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10 Tips for Shooting Video in Dallas
Everybody knows Texans like things big, I’m not just talking about their hair, and Dallas is no exception. Dallas video crews give some insights in this article. The ‘Visit Dallas’ website boasts several fun facts. Big Tex is the largest cowboy statue in Texas, there is more than one cowboy statue? The frozen margarita machine was invented in Dallas, there is nothing like a frozen drink on a hot summer Dallas day. And, the Statue of Liberty could fit inside Dallas Cowboys Stadium, let’s try.
All joking aside, Dallas is home to eighteen Fortune 500 companies. If you are a corporate Video Producer, chances are you will find yourself in this great American city from time to time. Here are some video production and logistical tips to help you navigate this ever growing city (in size and legend) Dallas, TX.
TEN: The Dallas Film Commission serves the north Texas region and has great resources online. They are very clear about filming permits, everyone needs a filming permit to record on public property except if you are on a sidewalk.
NINE: If you are considering catching some Dallasites on camera, you will not have much luck on the sidewalks says Crews Control represented DP Paul Gore “MOS (man on the street) interviews are a bear to catch here. Unlike New York City, we don’t have lots of casual strollers in Dallas nor do we have public film locations available to shoot without a permit.”
EIGHT: Phil Smith, Crews Control represented DP says “There are two major airports that service the DFW area including Love Field and DFW. Love Field is closer to downtown Dallas and DFW located almost in the center of the Metroplex. There are lots of flights in and out of town so be aware of plane noises when shooting exteriors.”
SEVEN: While it is easy to catch a flight into Dallas you will probably get stuck in traffic on your way to the shoot. Smith says “There is a lot of construction going on around the Metroplex especially towards the north of Dallas along Highway 635. In the southern portion of the city, south of the DFW airport, Highway 183 will start major construction in March of 2015.” The good news is “…because the city is so spread out parking is usually not a problem only if you are shooting in and around downtown sites. Texas is a big state so allow plenty of travel time to and from locations” Phil continues to say.
SIX: “Sometimes people from the East Coast forget how big Texas is. You can drive 10 hours and still be in the state. Dallas and Fort Worth are in the middle of a big prairie, so it is a sprawling metro area with no boundaries. We have a lot of highways and a lot of traffic to fill them. It can take an hour to get across town. Check your maps when planning a multi-location day” says represented DP John Doty.
FIVE: Dallas has made it really easy to film on state-owned property, like state-owned buildings, parks, roadways, and schools.
FOUR: Texas sales tax exemptions allows Producers to claim sales tax exemptions on many items and services used to make your final film or project.
THREE: Dallas is the home to corporate giant Exxon Mobile. If you are looking for that perfect cutaway of the oil fields Phil says “… go east towards Tyler or west towards Lubbock. Dallas has a beautiful skyline in the evenings and don’t forget the west begins in Fort Worth. Fort Worth is home of the famous “Billy Bobs”, live rodeo and stock shows. We have lots of country western bars, art galleries, and parks.”
TWO: If you have an outdoor event or plan to shoot outside, Doty says “Our weather is wild. July through mid-September can be really uncomfortable. In the summer, schedule your outdoor shoots in the mornings when it might drop to the upper 70s. In the winter, don’t assume mild weather either. Spring can be nice, but our storms are sometimes Texas sized. November through March can be very nice or very ugly with cold rain and the threat of the dreaded wintery mix. We can get snow or more likely ice, and we are not used to driving on it.”
ONE: “Texas is a right to work state and is very film and video friendly for visiting producers. Dallas offers a large crew base of professional skilled crews and technicians. Also, there are several equipment rental houses for video including MLD, VER, and MP&E and many studios both for insert shooting or full blown sets at the Las Colinas Studios or AMS” says Smith.
Dallas is a one of a kind city in a one of a kind state. If you have had a larger than life production experience in Dallas please comment and share on our blog, Facebook page, Twitter feed, or LinkedIn account.