The Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker 2019: Small Cities and Towns

3. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Multiple Emmy wins for Netflix’s limited series Godless this fall will only continue to bolster Santa Fe’s reputation as a go-to locale for thinking Westerns after the similarly contemplative Hostiles, with Christian Bale, also lensed here before opening to acclaim. Add to that the Coen brothers Western anthology, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and there’s a trend forming. Even a simple cowhand can appreciate a refundable tax credit of up to 30 percent and a small-budget-friendly lack of minimum spend.

Santa Fe’s competitive incentives and proactive, engaging Film Office are only a couple of reasons one might choose to call this UNESCO-recognized area home; its high-culture delights such as the Santa Fe Opera and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet are matched by the natural architectural beauty of places like Taos Pueblo, a Native American settlement at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains established 1,000 years ago. You can also visit the San Geronimo Chapel, built in 1619 and destroyed during the Mexican-American War. Perhaps the biggest wonder about Santa Fe is that a cultural treasure like this has a population of only 83,000 souls.

Tim Blake Nelson as the misnamed “Misanthrope” in this scene from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, shot just outside Santa Fe. Courtesy of Netflix

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4 Comments

  1. Michelle Daniels

    February 4, 2019 at 10:15 am

    Cumming, Georgia is a great film city too! There’s so much filming happening there and it’s a small suburb just north of Atlanta. Ozark called this city home – there’s other productions that have discovered it, too.

  2. Pearl Spa KC

    January 24, 2019 at 1:31 am

    Kansas City rocks!`

  3. Rebecca Gibson

    January 17, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Winnipeg! Not to brag, but there is about to be a BOOM here. The community is amazing, so welcoming to production (not burned). The architecture is glorious, there are four beautiful seasons, the crews are not only competent – but tenacious and deeply talented. There is a tax credit unparalleled in any other Canadian centre that was made permanent by the provincial government 2 days ago. Great hospitality, diverse people – strong and experienced producers. It’s the world’s best kept secret in film, and it’s only getting better.

    • Eric C Oveson

      January 19, 2019 at 3:07 pm

      That is interesting, had no idea.I am sensing there is going to be a big change overall in the industry too, like how many times can you see a film and it’s LA or New York ?

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