What makes Austin the top spot for movie makers


by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and photojournalist DAVID GARDNER

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE


Posted on March 7, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 7 at 10:41 PM

AUSTIN -- In the 20 years since Austin director Richard Linklater shot his 1993 movie "Dazed and Confused," the city's reputation as a movie-making majesty has blossomed.

Director Hannah Fidell moved to Austin from New York and shot her film "A Teacher."

"More and more people I know are moving here to make films," Fidell told KVUE.

A studio bought "A Teacher" at Sundance this year, and it opens nationwide in theaters and on Netflix around Labor Day. It's making its Texas debut this weekend at SXSW.

MovieMaker magazine named Austin the top city in the United States for film-making, based on dollars generated, cultural vibrancy and availability of production facilities. It also listed a laid-back atmosphere, creative community and diverse topography.

Marissa Ribisi was 17 when she played the role of Cynthia in "Dazed and Confused." She's back in Austin for the movie's induction into the Texas Film Hall of Fame.

Ribisi looks back at her time in Austin saying, "It's really grown in a cute and cool and endearing way."

"I still get people coming up to me saying, Hey party at the moon tower!" she said. "It's like one of those films that will be here forever and it continues to keep its integrity."

Another reason MovieMaker gave Austin top honors is because Linklater lives in Austin. It also touts Austin for waiving permit fees for location shoots. The state has a tax incentive program for projects that qualify.

"A Teacher" did not get Texas state incentives because its budget was too low.

With or without a tax break, for everyone from up-and-coming directors to icons, Austin's movie scene is trending.