NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches Film Festival had its VIP party Friday afternoon. The rubbing of elbows is a big part of filmmaking and it begins early.
On Friday, The Texas Film Commission presented a regional workshop on how to attract productions to communities. East Texas News found out financial incentives, location and down to earth 'friendliness' all play a role.
Northeast Texas is no stranger to "lights, camera, action" as the region has offered locations for numerous movies including "Big Foot," horror flicks, and parts of "Bernie."
Texas Film Commission representatives are at the Nacogdoches Film Festival to help the rest of East Texas get in on the action. First rule, think outside of feature films. There's a whole lot more business out there.
"Student films, photo shoots, commercials, we help with the video game industry," said Alicia Downard, a production and community relations specialist with the Texas Film Commission. "It could be a TV series. It could be a TV segment."
The other draw is location, location, location.
"You can really film the entire world in Texas," Downard said.
East Texas has been turned into Montana, Berlin and Baghdad, and South Texas served as Africa, Washington D.C. and Vietnam. And West Texas? It's doubled as Mars, of course.
"We can really make anything happen," Downard said.
What hasn't happened yet is becoming a frontrunner to the state's nearby competition. Ronald Hollomon is attempting to draw productions to 21 counties in Northeast Texas.
"We don't need to lose any more of our crew base and we've lost quite a few to Louisiana in the last six years," Holloman said.
The Texas Film Commission continues the education and a wealth of logistical assistance. Selected communities often provide incentives, including tax exemptions, and financial backing.
Texas Film Commission representatives are sticking around Nacogdoches for the film festival. Tonight, "Tomato Republic" and "Cold in July" will be shown at the Carmike Theater in Nacogdoches. Tomorrow "Game of Thrones" George R.R. Martin is the featured guest.