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|University of Texas at Austin||Austin|
|University of Texas at Dallas||Dallas|
|Stephen F. Austin State University||Nacogdoches|
|University of North Texas||Denton|
Texas is not on the outside looking in. The Lone Star State is as much a part of the film scene as any other top ten state and the industry here is growing. More than 1,000 projects have been filmed in Texas over the years, including some of the most controversial films in history. Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Midnight Cowboy (1969), The Last Picture Show (1971), Apollo 13 (1995), Good Will Hunting (1997), Boys Don't Cry (1999), and Kill Bill (2003) are just a few of the best films shot (or partly shot) in the State of Texas. Some of Texas’s most recent film credits include Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), The Tree of Life (2011),Spy Kids 4 (2011), True Grit (2010), There Will Be Blood (2007), and No Country for Old Men (2007). The television series Dallas (1978-1991), Friday Night Lights (2006-2011), and The Lying Game (2011-2013) filmed in Texas as well.
Texas is an attractive option for filmmakers thanks to picture perfect landscapes, diverse backdrops, dozens of resourceful organizations, and one of the lowest tax burdens in the U.S. Although the film industry in Texas dates back to 1910, the Texas Film Commission has been active in Hollywood since 1971. Since then, the state has helped produce more than 80 films a year. In addition to an active film scene, Texas is the perfect training camp for tomorrow’s top filmmakers.
The state is home to hundreds of competitive colleges and universities that offer degree programs for aspiring filmmakers, videographers, directors, camera operators, and more. Just a few of the state’s top picks for aspiring filmmakers include Angelo State University, University of Houston, Baylor University, and Stephen F. Austin State University. Continue reading to learn more about Texas’s best schools for aspiring filmmakers and where to find them.
Texas Film Schools
Texas is home to 252 Title IV degree-granting colleges and universities. Many of these schools offer programs for artists and designers. More than a dozen offer top-tier programs for aspiring filmmakers. Scroll through the list below to review Texas’s best schools for aspiring filmmakers and what they have to offer.
University of Texas at Arlington - Degrees Offered: MFA Art with a Concentration in Film/Video Art
University of Texas at Austin - Degrees Offered: BS Radio-TV-Film
Lamar University - Degrees Offered: BS Communication with Film Studies Emphasis
Texas A&M University Commerce - Degrees Offered: Film Minor
University of Texas at Dallas - Degrees Offered: BA Film Studies
University of North Texas - Degrees Offered: BA Radio-Television-Film (RTVF)
Texas Christian University – Degrees Offered: BA Film-TV-Digital Media
University of Houston - Degrees Offered: BFA Art, Graphic Communications, Photography/Digital Media; BS Digital Media with Web Design, Photography, Print, and Computer Graphics Focus; MFA Art with Concentration in Graphic Communications or Interdisciplinary Practices and Emerging Forms; Film Studies (Minor)
Stephen F. Austin State University - Degrees Offered: BA, BFA Cinematography
University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) - Degrees Offered: BA/BFA Option in Film
Angelo State University - Degrees Offered: BA Communications with Radio-TV-Film Emphasis; MA Communications with Radio-TV-Film Emphasis
University of Texas - Degrees Offered: BFA Art with a Specialization in New Media, Film Studies; BA Art, Film Studies; MFA Art with Specialization in Video/Digital Media
Baylor University - Degrees Offered: BA Film and Digital Media
More Texas Film related programs to consider:
Employment and Salary Trends for Texas Filmmakers
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas is home to 4,730 salaried producers and directors. They average $61,100 per year, up from $45,730 in 2002. The filmmaking industry in the state and across the U.S. has more independent workers than salaried workers, although exact figures have not been reported. Independent workers in the field may make more or less than the national average depending on specialty, geographic location, client-base, and more. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average for independent artists working as producers or directors is $125,570 per year. Producers and directors that work in advertising and public relations average $109,780 per year, while those working in the film industry average $106,440 nationwide.
Texas is home to a number of production studios, ad agencies and more. Just a few include:
- AMS Pictures, Dallas
- Austin Studios, Austin
- CRM Studios, Dallas
- GSD&M, Austin
- IdeaMan Studios, Dallas
- Liaison, Austin
- Mercury Studios, Irving
- Moroch Partners, Dallas
- MPS Studios, Dallas
- Muller Entertainment, Southlake
- Reel FX, Dallas
- Saint Elmo Soundstage, Austin
- Spiderwood Studios, Austin
- The Richards Group, Dallas
- TracyLocke, Dallas
- Troublemaker Studios, Austin
If you’re interested in starting a career in the film industry in Texas, try the big cities first. The state’s top ten largest cities are Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, El Paso, Arlington, Corpus Christi, Plano, and Laredo. Prefer a smaller scene with quick access to major cities? Try Galveston, Brazosport, or the artsy desert town of Marfa.
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