Houston is the largest city in Texas and is located near the Gulf of Mexico. It has a rich history that dates back to 1836, when two real estate entrepreneurs, John Kirby Allen, and Augustus Chapman Allen, bought land along Buffalo Bayou to find a great city.
Over the years, Houston has become a famous filming location for television shows and movies. One of the most iconic scenes in film history was shot on Main Street in downtown Houston: Jodie Foster’s Academy Award-winning role as prostitute Sarah Tobias in The Accused (1988).
From TV to music videos to commercials, productions have been filmed all over town, from Rice University to downtown's Theatre District; from NASA’s Johnson Space Center to Galveston Island; from Memorial Park to Miller Outdoor Theatre; and from St. Arnold Brewery to UST Stadium. Houston is truly a unique place full of a vibrant culture that has produced some fantastic moments onscreen over the decades—making it one of America’s leading filming destinations!
Filming Options in Houston
- Makeup Artists
Makeup artists in Houston know precisely what it takes to get your talent ready for the screen. Whether yours is a marketing video or a scripted drama, there is a beauty professional out there ready to collaborate on your project. From natural looks to glamorous styles, these artists will have your cast looking their best.
- Film Production
Houston isn’t short of production companies with decades of experience working in the industry. Whether it's a feature film, commercial, music video, or corporate event, these companies provide the equipment, crew, and expertise needed to spring your project to life.
Your crew will be a well-fed team with a Houston caterer handling the meals. From sumptuous Texas BBQ to exquisite fine dining, there is a culinary expert who can serve up your heart's desire.
Houston has plenty of scenic filming locations, and you can find the precise space needed to give your production a cinematic boost. The city offers beautiful parks, squares, and fascinating historical sites to choose from. Also, some hotels and restaurants welcome film crews, and they also provide the perfect setting to host movie-centric events.
Many lighting vendors in Houston can provide you with the equipment and expertise needed to illuminate your film. These vendors supply lists of lighting equipment ranging from set lighting to LEDs to strobes for your events.
Filming Vendors in Houston
- Makeup by Courtney Paige
Courtney Paige is a professional makeup artist based in Texas. She comes with 12 years of experience and the ability to create any look you desire. Courtney will make you feel beautiful and confident, whether looking for a natural makeup look or something more glamorous. She also offers a travel option, so that you can get your makeup done in the comfort of your home.
- Moffett Productions
No matter your vision for your next project, the team at Moffett Productions is ready to help you bring it to life. With over 20 years of experience in the video production business, they have the skills and resources to make your project a success. They offer a wide range of services in Houston, Texas, from commercial videos and audio to post-production work.
- LD Systems
LD Systems knows that superb experiences stem from having outstanding audio and visual equipment. The company provides professional live sound equipment, stage lighting, video screens, and AV systems integration. From audiovisual installation to production services, the team at LD Systems team is always ready to fulfill tasks and they are genuinely passionate about their work.
Pros and Cons of Filming Locations in Houston
Houston, Texas, is one of the most famous filming locations for TV shows, movies, commercials, and other productions. The city offers many advantages for filmmakers with its diverse landscape and wide range of resources. Here are some of the pros and cons of filming in Houston.
- Houston has a vibrant arts community and an extensive network of production professionals who can help bring projects to life with ease.
- There are plenty of affordable housing options in Houston that can accommodate large crews without breaking the bank.
- Houston has a temperate climate that allows for year-round shooting opportunities. The city also enjoys natural light, making it ideal for exterior shots during all-day hours.
- From gritty urban scenes to picturesque rural backdrops, there’s something for every type of production in this dynamic city.
- Parking can be challenging in some areas due to high demand from residents, visitors, and business owners.
- Traffic congestion is always a concern when shooting on streets or highways in Houston due to its large population and ever-growing infrastructure network.
- Finding public space suitable for productions can be challenging due to various ordinances restricting filming activities in parks or near schools or hospitals unless specific permits have been obtained beforehand.
- Film shoots may generate unwanted attention from curious onlookers if they aren’t careful about adhering to local rules regarding noise levels or crowd control measures when working with larger crews or sets.
- Houston's weather can be a bit unpredictable, which can make filming outdoors a challenge. The city is susceptible to hurricanes, tropical storms, and severe thunderstorms.
Tips on How to Organize Filming in Houston
Organizing and filming in Houston can be both a rewarding and challenging experience. With so many potential locations, activities, and services available to filmmakers, it’s essential to have a plan before arriving in the city. Here are some tips on organizing filming in Houston that will help you make the most of your time there.
- Research: Before beginning your trip, research what locations and activities are available for shooting. Look up reviews of any potential sites or services you may be interested in using. Additionally, find out what permits or licenses may be required for the area you intend to film in.
- Transportation: Depending on where you’re shooting throughout the city, having access to reliable transportation will make getting from place to place much easier and faster than trying to drive around with all your equipment. Consider renting a van or looking into carpooling options if possible if having multiple people on set with equipment.
- Safety: Safety should always be at the forefront when organizing a filming project in Houston, confirming everyone has taken the proper precautions against heat exhaustion or ensuring everyone has been vaccinated against potential illnesses like COVID-19. It’s also good practice to discuss any particular safety concerns that might arise while shooting before each day begins. Hence, everyone knows how best to prepare themselves for their upcoming tasks.
Famous Locations in Houston
- Williams Tower
The Williams Tower is a stunning monument that was built in 1983. It's even more impressive when you know it was completed in only three years, which is relatively quick for such a massive structure. The tower is adjacent to the Galleria mixed-use center, which was designed and erected by Hines. Essentially, the construction acts as two buildings stacked on top of each other, with each complex containing elevators and lobbies. This allows the primary tenant to have all the benefits of a private facility while increasing property value by including extra multi-tenant speculative space.
- James Turrell's Twilight Epiphany Skyspace
The twilight epiphany skyspace by James Turrell is a beautiful work of art that may also be used for musical performances. The LED light illuminates the roof and an aperture in the 72-foot square knife-edge roof during dawn and dusk, while the building's outside is lit by a shiftless. Skyspace is the perfect place to reflect on your natural and manufactured surroundings. The composition of light created by Turrell transforms the space into something beautiful that can be experienced emotionally and visually. The colors of the sky as day turns to night are sure to shift your perspective, whether you're an onlooker or part of the action.
- Miller Outdoor Theatre
Houston's Miller Outdoor Theatre is a real gem. Not only does it offer a wide variety of professional-caliber performances, but it's also accessible to the public. That means that anyone and everyone can enjoy world-class entertainment without spending a dime. From classical music and jazz to Shakespeare and musical theatre, there's something for everyone at the Miller. And since the theatre is located in Hermann Park, there are plenty of other things to do nearby if you want to make a day or evening of it.