Big Cities: 14. Houston, Texas
In true Texas fashion, Houston is living and working big: Currently two million people strong, the city housed 253 different productions in 2016, generating a direct spend of $20 million. And, as one of the nation’s most diverse cities, Houston is leading the charge for representation, with Houston African Film Festival, Houston Latino Film Festival, Queer Hippo International LGBT Film Festival and others.
While Texas tax incentives have dipped of late, initiatives like the city’s biennial $30,000 Houston Filmmaker Grant, matching funds for promising young guns, are giving reason for local independents to stay home, and to shoot, on the range. ProductionHub recently named Houston one of the fastest growing cities for corporate video production, too, which points to a sustainable source of pay-the-bills day jobs (coupled with a cost of living below the national average).
Many shoots within the city don’t require a permit, and the resources of other Texas cities are mere hours away.