- How do I turn my novel or screenplay into a movie?
- How do I start a production company or talent agency in Texas?
- How can I network with other Texas creative media professionals?
- How do I fund (finance) my project?
- What financial incentives are offered in Texas?
- How do I find filming locations in Texas?
- Do I need production insurance?
- How do I scout neighborhoods and private residences?
- Do I need to register with the Texas Film Commission?
- How do I find crew in Texas?
- How do I find job opportunities on projects filming in Texas?
- How do I find cast in Texas?
- How do I get a job as an actor?
- Is Texas a right-to-work state?
- Do I need a permit to film in Texas?
- What are the labor laws for child actors working in Texas?
- I’m a musician. How can I get my music featured in productions?
- Where can I get stock and / or archival footage?
- How do I get distribution for my movie?
- What resources are available for youth interested in film and media?
- I've received information from a production about a potential project. How do I know this production opportunity is legitimate?
How do I turn my novel or screenplay into a movie?
- There are workshops and courses that teach the fundamentals of screenwriting and related topics like pitching your script to a group interested in optioning the rights to your story. Visit the Texas Production Directory for a list of Texas-based organizations and unions, as well as colleges and universities to research programs of interest.
- You may hire a screenwriter to write original content or adapt existing content for you. Find a list of screenwriters in the Texas Production Directory.
- We encourage you to register your script with the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) and research requirements for membership. Since 1927, the Writers Guild of America, West Registry has been the industry standard in the creation of legal evidence for the protection of writers and their work. When you register your script prior to submitting it to agents, managers, or producers, you document your authorship on a given date, should there be unauthorized usage. You may register your script with the United States Copyright Office for additional protection of your intellectual property.
- Once your script is registered and your work is protected, you may want to enter your script in festivals and contests. A list of Texas-based film festivals and conferences. Visit the Writers Guild of America West and Writers Guild of America East websites for a list of guild signatory literary agents and agencies.
How do I start a production company or talent agency in Texas?
- View resources for Small Business Owners in Texas.
- Talent agencies are no longer a regulated industry in Texas. To start a talent agency, follow the above guidelines to starting a business in Texas. You may also contact the Association of Talent Agents and SAG-AFTRA for additional guidance.
How can I network with other Texas creative media professionals?
- The Texas Production Directory has a list of industry organizations and unions as well as Texas-based conferences and festivals. Many of these organizations offer a wide range of programming, newsletters and events, in addition to online forums for networking with other Texas creative media professionals.
How do I fund (finance) my project?
- The Texas Film Commission administrates the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program (TMIIIP), which offers a cash grant to qualifying projects based on a percentage of their eligible Texas expenditures. The Texas Film Commission does not maintain information about private investors.
For information about additional grant and crowdfunding resources that may be suitable for your project’s needs, download the PDF's below. This is not a comprehensive list of all grants available and those listed are not affiliated with the Texas Film Commission.
- Film / TV / Screenwriting Grants (PDF - Last Updated June 2020)
- Video Game Grants & Scholarships (PDF - Last Updated Feb. 2020)
What financial incentives are offered in Texas?
- An overview of the production incentives available in Texas, including both state and local city production incentives.
How do I find filming locations in Texas?
- Information about location services offered by the Texas Film Commission including photographs of potential filming locations statewide.
- In addition to working with the TFC, you may work with local community contacts to determine businesses, public spaces and residential properties that are amenable to production activity. You can find a list of Regional Film Commissions and Film Friendly Texas community contacts on our website. If there is a community of interest not listed on our website please contact the TFC for further information on finding an appropriate contact.
- Find a list of Texas-based location scouts, managers and assistants in the Texas Production Directory.
Best practices for health and safety considerations while location scouting in Texas may include:
- Submit permit applications as early as possible, allowing for additional time to determine terms and conditions.
- When possible, work with property owners and representatives to conduct a preliminary virtual location scout through an online virtual meeting platform.
- When an in-person scout is necessary, reduce the size of the production team involved on site during the scout to key production personnel.
- When discussing a location agreement, include cleaning and sanitation services that will be provided once production activity has completed.
- Utilize digital documents for location agreements and neighborhood signoffs in lieu of paper.
- Neighbors or neighborhoods may not be amenable to a film crew; thus, it is important to ensure production teams remain courteous and aware of the neighborhood temperament.
- Identify at least three suitable backup locations in the event a location unexpectedly cancels or becomes otherwise unavailable.
Do I need production insurance?
- Production Insurance is an industry standard that protects filmmakers, production companies and property owners supplying a location for filming purposes. Find a list of insurance companies in the Texas Production Directory.
How do I scout neighborhoods and private residences?
- To scout neighborhoods, private residences and businesses, draft a letter that introduces yourself and your project. Include project details such as working title, timeframe for production, location needs and contact information. Leave the letter with the property owner or manager, or on a doorstep or front porch. Please be sure to follow U.S. Post Office rules and requirements for postage when mailing letter inquiries. For businesses, an email or phone call introducing project details could also be a preferred method of correspondence. Observe all trespassing signs and notices.
Do I need to register with the Texas Film Commission?
