute video, posted to YouTube on Thursday, Quaid, Harrelson, McConaughey, Billy Bob Thornton, Owen Wilson and Glen Powell all make the case for increased film production in Texas.
In a call to action, the various players argued that over the past decade, the lack of adequate incentives has pushed film production into neighboring states like New Mexico, Louisiana, Georgia and Oklahoma.
“Shows that are supposed to be set right here in Texas are struggling to get the resources they need to start filming,” Quaid said during the video.
While appearing on Jesse Watters Primetime, Quaid said that historically Texas had a huge movie industry that was strangled by bad politics.
“About nine or ten years ago, I made some really good movies there and I love working there,” he told Watters.
“We want to make Texas the movie capital of the world. That’s what Texas really had – a great movie incentive program and a great film crew base,” Quaid said.
He also suggested that the shift that has seen many tech companies move to Texas from California could be mirrored in the film industry.
Mathew McConaughey was one of the Texans who appeared in a YouTube video posted by Good for Texas, a group that rallies “support from celebrities, influencers and the community to bring the film industry back to Texas.” He is pictured in a still image from the video
Pieces of Silicon Valley were transplanted to Texas after the pandemic and some Texans want the movie industry to be similarly affected
Harrelson also appeared in the short video, designed to drum up support as a number of bills need to go through the Texas legislature.
“Texas has done a really good job of driving a lot of the tech industry out of Silicon Valley. You get off in Austin and you can see it very clearly. And the same can be done with movies and TV shows. It’s a great place to shoot,” he said.
“It would bring back a lot of people who moved to other states like Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, surrounding Texas, actually, and Georgia,” he said. “They have these incentive programs and took away our crew base. Most of these places don’t even have an ocean.
Asked about California’s relevance in modern film production, the actor told Watters that the high costs associated with filming make the state less and less relevant.
“I can’t remember the last time I made a movie in California to tell you the truth. You know, they still do their game shows there and talk shows and stuff,” he said.
“Everyone shoots in Georgia or Oklahoma because wherever it’s supposed to be, it’s cheaper,” Quaid added. “They get 30, up to 40% of their money back through tax credits there.”
“There is currently legislation in the Texas state house to increase this fund to make it friendlier to make films in Texas,” Quaid said.
HB4199 aims to “provide additional funding opportunities” to the film industry by ensuring that film and television production-related events are eligible for a state tax reduction.
The bill is one of more than a dozen aimed at making Texas more attractive to the film industry.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, states surrounding Texas saw over $1.5 billion in television and film production. Under the Texas proposal, productions could receive a tax credit of up to 42.5% of state expenses, not including salaries.
This figure would far exceed other states, the second highest being Louisiana, which offers up to 40% tax credits.
Quaid argued that film production is particularly valuable to the Texas economy because it affects a number of industries, including hotels and construction. Pictured is a film set in Texas
Owen Wilson was another of the stars to appear in the Good for Texas video, released last week
The recent surge is also motivated by the fact that a number of acclaimed TV shows, such as “The Chosen” and Taylor Sheridan’s “1883,” a Yellowstone spin-off, have demonstrated just how valuable Texas-based film productions can be.
Quaid argued that film production is particularly valuable to the Texas economy because it affects a number of industries, including hotels and construction.
Films are also often produced in rural areas and small towns can see huge investments for their small populations.
“Think of the California Gold Rush, you know? It’s like a few people got rich, but the people who really made money were the traders and the sellers of shovels and spades and stuff like that who did other things than extracting the gold,” Quaid said.
“That’s kind of what would happen here.”