Fort Worth may be a step closer to creating a film commission, which will allow filmmakers to more easily coordinate productions within the city.
The Fort Worth City Council heard a presentation from Red Sanders, president of Fort Worth-based Red Productions, at Tuesday’s Pre-Council meeting. Several members of the City Council expressed support.
“It’s an excellent proposal to showcase Fort Worth and to bring in some potential,” Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said. “These folks are going to eat in our restaurants and stay in our hotels, so it generates tax dollars as well as investment in jobs.”
The Fort Worth Film Commission would be responsible for coordinating with filmmakers in finding shooting locations, as well as connecting filmmakers to local production talent and services.
A film commission could also attract tourism and create more jobs, Sanders said.
For example, a $1 million production can create 15 to 20 jobs, he said.
The commission will need about $50,000 to get started, and half of that money has already been raised, Sanders said.
Some of the funding for the film commission comes from existing funds from the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the Chamber of Commerce, said Mitch Whitten, vice president of marketing communications at the CVB.
“What we are really after is trying to raise our hand, as Red said, and let people know Fort Worth is interested in this, that we are a friendly place to do business, and that we have a lot to offer,” Whitten said.
The next step in creating the film commission is to put together an advisory board, composed of the chamber, representatives from the mayor’s office and other representatives in the film industry, he said.
Fort Worth was once part of a joint film commission with Dallas, representing all cities in North Texas, Sanders said. However, all the cities pulled out of the commission, leaving Dallas on its own.
Dallas currently has its own film commission, led by Janis Burklund.
Because Fort Worth doesn’t have a film commission, filmmakers are discouraged from shooting in Fort Worth and look to other cities instead, Sanders said.
He said he wants Fort Worth to become a leader in the arts.
“We want to showcase Fort Worth to the world,” he said.
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