Texas Film & Photography Production Services & Camera Crews
Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Texas? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in Texas
For an introduction to shooting in Texas see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.
Texas Film Locations
Texas is the second largest state by both area and population. It is best known for its Lone Star Cowboy image of cattle ranches, cactus, and canyons.
Texas has a long growing season. Agricultural film locations of interest include cotton, corn, wheat, and sunflower fields. The state has many cattle ranches, dairy farms, and hog farms. Energy locations include coal and natural gas fired power plants, nuclear power plants, as well as wind and solar farms.
Texas has hosted a long list of productions including The Martian (2015), Boyhood (2014), Friday Night Lights (2006-2011), Bernie (2011), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), True Grit (2010), No Country for Old Men (2007), There Will Be Blood (2007), Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Armageddon (1998), Apollo 13 (1995), What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), Dazed and Confused (1993), RoboCop (1987), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), and Midnight Cowboy (1969), to name a few.
Moving clockwise, film locations can be divided into the following regions:
The southeastern Gulf Coast region is known for Houston, beaches, and oil production facilities.
Houston is the largest city in Texas. It offers a modern city skyline, diverse neighbourhoods, oil production facilities, suburban gated communities, mansions, hospitals, mega malls, giant supermarkets, busy highways and overpasses. Houston film locations of note include the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Rothko Chapel, The Menil Collection designed by Renzo Piano, 1940 Air Terminal Museum, Lone Star Flight Museum, Health Museum, San Jacinto Museum of History, Contemporary Arts Museum, National Museum of Funeral History, Holocaust Museum, ArtCar Museum, Discovery Green, Memorial Park, Hermann Park, Gerald D Hines Waterwall Park, Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern, Houston City Hall, Rice University campus, River Oaks mansions, The Galleria, Chinatown, Japanese Garden, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Kemah Boardwalk theme park, Mercer Botanic Gardens, Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, Darth Vader House, NRG Stadium, Minute Maid Park, and the decommissioned WW1 battleship USS Texas. Katy Freeway has an impressive highway overpass. NASA’s Johnson Space Center was filmed for Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), The Martian (2015), Armageddon (1998), and Apollo 13 (1995).
Galveston is known for its Gulf Coast beaches, Bishop’s Palace, Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, and the unique Moody Gardens pyramids.
Corpus Christi is known for the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Lexington, and Art Museum of South Texas. Padre Island National Seashore has miles of beaches.
Port Isabel has a lighthouse.
Victoria has a beautiful courthouse.
King Ranch is the largest cattle ranch in the United States.
Port Arthur Refinery is the largest oil refinery in North America.
The SpaceX South Texas launch site is located near Boca Chica Beach.
South Texas Nuclear Generating Station is located near Bay City.
South Texas Plains
The South Texas Plains region is located in the southeast of the state.
San Antonio is known for its canals, old Spanish missions, The Alamo, San Fernando Cathedral, Pearl District, Tower of the Americas, Ruby City, San Antonio Museum of Art, US Army Medical Department Museum, San Antonio Fire Museum, San Antonio Botanical Garden, Japanese Tea Garden, Alamodome, AT&T Center, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, and Natural Bridge Caverns.
Brownsville is a border town known for Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park, Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, Sabal Palm Sanctuary, and Brownsville Museum of Fine Art.
Laredo is another border town of note.
The Hill Country is known for the city of Austin, picturesque towns, green rolling hills, scenic rivers and lakes.
Austin is the state capital. Film locations of interest include quirky neighbourhoods, Texas Capitol building, Texas Governor’s Mansion, University of Texas campus, UT Tower, LBJ Presidential Library, Blanton Museum of Art, Bullock Texas State History Museum, Museum of the Weird, Elisabet Ney Museum, Texas Military Forces Museum, Colorado River, Congress Avenue Bridge Bats, Barton Springs Pool, Zilker Botanical Garden, McKinney Falls State Park, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and NLand Surf Park. The Circuit of the Americas is a motor sport circuit that hosts the United States Formula One Grand Prix. Film locations outside of Austin include the spectacular Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve, and Enchanted Rock. Tesla’s Texas Gigafactory is located in Austin.
Picturesque Hill Country towns include Buda, Georgetown, New Braunfels, and Hutto.
