20. San Antonio, Texas
Spanish-speaking settlers first grouped around the San Antonio River in 1718, establishing a mission and a fort. The city that’s evolved over 300 years is a dense tapestry of Mexican-American, as well as German and other immigrant group influences and a cultural treasure all its own. Along the banks of the San Antonio River today you’ll find the River Walk, a city park with a network of walkways linking restaurants, historic Spanish missions and art installations, all testifying to centuries of history.
The city’s spirit of steady, constant improvement is reflected in its Film Commission, which is known as a reliable resource, able to secure permits, access and resources for moviemakers, and currently heading into year three the San Antonio Film Commission Strategic Plan, a five-year blueprint adopted in late 2016 to turn San Antonio into a thriving film production hub. (The city provides a local supplement for qualified productions, 7.5 percent on top of the state tax credit). We asked San Antonio Film and Music Commissioner Krystal Jones for an update on what had been accomplished since the plan was implemented:
“Once it passed, The San Antonio Film Commission immediately began implementing the strategic plan, developing more user-friendly online resources, a free and turnkey film permit process, and providing access to city brands and locations,” Jones says. “With increased marketing highlighting the plan and our message of San Antonio as a film-friendly city, a very successful 2018 included two projects qualifying for our local incentive, an increase in film projects and film days, film being a component in our city’s tricentennial celebration, and workshops and grants provided to moviemakers.” She adds that the plan is ongoing, with an open door for partnerships as the Film Commission continues to act as “an extension of production teams and an advocate for the film community.”
A complete version of this two-part article appears in MovieMaker‘s Winter 2019 issue, on stands February 6, 2019. Featured image illustration by Laura Breiling.