Often referred to as the place of all things "cool" and "weird", Austin over the years has played host to filming many iconic indie films starting in the 70s and into the early 90s. These days, Austin is at the head of the industry, working alongside the main focal point of Los Angeles. For many profound producers, Austin has served as the perfect background character to their films for its light, landscape, and overall unique vibe. So, not only is Austin real estate impressive but so is its backdrop! Below we honor films that have played an integral piece in the making of Austin's buzzing film industry.
Dazed & Confused - 1993
Coming out of nowhere, this classic was what put director Richard Linklater on the map. For many, the brilliance of this masterpiece is how simple the story was told. What is epic about a bunch of coming-of-age seniors on the last day of school, right before summer? What makes this an all-time cult classic is the casual yet hilarious dialogue, and of course, the era style. Linklater took full advantage of using Austin's stunning scenery, the Moontower, the iconic Top Notch Burgers, and a few local schools like Bedichek Middle School. If you live in Austin, chances are you've seen the movie and the locations.
Waking Life - 2001
Chances are if you've studied philosophy or questioned whether you're part of living reality, you've come across this curious film. Who would have guessed a film would make such waves in the collective conscious on a shoestring budget? The plot of this film follows a young man that may or may not be dreaming, discovering all of life's beautiful contradictions. While pondering the hyper-reality that surrounds him, he encounters captivating characters who explicate on philosophy, politics, morality, and everything in between. Most of the films floating footage were taken from a hot air balloon above the Austin landscape. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy's scene was shot in Richard Linklater's very own apartment.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre - 1974
Never mind the countless remakes, it's all about the riveting original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which has made people jump out of their skin for years. A brother and sister set out to investigate the vandalism of their Grandfather's grave. It doesn't take long before the journey comes to a halt at the mercy of their psychotic murderous neighbors in the family's old farm house. Before all of the glitz and technology, this piece gives viewers the feel as though someone was closely and secretly watching the horrific events with a camcorder. If it wasn't for Director Tobe Hooper studying film at the University of Texas, the original location for the film was Wisconsin. The extremely unhinged Sawyer household was located on Quick Hill Road, just north of Austin. In 1998, the decrepit farmhouse was moved to The Antlers Hotel, northwest of the city.
Office Space - 1999
So it wasn't a box office hit, but surely Office Space is a comedy cult classic for many of us. The comedy took on the world of white collar IT professionals, mixed with outlandish whimsical disasters. The soul-killing corporate job of Peter Gibbons leads him to a hypnotherapy session where his therapist dies and leaves him in a lasting blissed-out haze. From there on out, he decides usual job tasks of overtime or any kind of work is not for him. He does, however, embezzle from his employer Initech! The notorious Initech corporate office in actual reality exists at 4120 Friedrich Lane, South East of Ben White and the 1-35. Chotchkie's restaurant where Jennifer Aniston worked is now a Chase bank in the Arboretum.
Sin City -2005
This highly stylized comic book world of a story has been said that no other comic should be created after this production. Eye-catching, gory, dysfunctional and wild are just some of the words that fall into the plot of exploring the dark and miserable town of Basin City. If you don't recognize the Austin skyline in this neo-noir hodgepodge murder story, that's because this entire film was shot inside Troublemaker studios on a green screen. Austin was the birthplace of this revolutionary film technology.