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

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Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati is as old as the U.S. Constitution, and boasts a generation-spanning pancake of various architectural styles that make it a kind of open-air film set, one that’s recently hosted productions as diverse as the Bruce Willis actioner Reprisal, the Ellen Page-starring romance My Days of Mercy, and Yorgos Lanthimos’s critical what’s-it The Killing of a Sacred Deer (at the end of 2016). The boomlet of film production that’s graced Cincinnati over the past few years (10 productions in 2016 alone added 409 jobs to the local economy and added $13.6 million to city earnings, according to The Economics Center) can be partially attributed to the state’s tax credit, passed in 2009 at an annual cap of $10 million (minimum spend of $300,000) and since doubled twice to $40 million in 2016. There’s also the city’s close cooperation with neighboring Kentucky, which boasts a competitive incentive package of its own. Do we sense a plan for regional dominance? MM

Christian Slater providing local coverage for the Cincinnati-shot The Public, directed by Emilio Estevez and also starring Alec Baldwin, Gabrielle Union, and Jena Malone. Photo courtesy of WCPO Cincinnati.

A complete version of this two-part article appears in MovieMaker’s 25th Anniversary Winter 2018 issue. Featured image illustration by Lily Padula.

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  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.

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