Bringing Hollywood to Houston: Texas actors aiming to reclaim film industry prominence

State lawmakers are considering a bill this week that could turn Texas into a film making Mecca. We spoke with actor Dennis Quaid about his push to bring Hollywood to Houston.

"I’ve done some really great movies in Texas, going back to Rookie and The Alamo…after the incentive went away, and it became sort of a business unfriendly atmosphere, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana and Georgia started taking our business," Quaid says.

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Several superstars from Texas are coming together in favor of the bill that would increase incentives for filmmakers who make movies here in Texas.

"Texas used to have a great incentive program that brought hundreds of great movies and shows…" Quaid says in a PSA about the issue and Billy Bob Thornton adds "and thousands of jobs to hard-working folks." Then Woody Harrelson finishes the sentence "…and hundreds of millions of dollars to the Lone Star State."

Those movie stars, plus Owen Wilson, Glen Powell, and Matthew McConaughey, who are all from Texas, except Thornton, have joined for what’s called the 'Good For Texas' campaign as they try to move the film industry from California to Texas, which was once attracting major films. 

"If the incentive comes back, I think you’re going to have a lot of those people who are going to be moving back to Texas, or be able to stay home with their families and their kids and that’s thousands of people," Quaid explains.  


"Production goes where the money flows. If you have a state like Georgia or Louisiana, New Mexico or like we joke about even Oklahoma has a stronger incentive than Texas," says Independent Filmmaker and Actor  Jeremy John Wells.

House Bill 3472 is being voted on this week, which would give great incentives to those who make movies here in Texas, where actor Dennis Quaid just wrapped up filming.

"In Stephenville (Texas) yeah," Quaid says. Wells added, "That’s a little, tiny town. This beautiful, quaint little town and you had millions of dollars injected into the local economy to make that series happen there, and that money stays there with the citizens of that town. It’s endless how it expands the economy." Quaid jumped in saying, "They got like $4-million in a week and a half."

"Houston First supports any bill that would bring more films, more productions to Texas, and of course, Houston. That would mean many things for Houston. It would generate more jobs and more dollars for the city," says Carolyn Campbell, Corporate Media Director for Houston First Corporation.

"The money, it’s going to get spent in the state. It’s going to go to crew members. It’s going to go to restaurants where people eat at, hotels where they’re put up, Uber drivers," adds Quaid.  

The movie stars are encouraging you to reach out to lawmakers before Wednesday’s vote and let them know you also support the bill to bring Hollywood to Texas.

Those who are in support of it point out this will create jobs and wealth, and encourage tourism. 

"Who doesn’t want to visit a city where a blockbuster movie was made? Hollywood come to Houston. Bring it on. We’re ready," smiles Campbell.