Film expert Cervantes speaks to SHSU

Students from various communications courses filled room 209 of the Dan Rather building to hear from guest speaker, Alfred Cervantes, on Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Cervantes spoke to students about his experience with the Houston Film Commission, a non-profit organization that provides service to those wishing to film in the city. Houston competes with cities such as Dallas, Los Angeles, and sometimes New York City, to name a few. Cervantes’ job with The Houston Film Commission is to provide easy access to the city, giving Houston a positive light to filmmakers.

According to the web site,, “Houston, The Space City, is ready to host your next film/video project. Whether it’s a still shoot, music video, commercial, or feature film, we have the resources and professional local crew to get the job done successfully. We’ll start by scouting suitable locations for your project and putting the photos online for your review and also mail you hard copies if needed. We will assist you in finding accommodations, equipment, crew and act as a liaison with other City of Houston departments.”

The web site provides those interested in filming Houston with location photos, production details, and a long list of incentives to persuade away any uncertainty. Cervantes has been the Deputy Director at the Houston Film Commission for the past 14 years and has many found memories as well as wild experiences.

“One time we had someone who wanted a NYC winter in downtown Houston, so we used potato flakes as snow and foam on the streets. It looked authentic on film,” Cervantes said. “Another time we had to flood the streets, so we had to figure out a way to plug the drains.”

Cervantes also assists with the Texas Filmmaker’s Showcase, an event that allows filmmakers all over the state to showcase their works with the possibility of winning a flight to L.A. for a screening of his or her film to a large audience. The competition is an opportunity for filmmakers to increase awareness of their works and gain connections to collaborate with others, which will benefit the film making process.

“I strongly suggest students get involved in the Texas Filmmaker’s Showcase,” said Cervantes. “There is no cost, so it is an ideal way for students to introduce their works and make connections.”

The day continued with presentations and advice from Cervantes to students interested in working with film. Cervantes gave helpful insight and information to those present, and left students with a better idea of how to manage the time spent in college and what to pursue after the degree is obtained.

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