• Various

Film incentives boosted to $50M by Texas Legislature. Money is available to video game makers, too

By Will Anderson  – Managing Editor, Austin Business Journal

May 31, 2019, 8:45am EDT

Makers of movies, TV commercials and video games will soon have more reasons to shoot and design in the Lone Star State — about 18 million of them.

This year's Texas Legislature put $50 million into the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program for the next biennium, up from $32 million allocated two years ago, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

Mindy Raymond, spokeswoman for the Texas Motion Picture Alliance, told the Statesman her group was pleased with the funding increase. Raymond, who is also president of Elgin-based New Republic Studios, said movie productions "will be knocking on our door" once the budget takes effect Sept. 1.

Supporters of TMIIIP argue it is a job creator and essential to lure film projects to the state because other states also offer incentives. They point to a 2017 Texas Film Commission report that found every dollar invested in TMIIIP leads to $5.33 in production spending. Wesley Falk, a set builder with Lucky Giraffe LLC, told Austin Business Journal in January that incentives can "make or break" a big-budget production in Texas: "If incentives come back, business will grow. There is no doubt in my mind about that because we’ve seen it fall when it goes down...