The Texas Film Commission (TFC) was created in 1971 by Texas Governor Preston Smith, who found that it was, “in the social, economic and educational interest of Texas to encourage the development of the film-communication industry,” and that “Texas has a uniquely vast array of resources, natural, human and economic, which lend themselves to the firm and orderly development of a healthy film production industry.” Since then, the TFC has expanded to include the film, television, commercial, video game and animation industries.
Over the years, the TFC has been the link between industry professionals spread across the State, creating a community interested in expanding the local media environment. In 1972, the first edition of Film Texas magazine was published by the TFC to inform constituents about what was currently filming in Texas, and what local filmmakers were currently up to. Embracing the digital age, all the same information is now made available on the TFC Web site. The Commission's Web site is also maintained as a resource of Texas-specific information for local and worldwide filmmakers alike.
- 1971 - The Texas Film Commission is established and made part of the Governor's Office by an Executive Order from Texas Governor Preston Smith and legislation during the 62nd Texas Legislature.
- 1975 - The first edition of the Texas Production Directory is published under the name of Texas Production Manual with a foreword from Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe.
- 1980 - The Texas Film Commission Advisory Council is created by Executive Order WPC-15 from Texas Governor Bill Clements.
- 1987 - The Texas Film Commission is made part of the Texas Economic Development Commission.
- 1991 - Texas Governor Ann Richards moves the TFC back into the Governor's Office, along with the Texas Music Office forming the Office of Music, Film, Television and Multimedia.
- 2006 - A staff position is created at the Texas Film Commission to focus exclusively on the video game and animation industry.
- 2007 - House Bill 1634 is passed during the 80th Texas Legislature establishing the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program, which allows the TFC to administer grants to films, television programs, commercials, and video games that are produced in Texas. The bill also establishes the Texas Film Commission's Workforce Training Program and the Texas Moving Image Archive Program, both of which are overseen by the TFC.
- 2007 - House Bill 374 is passed during the 80th Texas Legislature establishing the rules and requirements for the Temporary Use of State Property by a television or film production company and the Texas Film Commission's oversight of such use.
- 2007 - The Texas Film Commission begins the Film Friendly Texas Program which "provides information to communities on how to effectively handle on-location filming."
- 2009 - House Bill 873 is passed during the 81st Texas Legislature enhancing the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program and providing, together with separate budgetary provisions, $62 million in the aggregate to the program and its administration.
- 2011 - The 82nd Texas Legislature funds the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program and its administration with $32 million.
- 2013 - The 83rd Texas Legislature funds the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program and its administration with up to $95 million for the 2014-2015 biennium.
Directors of the Texas Film Commission
- Warren Skaaren, 1971-1974
- Diane Booker, 1974-1976
- Pat Wolfe, 1976-1981*
- Joel Smith, 1982-1986
- Dana Shelton, 1986-1989
- Joseph Dial, 1989-1990
- Tom Copeland, 1990-1991
- Marlene Saritzky, 1991-1995
- Tom Copeland, 1995-2005
- Bob Hudgins, 2005-2010
- Evan E. Fitzmaurice, 2010-2012
- Heather Page, 2012-present
* The Director position of the Texas Film Commission was vacant from 1981 to 1982.