Film and TV production boost S.A. economy following ‘Ninja Warrior’ success.
SAN ANTONIO – A few months ago, downtown San Antonio was transformed into a “Mecca for a reality TV,” specifically the show American Ninja Warrior. The show puts competitors to the test, as they attempt to complete a series of difficult obstacle courses.
Krystal Jones is the film commissioner for the City of San Antonio. She and her team estimate the entire production brought in nearly $3.5 million to the city in just 10 days.
“We shut down Market Street in front of the Bexar County courthouse for 10 days, and the production hired 38 local crew members,” said Jones. “[The ninjas] stayed in hotel rooms, they visited restaurants and visited wonderful attractions in town.”
Two San Antonio-based episodes will air. Each will be two hours long.
“You’ll see the river barges, the River Walk, Pearl Brewery and you’ll see wonderful shots of our city,” said Jones.
American Ninja Warrior reportedly didn’t need a selling point to come here.
In October, the city began offering a 7.5 percent rebate incentive for film crews. However, the show didn’t qualify at the time because they were a reality show.
That reality show restriction has since changed. So, along with statewide film rebates, major productions can have up to 30 percent of their costs offset. That’s the strongest incentive in the state and on par with cities in Georgia, New Mexico and Louisiana.
Productions have to meet certain requirements, like meet a recently reduced $100,000 dollar spending minimum.
At least 70 percent of paid crew and cast members must be Texas residents, and hotel accommodations must be within city limits.