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

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

Winter 2018

On the Cusp

Providence, Rhode Island

Providence has extended its 25 percent tax credit (with a $100,000 minimum spend) until 2024—by that time could Rhode Island’s capital be a full-fledged hub for genre filmmaking? If a collective of moviemakers called Woodhaven Media, located in next door East Greenwich have their way, perhaps the answer is ‘yes.’ Profiled in Providence Monthly back in early 2017, Woodhaven Media’s multi-hyphenate president Tommy DeNucci has already made a handful of low-budget horror films and worked with genre icons such as Robert “Freddy” Englund and Candyman’s Tony Todd. His latest opus, Anders Manor, was shot in 13 days with a budget of $100,000, and has a deal with Lionsgate for release in May, 2018. Providence’s biggest employer may still be prestigious Brown University, but an ethos of teach thyself is clearly in the air.

Richmond, Virginia

If you’re a Richmond resident and a fan of government skullduggery, keep an eye out for Carrie Mathison in your ’hood, as Showtime’s hit series Homeland films its seventh season in Richmond through February, 2018. Having been lured to Richmond for need of a D.C. double this season (“Doubles as D.C.” is one of several location stand-in possibilities suggested on the Virginia Film Office website, along with “Doubles as NYC” and “Revolutionary War.”) Homeland is eligible for VA’s film tax credit/grant, amount dependent on workers hired and how much economic activity they generate, plus promotional deliverables. When they’re done catching spies, the cast and crew can take in Richmond’s 89-year old landmark Byrd Theatre, one of several cine-venues co-hosting the Richmond International Film Festival in April, 2018. The fest is slated to bring in 120 international films, and a sprawling assortment of panels and entertainment options galore.

Patricia Arquette in Permanent, the Richmond-filmed comedy in which she stars opposite Rainn Wilson. Photograph courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

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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