HOUSTON (FOX 26) - With the mega-production that is Super Bowl 51 weeks away, Houston's mayor is already looking ahead to the next big production to hit H-town. And the next. And the next.
Mayor Sylvester Turner hosted dozens of Hollywood influencers for the Houston Film and Entertainment Summit Thursday and Friday around Houston.
"Last time Super Bowl was in Houston was 2004," Mayor Turner pointed out to the press. "I'm glad that it's coming, but what do we do in the interim? Wait for another Super Bowl? No. The assets are still here."
On Thursday night, guests of the summit gathered for dinner at the Marriot Marquis in Downtown Houston as the mayor continued to showcase the city as the right choice to become the next production Mecca.
"We had to really go and do some research and study what happened in Atlanta, what happened in San Antonio, what happened in New Orleans," said Preston Middleton of Next Wave Entertainment, speaking of other other Southern cities that have become movie and film hot beds. Middleton is part of the group helping Houston attract big productions.
Actor and producer Obba Babatunde was in attendance. He marveled at Houston's current assets.
"One of the things about the architecture here is you can go to one part of the city and be in the South. You go to another part of the city and you're in the North," said Babatunde.
New assets will need to be built to accommodate major productions. Sam Houston Southwest Film Investment Fund said Wednesday they plan to build six studio lots as well as production offices in the Houston area over the coming two years.
"Entertainment jobs are not minimum wage," said Remy Carter of Sam Houston Southwest Film Investment Fund. "These jobs, they start at $60,000 a year and go up. So, high paying jobs where people can actually live in the city Houston and do well."
Mayor Turner says this is all part of his broader goal of ensuring a strong future for H-town.
"We cannot build a city for yesterday, and you just can't build a city for today. You have to build a city for Millennial's and others who are here and want to come to the city. We have to build a city for tomorrow," proclaimed Mayor Turner.
On Friday, summit guests will be given a tour of Houston's best locations for filming.