A group of movie makers are scouting Houston.
Mayor Sylvester Turner played host to film and television executives Thursday during a reception. He wants more films and TV shows shot in Houston, and he’s offering incentives.
The issue to more production in Houston is three-fold. Executives say Houston’s tax incentives lag way behind places like Austin. There aren’t enough studios, so a lot of local talent leave for work elsewhere. Mayor Turner plans to change that.
Count actress Robin Givens among those looking and hoping to bring films to Houston.
“I think what's wonderful about it is it's very, very big and so very, very small in some respects and that's what I think is special,” Givens said.
“I want to build a city that no matter where you go in the world, they're not saying New York first and stopping. They're saying Houston and then New York, and certainly, hell, I don't want them to say and then Dallas,” Turner said.
Production manager Robert Katz says there are aspects of Houston he finds attractive for films and television shows.
“Your city is beautiful, so you already have attractions, great things like that that will make movie stars, directors who are superstars feel comfortable being here,” Katz said. “So if you can solve the economic piece and outperform your competitors, then you'll get more movies and commercials here.”
Step one was getting film executives to Houston. On Friday, they tour the city and talk about potential projects, tax incentives and building a workforce.