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Hudgins: Film Incentives Really Game Incentives

Texas Film Commission boss delivers report on successes of his agency, and what's worked in film incentives

By Richard Whittaker, 4:20PM, Wed. Mar. 4, 2009

Hudgins: Film Incentives Really Game Incentives

After all the back-slapping in Senate about Moving Image Industry Day this morning, it was actually the House doing the legislative heavy lifting on Texas cinema.

Texas Film Commission Director Bob Hudgins told the House Culture, Recreation and Tourism Committee that, over the interim, his agency had initiated new production assistant and location scouting training programs to build up the talent pool. He also touted the new Film Friendly Texas program, which teaches communities how to attract and nurture film productions. The other part, he explained, involves teaching communities "how to set up guidelines that will protect them," so that productions don't strip them like locusts. He was also particularly proud of the achievements of the remarkable Texas Archive of the Moving Image.

So what about the moving image incentive program? Hudgins, who is a big advocate for the extra latitude HB873 would give his office, said so far it was most successful in attracting game development and commercials, rather than TV and movie production (mainly because Texas is pretty much the only state to incentivize them.) He also sold the gaming industry as a great way to get kids interested in math and science, and said UT is considering a game design program.

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