The Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker 2018: Small Cities and Towns

4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

“A lot has changed in Pittsburgh over the last several years,” says Kathryn Spitz Cohan, Executive Director of non-profit film group Film Pittsburgh. “Lots of factors have elevated Pittsburgh’s stature in general but they’ve also benefited the filmmaking community.”

Specifically, she cites an influx of young artists, a stable Pittsburgh crew base, true affordability, new cinema openings (she counts six that now offer at least partial indie fare) and a “skyrocketing” restaurant scene among factors that’ve made the city a more enticing draw for film professionals.

Pittsburgh creatives can take advantage of a 25 percent tax credit for films that spend a minimum 60 percent of their budget in PA, and those eligible may qualify for an additional five percent credit if the production is meant for national audiences. Cohan says that local productions will “always want more tax credits than they have at the moment,” but what’s on offer has been sufficient to draw in marquee productions such as Netflix’s Mindhunter and the Denzel Washington drama Fences.

The David Fincher-helmed series Mindhunter is set in Iowa, but is being filmed in Pittsburgh. Photograph courtesy of Netflix.

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  1. smoga

    February 27, 2018 at 7:59 am


  2. Eve

    January 17, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    I choose to live & work in Hawai’i, which does present some challenges…😎🌺However, when I relocated here from L.A. a few years ago, the general eyebrow raised response was that it was a bit nuts…so i find it really reassuring that so many cities/geographic lications outside of ‘Hollywood’ are now being touted as good lifestyle alternatives for creatives such as myself – b/c it really IS a way of life, and an all-encompassing choice, when you choose this kind of career…

  3. Frank Casanova

    January 17, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Ridiculous! Sacramento is better than half of those on the list.

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