The city you settle in is part of an important decision in your life. With so many choices, it’s helpful to have a guide to point you in the right direction. For moviemakers, the decision is perhaps a bit more difficult. There are several factors they must consider that the average citizen can ignore. But they need guidance too, right?
I consulted a list of the best places to live and make movies in North America in 2018 . Original rankings were based on the film structure in place, film commissions, geographical and architectural distinctiveness, film activities in the city within the past 12 months, and other non-profit activities. Here are a few of the top-scoring cities.
According to Christine Dudley, the Director of Illinois Film Office, Georgia has one of the most robust incentive programs in the United States. This includes the 20 percent tax credit, as well as a 10 percent credit available to productions that add to promotions. A campus with six sound stages was built in Atlanta in 2014. The city has one of the best infrastructures in the country. There are multiple disparate locations and (mostly) cooperative weather patterns. The cost of living in this city is just 1.8 percent above the national average.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
You may recognize a few of the movies filmed in Vancouver recently. Skyscraper and Deadpool come to mind, but these are just two of the 338 total productions that qualified for the area’s healthy tax credit in the last year. Vancouver has earned its reputation over the years thanks to good infrastructure. It also has the largest animation cluster and 17 educational institutions producing motion pictures as a discipline. The city boasts over 100 stages used by blockbusters and indie productions alike.
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles is likely one of the first cities that comes to mind when you think of movie production. It is riddled with an intense production history and a talent pool second to nowhere else in the world. It also has one of the most robust incentive plans yet. The tax credit offered by the state is 20 percent, but producers can earn an additional 5 percent if they relocate their series from another film-hub city. Finally, special attention is paid to the number of industry jobs created in the area.
Kartemquin Films Executive Director Betsy Steinberg says, “Chicago’s film industry has evolved in recent years into one of the country’s buzziest production cities.” She believes the industry scene in the area is tight-knit and supportive towards newcomers. This, in combination, with several well-performing movies and series produced in the area, helps to maintain the 30 percent tax credit currently being offered to producers until 2021. Other draws include a lower cost of living compared to several other cities that made this list and a unique subculture that tends to make its way into sets.
In 2017 governor Andrew Cuomo signed a 30 percent refundable tax credit for film directors and writers. The level of production in the city is growing almost every day. The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment has rolled out programs to support established and aspiring film professionals. Construction of several film production campuses is planned in the near future, but those interested in off-set locations have nothing to worry about. The city has more than 300 square miles of outdoor locations to choose from. All you need is a permit.