June 25, 2015 at 3:11PM, Edited June 25, 3:48PM

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Help me with my skepticism about Austin, TX as the #1 best place for filmmakers.

Hear me out. So I was reading this article: http://goo.gl/kL5sCN earlier this year. It claims that Austin TX is the BEST place for filmmakers to LIVE and WORK. I came across this article today that seems to back this claim up: http://goo.gl/NSCduv. Kudos to Austin. I'm sure there is a lot of merit to what these articles are claiming. Still I remain a bit skeptical. Now before I get bombarded with replies about how Austin is so much better than here or there, or how Texas is just GOD's gift to filmmakers, and how I'm just some know-nothing noob...let me first start out by saying Austin, TX is a pretty cool city. I've lived there, I've visited many times since, and I currently live 3 hours away (Houston). I'm looking to make a move (I'm not a fan of Houston) to either Los Angeles or Austin. The problem is I have a hard time believing the hype around Austin. Is this city the real deal, or just a passing fad? Now I understand all the challenges of working in the film industry in Los Angeles and NYC. It's expensive, competitive, and downright unforgiving. At the same time those cities are STEEPED in film/tv history and culture. Whenever I visit Austin...not so much. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing I just wonder how sustainable the film market is there when the culture surrounding it isn't really all that prevalent. When articles like the Moviemaker make these claims they seem to always mention the same 6 guys as the proof that Austin is a bona-fide film/tv city (Linklater,Rodriguez,Judge,Zellner,Malick, Bujalski). The problem is that I never see crew calls for anything these guys do on any of the production boards. They seem to work with their teams exclusively. I do see crew calls for reality tv shows (Animal Cops, First 48, HGTV) but for every post on shows like these there are like 3 times as many in the bigger markets (LA and NYC).I do acknowledge that there are a plethora of festivals and concerts that run through Austin every year. Still like I said before for every festival or concert in Austin there are about just as many if not more in either LA or NYC. Then there's the elephant in the room. Cost of Living. And while I will concede that Austin is a bit cheaper than LA or NYC to live, I can't say it SO much cheaper. I'm seeing a two bedroom one bath apartment hovering right around $1300 in Austin while Los Angeles come in at about $1600. So what is it about Austin that makes it the defacto nouveau film hub in 2015 and possibly beyond? What am I not seeing that some you out there do? Once again I'm not trying to be facetious. I really want to gain some valuable insight as to why this city should be considered an option for any filmmaker looking for a place to continue their career.

3 Comments

I'm a very similar situation as far as wanting to better understand what significant advantages Austin has over LA (if it does). The only thing I've found beyond the points already noted is that the City of Austin provides free permits for filming in the city, which could be great for certain kinds of projects. But I haven't spent a lot of time in Austin, and I only know a handful of filmmakers there.

June 27, 2015 at 5:47AM

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Philip Heinrich
Director, Producer
997

I dunno, I'm still on the fence about it all. I was hoping the Austin film community would have more to share but I guess they're all too busy making movies :)

June 28, 2015 at 11:00PM, Edited June 28, 11:00PM

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Saskamodie
Filmmaker
256

Austin is an awesome city and has just as much artistic culture and creative community as LA or NY. But it is less expensive, you can find apartments for less than $1300/m, there is much less competition but more so I'd say Texas is a great place for indies. But specifically in Austin you can find indie, commercial, and tv, along with talented musicians and producers. Honestly you can make an amazing film on a low budget with todays basic technology anywhere in the world. But if your goal is to get a job in the industry and sell out for commercial success then LA or NY is the place to be! I live in Houston as well but I regularly commute to Austin for festivities and workshops. Yes the articles are all hype but at the same time they are not wrong. Austin is a great city for any creative personality.

July 31, 2015 at 3:02AM

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Daniel Duerto
Everything is me
150

I am in a similar position now. I graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree in film production, and have been living in wasteland-Wilmington, NC for the past year. I'm looking to move, and have been contemplating Atlanta, Austin, Los Angeles, and New York. At the moment, I am most drawn to Austin. I know Atlanta's film industry is booming, but I'm not a fan of the city and want to start my advent west. Have you stumbled upon any further information about whether or not Austin is a sound move for a filmmaker? I'm a director/screenwriter, but I want to start building my network and experience in production. More than anything, I want out of the restaurant industry - is Austin a good place to begin a career?

November 17, 2015 at 3:15PM

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Jakob Warren
Writer/Director
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