Big Cities: 9. Boston, Massachusetts
You can take Affleck and Damon out of Boston, but can you ever take Boston out of Affleck and Damon? The Beantown natives’ love doesn’t stop when they drop anchor elsewhere—they continue repping Massachusetts in recent projects, like Affleck’s directorial venture Live by Night, set in Prohibition-era Boston, and Manchester by the Sea, shot throughout the state and produced, in part, by Damon.
With its celebrated museums and cultural institutions, historic sites, university culture, delectable seafood and infectious accent, the city of Boston has much to recommend it. The city is walkable, with fast and efficient public transit, so as fun as it is to say, there’s no need to “pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd.” In fact, “within a 15-mile radius, you can shoot a modern city, suburbs, farms, woods, ocean, rivers, lakes, historic buildings and sites, and buildings of all types ranging in age from one to 400 years old,” says Ed Gaffney, screenwriter for the 2016 thriller Russian Doll. “As a storyteller, that’s a huge amount of flexibility.”
Massachusetts offers a robust 25 percent tax credit with a $50,000 minimum spend and no annual or per production cap. 2016 saw a couple of titles about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing: Peter Berg’s Patriot’s Day and David Gordon Green’s Stronger, as well as Mike White’s Brad’s Status, Netflix’s Wheelman, Bridgewater starring Jason Clarke and Super Troopers 2. With art-house venues like the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline and the Somerville Theatre in Somerville, there’s no shortage of viewing opportunities nearby. Come for the clam chowdah, stay for the long haul. Boston is sure to do big things at the movies in 2017.