City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More
The Texas landscape is a movie maker's dream

Featured Article

Why The Lone Star State is a Screen Dream

More and more film and television productions are falling in love with Texas - Chocolate Lizards is the latest

As the Austin movie movement explodes, we go on-set of Chocolate Lizards to find out why Texas makes the perfect cinematic backdrop.

Award-winning writer-director and storyboard artist Mark Lambert Bristol, known for the Mission Impossible movies and The Thin Red Line, describes how magical it is to work in his home state.

“Many of us on set, including me, are native Texans who grew up loving this land, loving these people, but it is often misunderstood. I remember we had a foreign exchange student coming to work with us from Paris, and when she first found out she was coming to Austin, Texas, she thought she was going to be in the desert and everybody would be riding horses to school - because of the inaccurate John Wayne movies filmed in Arizona that have become part of US movie culture. But Texas is much more than that. Texas is lush, Texans are colorful. In this movie, we’re really trying to show the best of us as people, and also of our world.

One of the tenants of the Chocolate Lizards is following wonderful characters, and their drama and humor, against an epic Texas backdrop. The main character in the movie is a Harvard educated LA actor, and the audience watches this new world unfold through his eyes. At the beginning of his journey, the world is a bit harsh - he's a fish out of water, an alien in a strange land. But as he becomes more involved with Merlin Leschi, played by Thomas Haden Church, the beauty of the stunning natural landscape and its people is unveiled to him and the audience.”

Co-producer Koen Wooten, who is known for his work on Friday Night Lights and Idiocracy, explains why he loves working in Texas.

Chocolate Lizards is absolutely a love song to Texas. It's not a story about oil or cattle - it's about all the things that makes up Texas, the blue-collar workers getting their hands dirty every single day. And it's about living the dream. Texas is a very independent state. It's a state that allows you to make decisions for yourself, but when your neighbor needs help, you're there for them.

Texas is blessed to have so many movie productions happening right now. It’s not just because we have really talented crew with a can-do attitude here, it's the landscape - you can drive 40 miles east of Austin end up in a beautiful, grassy hills, or head west and we can end up in a desert like area, then head south 100 miles and be close to the coast. I've made a film about the war in Iraq here in Austin. Anything is possible.”

For more information, follow @chocolatelizards on Instagram

  • Director Mark Lambert Bristol and co-producer Koen Wooten on set
  • Storyboarding a stampede on location in Bartlett, Texas
  • The Texas landscape is a movie maker's dream