The Texas Film Commission (TFC) was created in 1971 by Texas Governor Preston Smith, who found that it was, “in the social, economic and educational interest of Texas to encourage the development of the film-communication industry”. Since then, the TFC has expanded to include the television, commercial, video game, animation, visual effects and extended reality (AR, VR, MR) industries.
Over the years, the TFC has been the link between industry professionals spread across the state, creating a community interested in expanding the local media environment. In 1972, the first edition of Film Texas magazine was published by the TFC to inform constituents about what was currently filming in Texas and its filmmakers. Today, the TFC offers a comprehensive website as the resource of Texas-specific information for local and worldwide filmmakers alike.
- 1971 - The Texas Film Commission is established and made part of the Governor’s Office by an Executive Order from Texas Governor Preston Smith following the 62nd Texas Legislature.
- 1975 - The first edition of the Texas Production Directory is published under the name of Texas Production Manual with a foreword from Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe.
- 1980 - The Texas Film Commission Advisory Council is created by Executive Order from Texas Governor Bill Clements.
- 1987 - The Texas Film Commission is made part of the Texas Economic Development Commission.
- 1991 - Texas Governor Ann Richards returns the TFC back to the Governor’s Office, along with the Texas Music Office forming the Office of Music, Film, Television and Multimedia.
- 2006 - The Animation & Video Game Liaison is created at the Texas Film Commission to focus exclusively on the growing animation and video game industries.
- 2007 - House Bill 1634 is passed during the 80th Texas Legislature establishing the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program, which allows the TFC to administer grants to films, television programs, commercials, and video games that are produced in Texas. The bill also establishes the Texas Film Commission’s Workforce Training Program and the Texas Moving Image Archive Program, both of which are overseen by the TFC.
- 2007 - House Bill 374 is passed during the 80th Texas Legislature establishing the rules and requirements for the Temporary Use of State Property by a television or film production company and the Texas Film Commission’s oversight of such use.
- 2007 - The Texas Film Commission begins the Film Friendly Texas Program which provides information to communities on how to effectively handle on-location filming.
- 2009 - House Bill 873 is passed during the 81st Texas Legislature enhancing the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program and providing $62 million to the program and its administration.
- 2011 - The 82nd Texas Legislature funds the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program and its administration with $32 million.
- 2013 - The 83rd Texas Legislature funds the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program and its administration with up to $95 million for the 2014-2015 biennium.
- 2014 - An advisory board is established for the Media Production Development Zone Act.
- 2015 - The Texas Film Commission joins the Economic Development and Tourism Division of the Governor's Office.
- 2015 - The 84th Texas Legislature funds the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program and its administration with about $32 million for the 2016-2017 biennium.
- 2016 - The Texas Film Commission certifies its 100th Film Friendly Community through the Film Friendly Program.
- 2017 - The 85th Texas Legislature funds the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program and its administration with $32 million for the 2018-2019 biennium.
- 2019 – The 86th Legislature funds the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program and its administration with $50 million for the 2020-2021 biennium.
Directors of the Texas Film Commission
- Warren Skaaren, 1971-1974
- Diane Booker, 1974-1976
- Pat Wolfe, 1976-1981*
- Joel Smith, 1982-1986
- Dana Shelton, 1986-1989
- Joseph Dial, 1989-1990
- Tom Copeland, 1990-1991
- Marlene Saritzky, 1991-1995
- Tom Copeland, 1995-2005
- Bob Hudgins, 2005-2010
- Evan E. Fitzmaurice, 2010-2012
- Heather Page, 2012-2017
- Stephanie Whallon, 2018-Present
* The Director position of the Texas Film Commission was vacant from 1981 to 1982.