SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — A $5 billion industry is coming to central Texas. Hill Country Studios has announced its partnership with a virtual production company that will bring this technology to San Marcos.
The studio will be built at the La Cima development.
“We are looking to bring 12 sound stages to the Central Texas region to provide infrastructure for high-end productions to come in and produce film and television,” said Blake Kotrla, group chief technology officer.
Kotrla said it would be a place where they would use new technologies to create virtual productions.
“The first major production to really use something like this was Disney’s The Mandalorian,” Kotrla said.
But with this new development comes some concerns about what it’s built on, according to Virginia Parker of the San Marcos River Foundation.
“Our main concern was the size of the project on the Edwards Aquifer recharge area,” Parker said.
She said she advocates for the studio to be built in a way that minimizes any damage to the aquifer.
“Even things like ‘what are the roofs going to be built with? Will it be something with harmful chemicals that could eventually seep into the aquifer and affect drinking water, river water? or ‘could it be a metal building on the roof?’ said Parker.
Kotrla said the studio will do its part. This will limit the amount of developed land and recycle 97% of all production materials.
With construction scheduled for early 2023, Parker hopes they will keep the environment at the forefront of this process.
“Growth is good. We just have to be very smart about how we build,” Parker said.
One of the city’s guidelines for this development is to minimize the studio’s waterproof cover. It’s things like roofs, driveways, and parking lots that can prevent rainwater from entering the aquifer.
The agreement means that only 19% of the studio’s land can be impervious surfaces.