There have been many great films shot in and around Austin.
Richard Linklater’s Boyhood (2014), Dazed and Confused (1993) and Slacker (1990) filmed in and around Austin.
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) filmed in locations such as Austin, Georgetown, Lockhart, Manor, and Pflugerville.
True Grit (2010) filmed around Austin in locations such as Granger, Blanco, Bartlett, and Smithville.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) filmed in Austin, Round Rock, Bastrop, Leander, San Marcos, Watterson, and Kingsland.
Waco is known for Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, Mayborn Museum Complex, Dr Pepper Museum, Waco Mammoth National Monument, Baylor University campus, and the Branch Davidian Compound.
Big Bend Country
Located in West Texas, Big Bend Country is known for its infinity roads through rugged arid landscapes.
El Paso film locations include Franklin Mountains State Park, El Paso Museum of Art, National Border Patrol Museum, War Eagles Air Museum, El Paso Scottish Rite Temple, Magoffin Home, San Jacinto Plaza, Ysleta Mission, Socorro Mission, Presidio Chapel of San Elizario, and Sunland Park Racetrack. Fort Bliss is a Strategic Deployment Platform for the United States Army. El Paso is the gateway to West Texas.
Big Bend National Park includes the spectacular Chisos mountain range, Chihuahuan Desert, and Rio Grande. Wildlife of note include cougars, coyotes, kangaroo rats, greater roadrunners, Mexican black bears, and a diversity of birdlife.
Huecos Tanks is a popular location with rock climbers.
The artistic town of Marfa is also located in this part of Texas.
The Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center is located between the cities of Odessa and Midland.
The McDonald Observatory includes a series of astronomical research telescopes including Hobby-Eberly Telescope.
Blue Origin’s Launch Site One facility is located in Van Horn.
No Country for Old Men (2007), and There Will Be Blood (2007) filmed in Big Bend Country.
Located in the northwest of the state, the Panhandle Plains are known for their canyons, wide-open plains, wind farms, oil industry facilities, and cowboy culture.
Amarillo is the largest city in the Texas Panhandle. Film locations in and around Amarillo include Cadillac Ranch, Palo Duro Canyon State, Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway, Wonderland Amusement Park, Amarillo Museum of Art, Panhandle–Plains Historical Museum, American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum, Jack Sisemore RV Museum, and Harrington House.
Lubbock film locations include the Silent Wings Museum, American Windmill Museum, and the Texas Tech campus which features a leisure pool with a lazy river.
Roscoe Wind Farm one of the largest wind farms in the world.
Just outside of Abilene you can find some of the world’s largest wind farms including Horse Hollow Wind Energy Centre, Capricorn Ridge Wind Farm, Sweetwater Wind Farm, and Buffalo Gap Wind Farm.
Robert Bruno’s UFO Steel House is located near Lubbock.
Prairies and Lakes
This north central region is known for its lakes, prairies, picturesque towns, and Dallas–Fort Worth.
Dallas is a well established production and artistic center. Film locations include a modern city highrise skyline, Perot Museum of Nature & Science, Dee & Charles Wyly Theater, Winspear Opera House, Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center designed by I. M. Pei, Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center designed by Renzo Piano, George W. Bush Presidential Library, Dealey Plaza, The Bulls of Pioneer Plaza, The Mustangs of Las Colinas, Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, Parkland Hospital, Dallas County Courthouse, Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Lone Star Park, Six Flags Over Texas, and AT&T Stadium. Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge was designed by Santiago Calatrava. RoboCop (1987) filmed The Dallas Municipal Building, Plaza of the Americas, Dallas Public Library, Reunion Tower, as well as I. M. Pei’s Fountain Place and Dallas City Hall. Nearby Fort Worth is known for the Fort Worth Stock Yards rodeo, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth designed by Tadao Ando, Fort Worth Water Gardens, and Kimbell Art Museum designed by Louis Kahn.
Picturesque towns of note include Brenham, Waxahachie, Temple, Plano, Paris, McKinney, Lewisville, La Grange, Grapevine, Gonzales, Denton, Cuero, Corsicana, Cleburne, Bastrop, Seguin, and Denison.
College Station is home to the George Bush Presidential Library and Texas A&M University campus.
