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Dennis Quaid Wants Texas To Be The 'Film Capital of The World'

'Texas did a really good job at taking a big share of the tech industry away from Silicon Valley...The same thing can be done with movies and television shows'

Dennis Quaid Wants Texas To Be The 'Film Capital of The World'

Dennis Quaid wants the film industry to leave California behind.

The actor said in a recent interview that he envisions Texas as “the film capital of the world.” Quaid told Fox News’ Jesse Watters that pending “business-friendly” legislation could make the theoretical shift a reality.

That’s what Texas used to really have – a great film incentive program and a great film crew base. About nine or 10 years ago, I made some great movies there and [I] love working there,” said Quaid, who was born in Houston.

The actor said added growth in the state’s film industry – including an estimated funding increase from $40 million to $300 million – could incentivize people to return to Texas.

“It would bring back a lot of people who moved to other states like Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, surrounding Texas, actually, and Georgia,” he said.

Quaid also noted the recent wave of relocations from California to Texas, predominately driven by employment and cost-of-living evaluations.

“Texas did a really good job at taking a big share of the tech industry away from Silicon Valley. You go down to Austin and you can see that really clearly,” added the actor, who is scheduled to play Ronald Reagan in an upcoming biopic. “And the same thing can be done with movies and television shows. It’s a great place to shoot.”

Quaid and other Texas-connected actors, including Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, and Matthew McConaughey, appeared in a promotional video asking other actors to help them “leave Hollywood” and raise awareness for House Bill 4419, which aims to incentivize film and TV production in the state. 

Quaid told Watters that he understood why some may look at the proposal as a “Hollywood giveaway” or a “welfare program.”

“But it's not,” said Quaid. “The money is brought from the outside. It’s spent in the state, not on actors… The money is spent on crews, like carpenters and painters – things like that. Plus also hotel workers and restaurant workers. It really does rev up the economy.”

There is some evidence that California is losing its grip on the film industry as companies look for cost-effective ways to create movies and television shows.

“California has become a state for pre and post-production in recent years while filming has largely happened in other states due to their massive tax incentives,” reports Breitbart. “That shift only accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said expanding the state’s film industry offers a meaningful opportunity. While speaking with The FortWorth Star-Telegram in March, he praised Taylor Sheridan’s series Yellowstone and 1883 which were filmed partly in Fort Worth. Abbott said the shows depict more “traditional values” than other shows with “agendas that are inconsistent with the majority of the political base.”

“What Taylor Sheridan is working on and with his background — it is more attractive to invest in projects like that than it is some entertainment options that would be antagonistic or hostile to what we consider to be Texas values,” Abbott said.

Lawmakers have previously proposed expanding incentive programs including tax rebates to lure potential projects to the state through legislation such as House Bill 3600. The bill would “allow companies that pay the state franchise tax to purchase tax credits tied to how much money and economic activity a film project shot in Texas generates,” but was ultimately predicted to “result in a loss of more than $500,000 in its first full year of operation,” reports The Caller Times. HB 3600 was subsequently postponed.

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