Woodlands Film CommissionWritten by The-Woodlands-Guide
The Woodlands Area Film Commission
The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization responsible for promoting the master-planned community as a prime location for films, television and commercials. In hopes of becoming the next movie and cinema hot spot, The Woodlands has an ample inventory of diverse locations, including parks, shopping centers and suburban neighborhoods providing a multitude of filming options.
On Saturday, September 11, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott announced The Woodlands Texas, having completed the multi-step training and certification process, had been designated a Film Friendly Texas community by the Texas Film Commission. This helps to grow local jobs and economies through promotion of the Lone Star State as the premier destination for animation, commercials, film, television, visual-effects and video game production.
The Woodlands Texas joins more than 140 Film Friendly Texas communities that receive ongoing training and guidance from the Texas Film Commission on media industry standards, best practices and how to effectively accommodate on-location filming activity in the community.
Nick Wolda, president of The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau, said films can make the community an ongoing tourist destination. Wolda said people continue to visit Savannah, Georgia to see the bench where Tom Hanks sat in "Forrest Gump," and many go to Seaside, Florida where Jim Carrey filmed "The Truman Show." "It&'s more of an education effort with the film industry," said Nelda Luce Blair, past chairwoman of The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau. "It is just another way to bring business to The Woodlands. We want to emphasize what we have to offer. We want to let people know about Market Street, our statues and our suburban look and feel."
The new initiative is to help The Woodlands to step out of the shadow of Houston and to market the diversity of the master planned community. Many outside the community believe that The Woodlands is still a rural setting and do not realize all the community has to offer. "It's another marketing opportunity," said Karen Hoylman, a past member of the board of The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau as well as past president and CEO of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce. "They haven't seen Market Street. It should be called Hollywoodlands."
The Woodlands has been the site of several local productions, including "The Bracelet of Bourdeaux," "Backstabbers," and "Playing House," as well as remote locations for Great Day Houston on KHOU (Channel 11), an episode of HGTV's House Hunters, and numerous music videos, commercials, public service announcements (PSAs), and short films. But The Woodlands hopes to attract a broader audience among filmmakers. Many cities in Texas have capitalized on being film-friendly and it has lead to significant economic development. For example, Smithville was the main shooting location for the film "Hope Floats" with Sandra Bullock, and as a result of shooting, sales taxes increased 17 percent there, leading to $800,000 in revenues directly tied to the film. A second film, "Tree of Life" starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, was also shot in Smithville.
Theatrical entertainment is more than just on the big screen, of course. The Woodlands is also home to the Class Act Studio, which presents several stage productions throughout the year at the Nancy Bock Center for the Performing Arts at McCullough Junior High, and The Woodlands College Park High School Theater. Just about 12 miles north of The Woodlands, Stage Right Productions also hosts several performances throughout the year at the Crighton Theatre in Conroe.