Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2022
22. San Antonio, Texas
Krystal Jones, the interim executive director of the San Antonio Department of Arts & Culture, tells MovieMaker that 177 permits were issued for productions locally in 2021, including for the next documentary from Oscar- nominated director David France (How to Survive a Plague), who is taking an inside look at the massive global race to research, develop, regulate and roll out COVID vaccines. Additionally, some scenes from Danny Boyle’s upcoming Pistol, a six-episode limited series about punk band Sex Pistols, was shot in this walkable city in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, with a celebrated culinary scene, a vibrant creative culture, and more than 300 years of history. “Where other cities might have a skyline or neighborhoods that change with the times, San Antonio is thoughtful with development, which results in a city filled with locations for every time period,” Jones says, adding that the seventh-largest city in the country has “a scene for every story, both urban and rural.”
Filmmakers can find work on a plethora of reality and documentary television shows shooting in the area, and then take advantage of more than 250 parks, libraries, and historic locations to shoot their own projects, because permits for city-owned properties are issued free of charge — part of the city’s Film Strategic Plan to ensure San Antonio is one of the most film-friendly cities in the country.
Jones noticed organizations hiring local filmmakers for livestream events after the pandemic shut down in-person gatherings, and is happy to report that organizations continue to utilize locals to document in-person events.
“At the same time, we noticed once again this year that the size and caliber of film productions inquiring about and coming to San Antonio continues to increase, resulting in San Antonio cast, crew and support services benefiting economically,” Jones tells MovieMaker. “What I look forward to is the blend of these two trends, content demand from local businesses and organizations as well as incoming productions — especially what this means for the San Antonio cast and crew that make film happen.”