2013 Guide to Austin (and Texas) Film Job Resources

Austin Studios Red Building

If you're a freelancer like me (particularly in the film industry), you know the ups and downs that come with the job. Some weeks the work is plentiful, while others seem like you'll have to start selling your furniture just to pay your rent. But although it can be a scary road, it certainly can be a most fulfilling one for Austinites.

I moved to Austin a few years ago, unsure of where to turn to look for work. After a few years of exploring and meeting other fellow industry friends, I finally feel comfortable and confident when it comes to searching for that next great film gig to jump on.

For those of you new to the Austin film scene (or if you are simply looking for that next great gig), here are a list of a few great film websites that frequently post casting and crew calls. Although I believe these to be tried and true, let me know if there are any sites I might have left out.

  • Texas Film Commission -- Aside from being a great resource for anyone trying to get a film made in the Lone Star State, the TFC website is also helpful for anyone wanting to submit a resume for larger productions shot anywhere in Texas, not just Austin. The website offers great tools to help you craft a noticeable film resume or learn how to be a good production assistant. TFC also posts information about its workshops on location scouting, working on a camera team, production accounting, and more. The website posts both crew and casting calls.
  • Staff Me Up (Texas) -- I recently found this site on Facebook after following Staff Me Up. The website/group has  created various pages for different states, so you can choose to get updates that are national, local or both. The site includes a pretty decent amount of paying jobs -- the only setback for some might be that most of the jobs require extensive industry experience.
  • Short Film Texas -- This website is a great spot if you are looking to get started on a film shoot, either in Austin or in Texas. I myself found this to be very helpful when I moved to Austin, and have several colleagues who have said the same. The posts are a combination of paid and unpaid work, and also include both crew and casting posts. If jobs are unpaid, the listing includes other incentives (e.g., free meals, transportation). This site is also helpful if you are looking to post a call for a crew or actors.
  • Austin Film Commission -- Although I have not used the AFC website much myself, I can see it is an incredible resource for Austinites. The website is helpful not only with locations and contact information for shooting, but also for film directories, festival contact, vendor lists and much more. This information would be most helpful to someone who already has their crew on board and is looking for locations, craft service ideas and equipment here in the area.
  • Festival websites (Austin Film Festival, Austin Asian American Film Festival, etc.) -- As much as films are shot here in Austin, the city is also home to many local film festivals. If you're interested in what happens after a film is completed, working for a film festival gives you an inside look at what it takes to put on a great film showcase. Many of these websites have a "get involved" section and volunteering for these esteemed organizations will give you a world of experience and a great introduction to Austin film. Both the Texas Film Commission and Austin Film Commission websites have a complete list of film festivals in Texas.
  • Finally, there are of course the options of Mandy.com and Craigslist, though I caution anyone to do their research about a company before responding to a call. Although they can be reliable, many posts can either be a scam or junk mail -- definitely not helpful when job searching.

Let us know in the comments about any other useful Austin film job resources.

[Photo credit: "Red Building" by Austin Film Society. Found on Flickr, used with permission.]