Hays County Commissioners vote to register new local film locations

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Hays County Commissioners vote to register new local film locations

Wonder World Cave and Adventure Park is one of the registered locations with the TFC.

Wonder World Cave and Adventure Park is one of the registered locations with the TFC.

Star File Photo

Wonder World Cave and Adventure Park is one of the registered locations with the TFC.

Star File Photo

Star File Photo

Wonder World Cave and Adventure Park is one of the registered locations with the TFC.

Mayela Ramirez, News Reporter

The Hays County Commissioners voted to move forward with the 50 Locations in 50 days Challenge, which aims to register 50 new properties in the Texas Film Commission’s (TFC) portfolio in the next 50 days.

The proposal was passed July 17 with hopes that, by making more properties publicly available for filming, more film directors will be drawn to Hays County.

The initiative was introduced to the county by the San Marcos Cinema Club, an organization made up of San Marcos locals who share an interest in motion pictures. Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra and Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones sponsored the challenge.

Jordan Buckley, Cinema Club co-founder, said the enterprise is a great opportunity for San Marcos to garner more attention and could potentially contribute to an economic boost in the county.

“When production crews come to the city, they often spend a tremendous amount of money in the local economy,” Buckley said. “This can include food, purchasing props or lodging.”

Buckley, along with members of the Cinema Club, encourages property owners of all kinds to become involved. The TFC is not looking for any specific type of property meeting a certain list of requirements but are interested in making more properties available for showcasing.

Daphne Tenorio, Kyle District 6 councilwoman, is planning on registering her family’s property with the TFC and encourages others to do the same.

“This is a great opportunity to give more visibility of property, businesses and the community of Hays County,” Tenorio said. “It can provide more visibility to the commercial and entertainment industry in particular because of the economic development occurring.”

In the past, films, commercials and TV shows that have been shot in the county have brought a significant amount of attention to San Marcos. The County Courthouse reported the film industry’s influence on the county’s economy, from the years 2008 to 2016, has collectively resulted in more than $26 million.

Films such as Grammy-nominated “Boyhood” in 2014, “Idiocracy” in 2007 and popular shows like “The Walking Dead” have all been filmed in Hays County and majorly contributed to the local economy.

According to the TFC website, San Marcos is one of over 100 cities in Texas that is Film Friendly certified. The purpose of this certification is to help cities in Texas become more involved in the entertainment industry and be prepared to accommodate media and film directors when in Texas.

Randy Polk, a Film Friendly certified volunteer, worked alongside the Cinema Club when advocating for the 50 Location in 50 Days challenge.

“The idea with this (initiative) is to boost our profile and we are hoping that, by putting up more property descriptions online, film directors will see that we have 100 or more film locations ready to go,” Polk said. “In consideration, this will put us above other towns that may only have 50 or fewer locations.”

Mark Jones, Precinct 2 Commissioner, was one of the local county officials who decided to sponsor this initiative early on, as Jones believes it can bolster the economy. Additionally, he has familial ties to the film industry.

“I have a son who is involved in the (entertainment) industry and he has shot a film in both Hays and Caldwell counties before,” Jones said. “He and his wife were actors in Los Angeles, so I know a little about the industry through them. It’s a good, clean industry and it can open up job prospects for locals.”

To learn more about how to register land with the TFC, interested property owners can go to the TFC website and upload pictures of their property to the online portfolio.

Email [email protected] or call 512-557-5837 for volunteer opportunities and questions. The San Marcos Cinema Club is giving free weekend passes to their annual Lost River Film festival to people who decide to volunteer.

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