Perry to push for more movie incentives

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ They aren't making movies the way they used to, not in Texas, anyway.

So Governor Rick Perry and some lawmakers are trying to jump-start the state's film industry and lure filmmakers and television producers back to Texas by upping the financial ante.

Perry proposes making $40 million available in the coming two-year state budget to improve incentives for productions in Texas. The governor's been mentioning the effort and plans to throw his support behind a film incentive bill once the Legislature convenes January 13th.

Perry cites video game production as a particularly appealing growth area, partly because it's already a thriving industry in high-tech regions of Texas. But moviemaking isn't going so well. Not long ago, producers and well-known actors regularly traipsed into Texas to shoot feature films.

In Austin, it was common to run into crews filming on downtown streets. Activity slowed the past couple of years as producers opted instead to go to Louisiana, New Mexico and Michigan because of their fiercely competitive financial enticements.

Even after Hurricane Katrina's devastation in New Orleans, officials in Louisiana persisted in working to attract filmmakers. Much of the movie operations base has simply moved to the northern part of the state to Shreveport.

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