Fort Worth Economic Development Partnership

Is Fort Worth the next Hollywood? Cowtown sees recent boom as location for movies, TV

There’s a mix of factors that has brought some high-profile productions to Fort Worth.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Cowtown is ready for its close up.

Thanks to a mix of factors that include efforts from the Fort Worth Film Commission, state tax incentives, and favorable business climate, the city has seen a slew of recent high-profile film and television productions call Fort Worth home.

While many have come courtesy of Texas native and Yellowstone creator Tayler Sheridan (1883, Lawmen: Bass Reeves, Landman), other projects like 12 Mighty Orphans and Miss Juneteenth also filmed in and around Fort Worth.

And the city is rolling out the red carpet to make sure its time in the spotlight lasts.

“It’s really cool to see Fort Worth kind of tapping into the rich history here in new and engaging ways through media,” says Red Sanders, owner of Backlot Studios and Fort Worth-based Red Productions.

Sanders is a TCU graduate and his business has called Fort Worth home for more than 20 years. He’s been a key player in the Fort Worth Film Commission, helped the successful push for $200 million in state film incentives, and even produced Kendrick Lamar’s recent award-winning music video for the song “N95”, shot in Fort Worth.

Sanders says the local interest is palpable.

“Just the overall excitement around town when people are talking about it, ‘This is cool, I saw them filming this over here the other day, what was that?’” says Sanders.

As a Fort Worth resident, it’s easy to get caught up in the thrill of seeing a production shooting in a local neighborhood. Celebrity sightings generate a lot of buzz as well, with news of a Faith Hill, Tim McGraw or Harrison Ford sighting fueling watercooler talk.

But the effect on local business is what really grabs people’s attention.

Laura Simmons can attest to that. As the owner of Studio 74 Vintage, a Fort Worth clothing store, she’s sold countless wardrobe items to Hollywood costume designers. She says her clothes getting featured on screen brings her store more attention – and more money.

“I think the more and more people start to hear about these productions, the more people are getting on board, the more people are curious about vintage, where do people get their stuff,” Simmons says. “So we’ll see where it takes us. It’s a little bit of excitement, there’s word of mouth and their friends start saying, ‘Well hey, what is this place?’”

To keep the production boom from boing bust, the Fort Worth Film Commission partnered with Tarrant County College and Hollywood’s 101 Studios on a workforce development program. They provide certified training for the kind of jobs Hollywood productions require in an effort to make sure any productions headed to town can find enough qualified workers.

“You can go in there and in four weeks have that basic certificate and (in) eight weeks have one on top of it,” says Sanders. “And I know for a fact they’re hiring out of it already, for the different productions that 101 [Studios] is bringing here.”

Fort Worth film leaders have seen what a boost in production can do for the local economy in cities like Atlanta, Albuquerque and Vancouver. The hope is that developing a robust workforce, getting money from the state and maintaining a commitment from the city may just be the recipe Fort Worth needs to make its time in the spotlight doesn’t wrap anytime soon.

Content retrieved from:

Stay in the Know

Sign Up to Stay Up To Date With the Fort Worth Economic Development Partnership