Hays County working to get more homes, businesses featured on TV shows, movies


SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — Soon, more movies and TV shows may feature homes and businesses familiar to those in Central Texas. Hays County is trying to beef up its list of potential filming locations, so more productions companies will come and shoot there.

Tuesday morning, the Hays County Commissioners Court will officially recognize and support the countywide “50 Locations in 50 Days” campaign.

“We have four film-friendly cities here in Hays County already, so we’re just looking to have everybody work together and bring the business to Hays County,” Anita Collins said.

Collins is the Hays County Judge’s executive assistant. She said a 1972 film called the Getaway featured the judge’s suite.

A scene from the Getaway that features the Hays County Judge’s suite in the Hays County Courthouse. (Anita Collins Photo)

“They actually transformed the Chief of Staff’s office into a hotel room,” she told KXAN. “In the movie, you’ll see Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw at the window towards the bank. They’re getting ready to rob the bank that’s on the corner.”

San Marcos’ filmography also includes:

  • Everybody Wants Some! (2016)
  • American Crime (TV series, 2015-2016)
  • Boyhood (2014)
  • Friday Night Lights (TV series, 2006-2011)
  • Idiocracy (2006)

By recruiting 50 property owners to list their homes, businesses or land on the Texas Film Commission’s database of potential sites, Hays County is hoping to attract more productions.

Right now, San Marcos has about 30 locations listed.

“If we have more locations than other areas, it’s going to attract the filmmakers because being able to shoot a variety of different types of locations that are in the script in one area is, of course, more economical,” film activist Randy Polk said. “A producer’s a producer. They’re looking for the best deal they can get.”

Collins told KXAN one assistant director shooting in San Marcos recently noted that “Shooting in San Marcos was like shooting on a film set because the locations were so close to one another.” 

Polk added now’s also the right time to expand Hays County’s list because earlier this year, the state legislature expanded Texas’ film incentive program from $32 million to $50 million.

“The entire industry’s on an upswing with the rise of the streaming platforms and people looking for original content,” Polk explained. “Much more original content is being shot across the whole nation, so we’re just hoping to get a bigger piece of that pie.”

According to data from the Texas Film Commission, between 2008 and 2016, total economic activity attributable to the motion picture, film and TV productions was $26.7 million and supported 185 jobs in Hays and Caldwell Counties.

Collins said not only do property owners receive compensation, but “When a production comes to Hays County, they call them a floating factory. They bring people who need to stay in hotels. They have people who need to go out and eat, catering for the crew and the cast. They have props they may need. If it’s a period film, they may need antiques from an antique store.”

Starting this week, San Marcos Cinema Club will be available to assist property owners with their application, explaining the financial perks, taking photographs of the property and answering any lingering questions.

They said interested owners can call 512-557-5837 or email 50loc50days@gmail.com

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