- COVID-19 Texas Update: Effective 06/03/2020, productions should register upcoming productions with our office.
- Contact our office for information about services offered by our office for projects filming in Texas.
- Crew members and vendors may find for information about listing in the Texas Production Directory.
- Post a crew and / or casting call on the Texas Film Commission Job Hotline.
- Call 512-463-9200 for information about applying for the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program.
How do I find crew in Texas?
- Post a crew call on the Texas Film Commission website’s Job Hotline.
- Visit the Texas Production Directory to search for Texas-based crew and vendors by category and / or region.
How do I find job opportunities on projects filming in Texas?
- Browse crew calls for productions currently filming in Texas on the Texas Film Commission website’s Job Hotline.
- Find information about getting started working in the industry.
- Contact a Regional Film Commission for information about additional opportunities in your area.
- We encourage you to get the terms and conditions of employment in writing prior to the start of your agreement.
How do I find cast in Texas?
- Post a casting call on the Texas Film Commission website’s Job Hotline.
- For a list of Texas-based talent agencies, casting directors and casting assistants, please refer to the Texas Production Directory.
- When possible, we encourage you to conduct virtual casting sessions through an online virtual meeting platform.
How do I get a job as an actor?
- Learn about getting started as a film extra and for more information about resources available to actors.
- We encourage you to get the terms and conditions of employment in writing prior to the start of your agreement.
Is Texas a right-to-work state?
- Texas is a right-to-work state and under the Texas Labor Code, “a person cannot be denied employment because of membership or non-membership in a labor union or other labor organization (Texas Labor Code 101.001, et. al).” A large percentage of the local crew base are union members, so please contact the union representatives to discuss the best option for your project.
- Find a list of Texas unions and guilds in the Texas Production Directory.
Do I need a permit to film in Texas?
- Privately-owned properties will require a location agreement with the property owner and / or manager. Publicly-owned properties will require permission from the appropriate jurisdiction: city, county, state, federal or a combination of jurisdictions. The Texas Film Commission can answer any questions you have regarding permit requirements for filming in our state and can provide assistance navigating filming inquiries for state-owned properties. Contact our office.
What are the labor laws for child actors working in Texas?
- Information about laws applicable to child actors working in Texas.
- Information about young performers on the SAG-AFTRA website.
I’m a musician. How can I get my music featured in productions?
- Music Supervisors typically coordinate the majority of music used in productions. They oversee the process of music selection and licensing of rights.
- Find a list of Music Supervisors / Coordinators in the Texas Production Directory.
- The Texas Music Office can provide you with additional guidance, as well as a list of Texas-based advertising agencies, advertising soundtrack businesses and radio stations located in Texas.
Where can I get stock and / or archival footage?
- The Texas Archive of the Moving Image houses an online collection that includes home movies, amateur films, advertisements, local television, industrial and corporate productions, as well as Hollywood and internationally produced moving images of Texas.
- Find stock footage libraries, raw film stock and video stock providers in the Texas Production Directory.
How do I get distribution for my movie?
- No two paths that lead to distribution are the same. You will need to develop a distribution strategy and goals that play to the strengths of your movie.
- You may want to reach out to Distribution Companies directly or with the assistance of a Sales Agent in order to submit your work for consideration.
- You may also want to submit your film to festivals and contests, as many Distribution Companies and Sales Agents scout festivals and conferences to discover and acquire new work.
- There are a wide range of resources such as conferences, workshops and published books on the constantly evolving state of distribution. We encourage you to do research and also seek the legal advice of an Entertainment Attorney as you navigate the distribution process.
- Find a list of Texas-based Distribution Companies in the Texas Production Directory.
- Find a list of Texas-based Entertainment Attorneys in the Texas Production Directory.
- Find a list of Texas-based film festivals and conferences in the Texas Production Directory.
What resources are available for youth interested in film and media?
- Information about Texas organizations that offer youth programs is available for download in the PDF below. This is not a comprehensive list of all programs available and those listed are not affiliated with the Texas Film Commission.
- Youth Film & Media Programs (PDF - Last Updated April 2019)
I've received information from a production about a potential project. How do I know this production opportunity is legitimate?
- Be overly cautious about vague opportunities that offer rates that seem too good to be true. Sometimes scammers use legitimate (often overseas) companies as a front to gain your trust. Pay close attention to email addresses and phone numbers to ensure legitimacy, and do research online to confirm the validity of the person(s) who reached out to you. If something seems troubling, it’s best to stop all communication with the contact.
- Don’t accept or use funds before you are officially hired on a project. Legitimate productions will never send you a check as an “advance” before setting up an interview and formally hiring you in-person. Also, productions will almost never ask you to pay for equipment from your own funds to be reimbursed later (especially without meeting your first).
- Never pay to audition for a role. A legitimate casting call will not require a fee to participate.
- If someone comes to your property interested in scouting it for a production, they will oftentimes leave the Texas Film Commission’s contact information as a reference. Whether or not we are listed, we are always available to verify our working history with crew/companies and verify the production.
- The Texas Film Commission is always here to help verify projects or crew members based on communication we’ve had with them or just offer general advice. If you still have questions or concerns about an opportunity, please contact us.