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

Prev2 of 9Next
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

1. New Orleans, Louisiana

“I think some local crew jumped ship a few years ago when the tax incentives changed,” says local cinematographer Natalie Kingston (All Styles), referring to a move by state lawmakers to plug the 2015 budget gap with a three-year cap on tax credits at $180 million per year, down from $246 million in 2013. “But the industry is starting to thrive again,” she says. “It seems people have been moving to the city again…there have been tax incentives and opportunities like #CreateLouisiana, designed for Louisiana filmmakers to encourage homegrown independent productions.” One such feature, Lost Bayou, described as a “Cajun folktale,” will begin production in early 2018 with Kingston and other local creatives behind the scenes.

Speaking of renewal, the city’s population has returned to 95 percent of its pre-Katrina levels and a number of rebuilding projects and revitalization efforts are underway. Meanwhile, Hollywood’s continued presence in New Orleans is attested to by recent productions such as the Viggo Mortensen-starring historical drama Green Book, the James Caan crime drama Out of Blue and the heist film Cut Throat City starring New Orleans’ own Baby and Lil Wayne. New Orleans-based film producer Josh Penn (Beasts of the Southern Wild) offers this: “Louisiana is and always has been a singular place to make films, and with the adjustment of the tax credit this year it should encourage more films to come to town, and take advantage of all it has to offer.”

The cast and crew of the Hurricane Katrina-set heist feature Cut Throat City cut loose on their New Orleans set. Photograph courtesy of IMDb.

Prev2 of 9Next
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse


  1. John lazear, soc

    January 18, 2019 at 3:58 am

    Really….. hollywood and New York are not on this list?
    1 hollywood
    2 New York
    3 London
    Let’s be real about where movies are mostly shot

    • Max Weinstein

      January 18, 2019 at 11:01 am

      Hi John,

      Los Angeles and New York are featured in part one of this article, focusing on Big Cities:

      MM Staff

  2. Adrian G

    January 17, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    So, as much as I appreciate this list, the name of your zine is Moviemaker, not North American Moviemaker. In a field that is peripatetic by its nature, it might be nice to have a list of some of the best cities in the world, not just those in North America, where one can thrive as a filmmaker. Please think about it.

  3. smoga

    February 27, 2018 at 7:59 am


  4. 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…

  5. Frank Casanova

    January 17, 2018 at 1:01 pm

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.