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.
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.
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.
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. Observe all trespassing signs and notices.
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.
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.
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.
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.