Digital Media & Film: Ready For Their Close-Up

The digital media and film industry produces entertainment in locations that offer scenery, talent, and more.

By Nora Caley
From the November/December 2023 Issue

 

People are staring at their screens, and it’s up to film and digital media companies to develop engaging content. From epic movies to binge-worthy shows, the film, television, and streaming industries are constantly evolving to meet the demands of a changing audience. Whether for a movie, TV episode, virtual reality experience, video game, or commercial, these production companies need talented individuals and the right locations.

According to the Motion Picture Association (MPA), the American film and television industry supports 2.4 million jobs, pays $186 billion in total wages annually, and encompasses more than 122,000 businesses. These businesses, according to MPA, are in every state, and 92% employ fewer than 10 people.

digital media and film industry
Economic development organizations aim to attract film and digital media productions through offering business-friendly benefits. (Photo: Adobe Stock/Aliaksei)

 

Economic development entities are working to attract film and digital media productions by offering business-friendly benefits. A good number of states offer incentives in the form of tax credits equal to a percentage of the production’s qualified in-state spending, or exemptions from sales tax, according to a brief from the National Conference of State Legislatures. The credits are sometimes transferable, so if the value of the company’s tax credit is higher than its tax liability, it can sell the excess credits to another taxpayer that owes state taxes.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of states and cities launched tax incentives and grants to attract these businesses. The details of each program vary based on amounts of total credits, caps on wages, and rules regarding in-state workers.

Locations also attract film and digital media productions with other factors such as stunning landscapes, historical buildings, and sunny weather. It helps to have production facilities, updated equipment, and an experienced workforce.

Here is how one location strives to attract film and digital media business.

Hamilton, Texas Is A Certified Film Friendly City

The City of Hamilton, TX is located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 281 and Texas State Highway 36. The city is less than two hours from Abilene, Austin, or the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, making Hamilton a prime location for filming or media expansion. Buildings are available for sale or lease, providing immediate access for filming, staging, or backdrops. A few established businesses are for sale to include buildings, parking, and inventory, providing a turnkey solution.

Hamilton has been a Film Friendly Texas Community since 2018, through a program offered by the Texas Film Commission.

For businesses in need of short-term or long-term living accommodations, the Circle T Resort offers first-class elegance with a western vibe, only five miles from the City of Hamilton. This resort features beautiful guestrooms, historic murals, trophy mounts, and the award-winning Crossfire Steakhouse. The resort also includes two of the state’s best covered arenas, hundreds of stalls, and RV hookups. The Circle T Arena hosts the World Series of Team Roping, so live music, food, drinks, and a great time await.

In addition to direct highway access, there is the Hamilton Municipal Airport. It is the largest in the region, with a runway that is 5,012 feet long with plenty of ramp area for private jets. The airport also provides self-service fuel (Jet-A and 100LL), emergency T-hangar space, and a courtesy car available 24 hours a day. Coming soon is a new, 10-unit airplane hangar with a jet pod.

digital media and film industry
Hamilton, TX has been a Film Friendly Texas Community since 2018. (Photo: Hamilton Economic Development Corporation)

 

Sometimes having space isn’t enough, as a company might need to relocate employees and their families.

Here are a few additional reasons to consider Hamilton: Hamilton Independent School District (HISD) is a Texas accredited school district, serving students in grades Pre-K through 12. HISD is classified as a 2A district and received a score of 89 (“B”) in the latest accountability ratings, earning multiple distinctions. HISD offers 4H, Future Farmers of America; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; junior and high school sports, cosmetology, theatre, and more.

Hamilton General Hospital is an award-winning facility, recognized by the National Rural Health Association for Best Practice in Patient Satisfaction. Hamilton General Hospital has a dedicated team of health and wellness professionals, multiple health care clinics, specialty clinics for behavioral health, ER services, and a wellness center.

The City of Hamilton maintains several hundred acres of parks and open space, including a tournament-rated disc golf course, baseball/softball fields, skate park, rodeo arena, swimming pool, and scenic trail.

Hamilton offers the intimate setting of a historic Texas town, with the conveniences of quality health care, education, career opportunities, recreation, and more.

Hamilton has been a Film Friendly Texas Community since 2018, through a program offered by the Texas Film Commission.

Visit hamiltontexas.com/260/Film-Friendly-Texas-Certified-Community for more information.


Check out all the latest economic development, corporate relocation, corporate expansion and site selection news related to the digital media and film industries.

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