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Is Fort Worth the new Hollywood? How is Red Sanders is making Cowtown a prime filming locale


As Executive Director of the Fort Worth Film Commission board, Red Sanders ’04 has lobbied the state legislature to help make Texas and Fort Worth a filming destination. Film incentives and rebate programs can help make cities like Fort Worth more attractive to production companies and provide financial support aspiring local creatives.


Red Sanders ’04 created Red Productions after leaving TCU. Since then, he has carved a niche creating advertisements and other film content for a variety of clients and ad agencies.

Sanders, who staffs an office in Los Angeles but makes Fort Worth home, is working on more films and possibly a television series. He also leads an effort to bring film projects to Texas, especially Fort Worth. His film A Bad Idea Gone Wrong was a 2017 SXSW winner. Red and his wife Jenny ’07 live in Fort Worth their two children, Hank and Eloise.



On Hands-On Experience

“I learned so much from the time at TCU about the business and filmmaking. I think so much of that was solidified by being able to learn in the classroom and then go practice it through internships. We’ve always tried to pay that forward through internship programs. … We couldn’t film without the apprentices and interns we have helping us.”


On Leadership

“I like doing a little bit of everything, but now I love getting to lead this team of talented storytellers. … I know we’re all changing and our hopes and dreams evolve as we go through life. We try to provide opportunities now for people to grow in [their roles]. I want to make sure everyone has a seat on the bus and we are all going forward together and excited about where we are headed.”


Red Sanders (second from right) with the team behind A Bad Idea Gone Wrong at the 2017 South by Southwest Festival. The film won the special jury award for best ensemble cast.


On the Fort Worth Film Commission

“Film commissioner is a very important role because it requires you to not only respond reactively to incoming leads, but to proactively to go out there and put Fort Worth on the map and say ‘hey we’re here in Fort Worth. Fort Worth is film-friendly. At least consider us for your next project, and, if you do, we’ll come help you and show you around and show you the cool spots and help you meet who you need to know in the public sector.’ ”


On Work-Life Balance

“I kind of got to write [my company’s] paternity leave policy, and I think it’s really important that we all take a breath in life. In America, we always have this rat-race culture. They’re working. I have [to work,] too. It’s OK to take a break and be there and celebrate a huge life event. As a leader of a small business, I can serve as an example, too. I don’t have to be there 24/7. I don’t expect you to be either.”

Adapted from TCU Magazine