Right now, I’m flying to New York City from my new home in Austin, Texas, for a series of network meetings. New York City is the town I moved to in 1998 because at that time, that's what you did. You wanna “make it” in the business? Go to NY or LA. I chose NY and continued to work there for 20 years. I did that until I had a mid-life epiphany - Gen Xers don't have “mid-life crises”!: maybe I don’t have to live in NY to work in the industry anymore? Technology is changing the way I live, communicate and work - if I have close proximity to an airport and a strong wifi signal, my options are open.
So, I scouted post production houses in Georgia. Yes, I hit the original Chick-fil-A on the way (and it was amazing). I scouted photo studio rentals in Kentucky. Yes, I had a few Bourbons - these are just of a few of the places where storytellers are moving and even launching their careers.
I chose Austin for a number of reasons. A friend asked me why? The simplest answer I could come up with was “NY is amazing but I feel like it is the past… Austin is the future.” The big change in our business is that the default thoughts of starting up are no longer limited to just NY and LA.
I’m proving out this new business model right now…
I’m producing a series in Georgia this summer - the incentives and talent pool are too good to ignore, and cheap plug: I’m working with GreenlightGO for production studio space, edit suites, and other resources. I’m opening up a production office in Austin because some of the most amazing creators I’ve met are already living there or are moving in - fun fact: en route to the airport, my Uber driver told me he just moved to ATX (as it’s called) from Los Angeles cause it’s “prettier”. I’m even questioning the need for a NY presence!
Entertainment has always been a global industry but it's becoming clear: the coastal gatekeepers are losing their power grip on points of entry for the next wave.
If you’re asking, my advice is to go where you can work and optimize your quality of life.
Life IS too short.
So, thank you NY… it’s been a great ride. TX (and Georgia), here we come!