New Local Film Highlights Booming Houston Production Business

A new movie, shot entirely in Houston, is about to hit streaming services. From big-budget productions, commercials, passion projects, and documentaries, it’s hard to quantify how many of these movie projects are available to watch. But far from Hollywood studios, one would typically think that creative Houstonians are very busy.

The latest entry is the movie ‘Conception’, which tells the story of a couple struggling to conceive a child. Written and directed by Tarun Verma, it also used a mostly local cast and crew, as presenting Houston was a major part of the project.

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“If we’re going to shoot in Houston, man, let’s shoot in the best parts of Houston,” Verma says, “Let’s shoot in all the places that make you beautiful. I mean, let’s represent 100 percent.”

It turns out there are a lot of people trying to “represent”. When Houston advertising executive Thomas Guerrero works on a campaign, he says there’s a pool of people with the expertise he needs to get the job done.

“What I try to do, and what I think a lot of people try to do, is use local talent,” Guererro says, “I think that helps the community grow and that spread the word.”

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In an EaDo studio, The Storyhive, is a production house that formed to create documentaries that now offer a full range of video production for commercials and corporate presentations.

“You can make an entire movie here without leaving the city limits of Houston,” says co-owner Jena Moreno.

The business schedule is very busy these days. Part of what makes all of this possible is technology that allows more creative minds to get involved and put their stamp on a project. This leaves the door open for even more “Made in Houston” projects.

“We’re a huge city and there’s a lot of business to do here,” says Moreno.

The Houston Film Commission says these diverse productions leave an annual economic impact of $50 million to $80 million. The people producing these projects say that number could increase if Texas works harder with tax incentives to bring these projects here, rather than sending them elsewhere.

Gladys T. Hensley