Dallas native Owen Wilson pokes fun at a neighboring state while advocating legislation for the Texas film industry.

Wilson joined a group of Texas-based actors and producers in seeking support for current measures in the state legislature that would increase funding for Texas-made films.

The performers say in a video showcasing their faces that films are being lost to New Mexico, Louisiana, Georgia, and Oklahoma.

“Oklahoma? “Come on,” Wilson says, puzzled.

Billy Bob Thornton, a former resident, winces and can’t even utter the state’s name.

It’s all for show, and it reinforces the theme of a campaign dubbed Good For Texas, which is lobbying for the proposed law.

Dennis Quaid, Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, and Glen Powell appeared in the video, which was filmed and produced by Jeremy John Wells, an independent director. Quaid is also a producer.

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They discuss film financing and incentive programming in Texas, as well as how such initiatives benefit out-of-state production businesses. The actors and producers are joined by people in Texas impacted by the film business, including electricians, carpenters, makeup artists, hair stylists, hotel personnel, restauranteurs, and hoteliers.

According to Wells, the desire for increased money is a hot topic in the Texas film business.

“I believe it will take public awareness, industry insight, and legislative action to truly address the issue,” he stated.

The video has been making the rounds with politicians in Austin, spearheaded by Quaid, who looks to be taking time away from his role in Fort Worth-raised Taylor Sheridan’s 1883 filming in Stephenville. It was created in a matter of days to raise awareness before the state legislature adjourned on May 29.

To help the film industry, one of the legislation, HB4419, establishes a Film Events Trust Fund and a Film Events Rebate Fund. HB4419, introduced by Rep. Craig Goldman, R-Fort Worth, is now in the hands of the Senate. Eleven Tarrant County House members voted in favor, including six Republicans, with Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, voting against.

Tinderholt previously tweeted that he will “never understand how Republicans think this is an appropriate use of tax dollars, especially given that the film industry despises our values and everything we stand for.” Let them foot the bill for their own left-wing propaganda.”

HB 4419 is patterned after the state’s Major Events Trusts Fund, which has been utilized to secure high-profile events. According to the Texas Tribune, Super Bowl XLV, which was held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington in 2011, earned more than $26 million from the fund.

According to Quaid and his co-stars, the bills’ intent may be misconstrued.

“There are a lot of people in Texas, and I don’t blame them,” Quaid stated on Fox News’ Jesse Watters Primetime. “The money comes from outside and is spent in the state.”

According to Mindy Raymond, communications director for the Texas Media and Production Alliance, 19 measures in support of film incentive schemes were introduced this session.

“Legislators are really rallying around it now.” “And they see it as a big business that should come to Texas,” she said to the Austin station.

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The TXMPA, an Austin-based lobbying group founded 17 years ago, has analyzed the figures on the impact of media production in Texas. According to the group, the economic impact is $1.95 billion with a 504% return on investment and the creation of 183,000 employment.

Oklahoma provides up to a 38% tax rebate, which is greater than Texas’ maximum tax credit of 20%. New Mexico and Louisiana provide a 25% base tax credit.

To compete with neighboring states, the TXMPA recommends that the state contribute $200 million to its Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program (TMIIIP). The state allocated $22.5 million to the program in 2022-2023.

“The state ran out of that allocation [after] about six months,” Red Sanders, founder and CEO of Fort Worth-based Red Productions, explained.

Nonetheless, the film business is making a stronger presence in Texas. Hill Country Studios, a $267 million, 75-acre facility near San Marcos, commenced ground last April. Mansfield city leaders authorized a $70 million film studio construction in February, which would add 2,000 jobs to the Tarrant County city.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s office issued a statement thanking the film sector for its contribution to the state’s economy. “The Governor looks forward to working with the legislature this session to keep Texas’ film industry among the most competitive in the world,” Abbott’s press secretary, Andrew Mahaleris, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, several filmmakers claim that the cost of shooting in the state has hindered their plans.

“I was heartbroken not to get to film in Texas,” B.J. Novak remarked in July. “I lobbied the film department, or the film office, hard to let us be one of the few films that got the necessary tax break.” But when we didn’t get it and had to shoot in New Mexico, I found Artesia, which is in the Pecos Valley — and Pecos is the closest thing to my fictional town.”

Vengeance, Novak’s dark comedy, portrayed the story of a New Yorker driven to West Texas after the death of an ex.

Wilson stated in the video that Texas simply wants to remain competitive for projects.

“We’re not trying to be controversial or to throw anyone under the bus, except maybe Oklahoma,” Wilson explained. “All we want is the opportunity to film great things in Texas.”


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