By Christopher Green
Wimberley is currently in the process of becoming a certified film-friendly city, which could allow production companies to film in certain designated areas in town.
Earlier this month, the Wimberley City Council approved an ordinance for a film policy to begin the steps of designating Wimberley as film-friendly.
Wimberley City Council member Christine Byrne said there are three steps to becoming a film-friendly city in Texas.
“The Texas Film Commission puts out sample guidelines and cities adopt those guidelines, and they also want someone to be trained and go to a film-friendly workshop,” Byrne said. “The last step is presenting photos to the Texas Film Commission of Wimberley and our surrounding areas, so they can get an idea of what is available,” Byrne said.
Byrne said the city will soon turn to Chick Morgan, a local Wimberley resident, who is trained in helping towns become film-friendly cities, to assist in the process.
By becoming film-friendly, Byrne said Wimberley stands to benefit in a variety of ways. Along with sharing the scenery of the Hill County, Byrne said film crews could add sales.
Byrne also said Wimberley becoming film-friendly could benefit the area in a multitude of ways.
“We’re sharing the beauty and scenery of the Hill Country, and it will certainly add sales tax dollars to the city, so hopefully it will help economically when film crews come in,” Byrne said. “It would be nice to have more people frequenting Sunday through Thursday,” Byrne said.
Carroll Wilson, a Wimberley resident and organizer of the Wimberley film festival, is the main person spearheading the process of Wimberley becoming a film-friendly city.
Wilson said part of the guidelines the Texas Film Commission imposes is to get people to come to Texas.
“The real idea of it is to get film makers to come to Texas and shoot and come to Wimberley and shoot,” said Wilson. “The guidelines are really in place to protect residents, so when someone comes to town to shoot a movie, they have certain guidelines they know they have to follow.”
Wilson said there has been some film production in the Wimberley area already.
“We were the location for some of ‘The Walking Dead’ series and they shot all around Wimberley,” Wilson said. “A couple of years ago we had some film makers here doing some zombie movies.”
Wilson said he will try to help garner as many filming locations as possible.
“We’re going to try to maximize the properties that are photogenic,” Wilson said.
Stephanie Whallon, director of the Texas Film Commission, said in a statement the film commission has been closely working with Wimberley officials.
“Our office has been in contact with a wide range of enthusiastic community stakeholders in the Wimberley area who are as excited as we are about the prospect of Wimberley becoming film-friendly certified and have been working diligently to help make it happen. City of Wimberley, Wimberley Valley Arts & Cultural Alliance and Hays County staff have led the community’s film-friendly certification efforts,” wrote Whallon.