Southwest Austin Dripping Springs Edition | January 2023




Kevin Bar

Hill Country Studios—soon to be second largest studio in US—names new COO

$308 MILLION in new regional economic activity $107 MILLION in labor (2,065 jobs) $8 MILLION in new tax revenue in the rst ve or six years Hill Country Studios is expected to be the largest lm and television production studio outside of Los Angeles in the United States and is expected to bring:

Hill Country Studios, a forthcoming $267 million lm and television produc- tion studio to be built o Wonder World Drive in San Marcos, announced Nov. 1 that former Netix executive Kevin Bar would lead the development of the studio as its chief operations ocer. Bar brings more than 15 years of industry experience to the studio, both from Netix and as vice president of Pinewood International’s Atlanta studio. Bar spoke with Community Impact about his experience and what he hopes to see Hill Country Studios become. This interview was edited for length and clarity.

Kevin Bar is the new COO of Hill Country Studios in San Marcos. (Courtesy Hill Country Studios)

HOW DID YOU GET TO WHERE YOU ARE IN YOUR CAREER, AND WHAT LED YOU TO HILL COUN TRY STUDIOS? I started with MTV and MTV International in New York for about seven, eight years as well as a small stint in London. During that time, I worked with some of the Pinewood Studios team from the London hub and stayed in touch as I sort of made my way out to New York. Pinewood Studios was building stages in Atlanta, their very rst studio in the U.S. ... That was during the largest Georgia production boom that happened between 2015 and 2018. From that position I found my way to Netix, which at that time had a huge amount of content to produce and set up in multiple markets. I got connected with the Hill Country group through some colleagues. … I thought it was a really exciting, unique opportunity to jump into something ground up that could really change the Texas lm industry. WHAT MAKES HILL COUNTRY STUDIOS UNIQUE? It’s unique in a sense that it can

WHAT ADVANTAGES ARE THERE WITH THE STUDIO’S LOCATION BETWEEN SAN ANTONIO AND AUSTIN? On the Texas State [University] front, working with their students or their ongoing training or classes are structured so that we can help provide facilities, partnerships to collaborate with them and other universities. We’re very open to that. There’s been a lot of great results when these state universities can partner with professional businesses, whether it’s the vendors or studio group productions themselves, and come on and collaborate because it really would accelerate the training and can be really quick to kind of purpose t for what is needed in that area and for immediate jobs and long-term career development. [This] location is really, really great and equal distance in some ways to San Antonio and Austin, near the middle with all the growth and sort of growth into San Antonio. People move into Austin and San Antonio. ... There’s attractions to both places, so it’s nice to be sort of [be] right there in the middle.

provide these premier facilities, great stages that supports oces, all the facility lots that you can really hit any range of production or credit require- ment, multiple shows or types of productions. So it doesn’t matter if it’s a large-budget feature, which it’s well suited for, or medium-sized television or independent or commercial or branded content. That is, we want to be a full produc- tion service partner. With facilities [such as] a large amount of land, a large studio lot, and you can really help kind of ll the needs that any of these type of shows or budget ranges would require. And then [there will be a] production service partner. We want to have vendors, whether on or o lot that we can resource to have multiple productions [to help] grow and with the workforce development, the training, be a partner to those groups, and hope- fully kind of [create] more crew depth and new training in the area in the local region. So have an awesome integration within the studio; I think that would make us really unique and really benecial to any show coming into Texas.


Hill Country Studios will cover more than 209 acres, which will include: • 12 sound stages spanning 310,000 square feet; • two virtual production stages; • 310,000 square feet of modular o ces; • 15 acres of outdoor production space; and • 25 acres of vendor and commercial space.


SOURCES: HILL COUNTRY STUDIOS, CITY OF SAN MARCOSCOMMUNITY IMPACT January 2020 Hill Country Studios founds the studio concept June 2022 Tax incentives and development approval is announced Early 2023 Construction slated to begin Early 2024 First productions begin

SPECIALIZING IN: • Cataract Surgery • Premium IOL Implants • LASIK Surgery • Glaucoma - Medical and Surgical • Macular Degeneration

We accept Medicare/Medicaid

Schedule Your Visit Today: (512) 443-9715 | WWW.HOWERTONEYE.COM

Kyle Office 4282 FM 1626, Ste 200 Kyle, TX 78640

Southwest Austin Office 5625 Eiger Rd., Ste 100 Austin, TX 78735

South Central Austin Office 2610 S. IH 35 Austin, TX 78704



Powered by