When it comes to making movies, there are some independent filmmakers who say having Houston as a backdrop is much better than Hollywood, especially if you're looking for a futuristic-looking set.
It's a closed movie set, but director Wayne Slaten allowed our cameras inside for a behind-the-scenes look at the making of his new film "Patriot Act."
"It's in the vain of 'Blade Runner' meets 'District 9,'" he said.
Patriot Act is a futuristic sci-fi thriller. The cast and crew tells us the city of Houston becomes the backdrop in the year 2078. At the epicenter of everything in this country, Slaten says human and alien life forms are dealing with a lot of social issues.
"We go beyond just the genre of sci-fi and we touch on a lot of social issues. It has to do with issues of war, with immigration in this country and even the Patriot Act. It's a big part about how much privacy are we losing in our lives and where does that take us 60 years from now," Slaten said.
This independent film is not being made at some high-tech Hollywood studio. No, the scenes are right downtown, inside the Houston's Hotel Icon.
"Throughout the property, you've got different personalities in each of the spaces, and I think it gives the film crew lots more flexibility to do a variety of things," Hotel Icon spokesman Stuart Rosenberg said.
In addition to the film's director and producer, all of the folks in the crew are Houstonians as well. And among the cast of talented actors, you'll notice a few big names.
Veteran artist James Hong has starred in movies like "Blade Runner" and "Big Trouble in Little China." Hong plays a trouble-making hotel manager in Patriot Act.
Patriot Act is still in production. But the director said in the coming weeks there will be contests for local filmmakers, costume designers and musicians. You just have to check out Patriot Act the movie's Facebook page.