Big Cities: 13. Dallas, Texas
A sprawling metropolitan area with a growing production scene, Dallas is on the cutting edge of animation, virtual reality and beyond. For example, animation studio Reel FX, the company behind Free Birds and The Book of Life, is headquartered in Dallas and is involved in several upcoming virtual reality endeavors, including the Oculus VR for Good project. Notable 2016 Dallas indie features were James Franco’s Kill the Czar and A Ghost Story from David Lowery, whose Sailor Bear production company with James M. Johnston and Toby Halbrooks is a point of local pride.
Though its close proximity to Austin might lead some to overlook it, Dallas’ own festival calendar is nothing to mess with, with annual events like the hip Oak Cliff Film Festival, Dallas International Film Festival and Dallas VideoFest in the mix. Throw in the selection in nearby Denton and Fort Worth, and you’ll be a busy moviegoer.
Dallas-dwellers reap the benefits of having no state or local income tax (really!), a great housing market and an unemployment rate under 4 percent. Whether you’re setting up home base or stopping by for an on-location quickie, your first rodeo in Dallas may not be your last.