Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker 2015: Top Five Towns

 

asheville

2. Asheville, North Carolina

On the September 3, 2014 broadcast of The Late Show with David Letterman, Kristen Wiig expressed her love for the “hippie” town of Asheville, particularly the “great restaurants, Friday night drum circle, salt cave meditations,” and “concept spa” Still Point Wellness.

Terrific! But what about the work? Wiig was in Asheville this year to shoot Masterminds with Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis, directed by Napoleon Dynamite’s Jared Hess. Other 2014 features include Warner Bros.-MGM feature Max and indie feature Chasing Grace, and numerous Discovery, History and Travel Channel productions.

For another perspective, talk to area native Ellen Pfirrmann, who has various location manager credits on projects like The Hunger Games, Leatherheads, A Dance for Bethany, and Homeland. “You can’t beat the atmosphere,” she said. “It’s big city funky, artistic. I grew up there. Unfortunately, to make a living you often have to branch out—but I’ve been very lucky the last few years, with North Carolina’s film incentives in place, to be able to stay home. I know Dupont State Forest, where Last of the Mohicans was shot, back and forth.”

Asheville Grove Park Inn. Courtesy of Venture Asheville

Asheville Grove Park Inn. Courtesy of Venture Asheville

While the North Carolina Film Office reported better-than-ever film-related expenditure across the state in 2014, celebrations were undermined somewhat by the state’s decision in August to reduce its incentive budget to a small $10 million grant program for the first half of 2015 (up to 25 percent credit with a $5 million per-project cap for features). This change is a major reason Asheville, our top town last year, has fallen from its perch this year. Still, the quirky college town is a great place to live, with a well-known culinary scene and a reputation for friendly Southern hospitality.

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2 Comments

  1. Megan Torgerson

    January 21, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Filmmaker’s new social media platform is along the Clark Fork River in Missoula, Montana too! Theauienceawards.com, check it out. It’s connecting filmmakers, film festivals, people in the industry and cinephiles from around the world!

    • Gina Lazarowich

      January 21, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      Vancouver, BC Canada is the BEST place to shoot movies (and TV) and live here…with being one of the #1 most beautiful cities in the world, it’s ideal to shoot…A-list crews, healthy lifestyle living for the Actors, Directors and Producers that fly in and end up living here…and only 2.5 hours from LA!…should I mention the 33% tax incentive for shooting here AND the dropping Canadian dollar, all add up to why we are called “Hollywood North”.

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