2014 Austin Film Festival and Conference Schedule
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Tom Copeland

Moderator, professor of film at Texas State University
Since 1983 Tom Copeland has been one of the state’s best-known and most-respected advocates for its film production industry.  During his ten years as the director of the Texas Film Commission, a division of the Office of the Governor, he was the state’s primary liaison and troubleshooter between Hollywood, state and local governments and the private sector.Copeland’s film career began in 1974, as a crew member on the first five seasons of Austin City Limits.  That experience led to seven years as a freelance production assistant, location scout, location manager and production manager.  In 1983, Copeland joined the Texas Film Commission, beginning as a location scout and retiring 22 years later as its director.  Over those 22 years, 1,009 film and television projects were made in Texas.  Since 2005, Copeland has been a professor at Texas State University – San Marcos, where his “Business of Film” and “Independent Shorts” classes bring hands-on production skills to his students, with frequent guest presentations from nationally-known film professionals.  Besides his work at Texas State, Tom is a producer with the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts Filmmaking 101 workshop and he is a frequent guest speaker and panelist at film festivals throughout Texas.