Best cities to live and work as a moviemaker


Hollywood has always been a-dream-come-true for all those involved in the film industry. Making it in Hollywood equals success, an impressive career, and ample opportunities to achieve your long-desired goals. However, some other locations rightfully deserve the reputation of being among the best cities to live and work as a moviemaker. We have chosen a few of these to give you a hint. After you study the list, packing and moving your film equipment to one of these cities might seem like the right thing to do.

Newark, New Jersey

Newark has gained a high reputation in the film industry in recent years. It has a wide range of locations that may be the best choice for your filming projects. Back in 2019, it earned more than $2.5 million on the locations fees only, which makes it clear that it has been the choice of many moviemakers.

One of the reasons why Newark is among the best cities to live and work as a moviemaker is the fact that it has one of the most diverse workforces in the USA. Everybody is given a chance in various projects, which is a great change, particularly when it comes to women and minorities. Moreover, the city fosters local talents and various productions are frequently asked to hire locals for assistants, background players, and similar.

A great advantage for all those who want to make it in this field is a chance to attend free film lessons at Rutgers University and also meet and explore filming equipment and production facilities through the Community Media Center. Moreover, the Newark Office of Film and TV offer the residents some free lessons at weekends. Finally, the Newark International Film Festival is a chance for the locals and visitors alike to learn all the novelties in the production world.

For all the above-mentioned reasons, if you are a moviemaker looking to have a simple relocation to a new neighborhood, opting for Newark, New Jersey is an intelligent decision.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

2019 was a blockbuster year for Albuquerque. The films and TV shows produced here were nothing less than the red-carpet caliber. Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro, Tommy Lee Jones are just some of the big names that used to shoot here in the previous year. 

What makes Albuquerque a good place to live and work as a moviemaker is the whole area’s commitment to the film industry.  There are top-quality film crews, numerous and highly diverse locations, great weather, and a favorable production tax credit. Also, we must not forget the vicinity of Los Angeles, which is yet another benefit. 

The situation regarding film making changed here when Netflix and NBC Universal arrived in the city. With these two major production studios and the continuous growth of independent film production, Albuquerque is fast becoming a place to be for all those involved in the film, TV, or digital media industry. Whether you are a brand new moviemaker or you are in the process of choosing a great filming location for your project, this city in New Mexico could be exactly what you are looking for.

Wilmington, North Carolina

Wilmington is a city with a rich history in the film industry. For 36 years, it has been welcoming various productions, so it does not surprise that some of the local families have been employed in this industry for several generations. The state of North Carolina has generously helped moviemakers with an incentive program that offers a 25% rebate on certain expenses and purchases conducted by productions while working in the state. Finally, as clear evidence that the film industry is among the top priorities in North Carolina, we cannot neglect the fact that Governor Roy Cooper has formed the Governor’s Advisory on Film, Television and Digital Streaming to further support the growth of North Carolina film industry. 

Montreal, Canada

Montreal is a unique combination of Old World charm and modernism, so every production project carried out here gets a subtle note of sophistication. There are many factors that make Montreal one of the best places to live and work as a moviemaker. Firstly, the Quebec province, where the city is situated, offers a total effective tax credit of up to 38.4 percent when factoring federal incentives. Then, The Quebec Film and Television Council is always willing to help with finding crews, location managers, line producers, and sound stages. In Montreal, there are 40 visual effects companies and the city takes great pride in this fact. X man: Dark Phoenix, Pet Cemetery, Long Shot are only some of the recent and well-known shoots in this city.

Austin, Texas

Austin and Texas in general possess the authenticity moviemakers value immensely. People living here have a distinctive character without even trying much about it. The state offers variety in terms of shooting locations. Just a few miles far from the big cities, there are areas that seem stuck in time and these are perfect for production projects.

 Austin itself is a home of a vast number of projects which range from ambitious films, over classics to indies. The cost of living is affordable and most people cannot imagine their lives without lots of fun. 

Final words on the best cities to live and work as a moviemaker

We have created our list of the best places to live and work as a moviemaker by analyzing factors like film culture, tax breaks, the cost of living, and the number of films shot in these places. There are many other cities worldwide that could offer you a decent chance to succeed in this industry as well. If you have already decided that this is the career you want to follow, set your goals, and start exploring film and production blogs that might provide you with useful information on the subject and be a very good starting point for your climb up the film industry ladder.

Matthew Jefferson is a passionate film lover and a frequent cinemagoer. He frequently writes film reviews and numerous articles regarding the film industry. In his free time, Matthew loves painting and spending time with his friends and family on his small ranch in Texas.


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