The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau is promoting the community to the Texas Film Commission as a prime location for films, television and commercials. In hopes of becoming the next movie and cinema hot spot, The Woodlands will provide an inventory of its diverse shooting locations, including parks, shopping centers and suburban neighborhoods via it's new entity, "The Woodlands Area Film Commission."
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 member of the board of The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau as well as president 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.
The Woodlands Texas Area Film Commission
The Woodlands Area Film Commission c/o
Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce
Attention: Jamie Sims
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."
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 Peforming Arts at McCullough Junior High, and The Woodlands College Park High School theatre. Just about 12 miles north of The Woodlands, Stage Right Productions also hosts several performances throughout the year at the Crighton Theatre in Conroe.
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