Texas Film and Video Game Lobbyists Argue a Funding Cut
Film and video game companies in Texas will have to tighten their belts for the next two years, as support from the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program will be cut down to about a third of the program’s current funding.
House and Senate negotiators reached a two-year budget deal last week that will cut $63 million from the incentive program, leaving the film and video game industries with only $32 million to share amongst themselves.
Since 2008, the program has given $150 million in incentives to production companies that hire Texas workers to develop film, television, commercial, or video game projects in the state, which in turn has generated spending of more than $1 billion, according to the Texas Film Commission.
In March, film lobbyists pushed to separate the funding for film and video game incentives, which lead to arguments about the differences between the two industries. Video game lobbyists objected to the split, citing that the film groups intended to cut them out of the budget completely. Without a general agreement from both sides, and with less support from politicians, the program ended up with the same amount of money it received in 2011.
After such a measly conclusion to the conflicting negotiations, film industry lobbyist Lawrence Collins had a rather bleak outlook on the industry, saying that “film and television in Texas will disappear.”