Fort Hood is a United States Army post located in Killeen.
Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant is located in Somervell County.
This eastern region is known for its pine forests, rolling hills, magnificent lakes, and picturesque small towns.
Caddo Lake and the Piney Woods are the main film locations of interest.
Towns of note include Jefferson, Palestine, and Shenandoah.
Kilgore is known for the unique World’s Richest Acre Park.
Tyler Municipal Rose Garden is the largest rose garden in the United States.
Texas Film Location Permits
No state-wide permits required. Public location permits may be required on the local level. Proof of insurance is required. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Texas weather is good for year-round filming. The eastern half of Texas is humid subtropical, the western half is semi-arid. Summers are hot and winters are mild. The east coast is subject to hurricanes in the summer months.
Events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:
• Charro Days takes place near Brownsville in February.
• Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo takes place in February / March.
• Fiesta San Antonio takes place in San Antonio in April.
• Strawberry Festival takes place in Poteet in April.
• SXSW takes place in Austin in March.
• Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup takes place in March.
• Van Cliburn International Piano Competition takes place in Fort Fort, every 4 years in June.
• Viva! El Paso takes place in the McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater in El Paso in July / August.
• Texas Musical in Canyon takes place in the Pioneer Amphitheater in Palo Duro Canyon throughout the summer months.
• The State Fair of Texas in Dallas takes place in September / October.
• United States Formula One Grand Prix takes place in Austin in October.
• Czhilispiel takes place in Flatonia in October.
• Texas Rose Festival takes place in Tyler in October.
• Wurstfest takes place in New Braunfels in November.
• Terlingua International Chili Championship takes place in November.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in the United States.
Unique Local Stories
Brands are looking for local stories that match their brand narrative. Our local teams are a great lead for sourcing those unique stories and characters.
If you are looking for stories for your next shoot, send us your brief and we will pitch you ideas.
If you have a unique story you would like to pitch to a brand anywhere in the world, pitch us your idea. We have well-established processes to ensure that your ideas are properly seen and protected.
Texas Tax Incentives For Filming
Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program (TMIIIP) offers Film And TV projects cash grants of up to 22.5% of qualifying spend. Commercials may qualify for grants of up to 10%. Video game projects may qualify for grants of up to 20%. Reality TV Projects may qualify for grants of up to 10%.
Some cities offer incentives in addition to the above. The Supplemental San Antonio Film Incentive also offers qualifying projects a 7.5% rebate on approved San Antonio spend.
Texas Film Crew & Talent
Crew. Texas has a good pool of locally available film crew. Dallas, Houston and Austin are the main production service centers.
Contact us if you are looking for a Dallas, Houston, Austin, or San Antonio based director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew in Texas.
Talent. The state’s population is predominately Caucasian, Latino and African American. Houston is a large and diverse city with talent from all ethnicities and walks of life available. Film characters associated with Texas include cowboys, oilmen, bull riders, country music musicians, Evangelical pastors, college football fans, storm chasers, Mexican families, and barbecue-eating-big-truck-driving-gun-owning types.
Texas Film Equipment
Equipment. Texas has a good pool of standard camera, grip and lighting equipment available locally.
Communications. Communication is key. Our agility and global experience allows us to customise the right communications systems for every shoot.
Web posted casting, scouting, and videoconferencing.
For clients that are unable to attend set we offer a virtual video village solution. This dedicated and secure high-resolution video streaming platform allows clients from one or multiple timezones to view setups without compromise and to participate in real-time with the team on set. Separate systems can be set up for the discrete conversations that are required to make a job run right. Working remotely with our local teams reduces your content production costs, turnaround times, carbon footprint, and risks associated with unpredictable global events.
Texas Studios & Post Production
Studios. Texas has several impressive state of the art studio facilities. Texas also offers visiting productions permanent sets including Western towns, Spanish missions, ranches and corrals, a Mexican village, and a Middle Eastern town.
Texas Film-Friendly Accommodation
Please contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio and other areas of Texas.
Safety. Texas is a very safe and reliable place for foreign productions to shoot. See here for up to date travel advice.
Down Time. Texas BBQ and Tex-mex.
Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Texas, please see below:
Hire Texas Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Texas, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Texas, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.
We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.