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The Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker 2019: Big Cities

The Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker 2019: Big Cities

Annual Lists

11. Boston, Massachusetts 

Although the subject of bitter political wrangling over the past three years, Massachusetts’ generous 25 percent tax incentive (with $50,000 minimum spend and no caps) was declared “here to stay” by a Boston news outlet in June 2018. The reasons: Once-fierce opposition to the incentive was seen to be M.I.A., and a consensus had emerged that the credits were having a net positive effect. The tax incentives will expire in 2023, so advocates for the breaks would be well-advised to not get too comfortable. 

A Netflix-produced political thriller, Wonderland, took to Dorchester, Boston for filming in October, with Mark Wahlberg on hand as the crew dusted the streets with a 

patina of fake snow for an upcoming scene. Around the same time, across town, another crew was putting down a layer of dirt to make that section of Boston look like it did in 1868 for the Greta Gerwig-directed adaptation of Little Women, starring Emma Watson. Local photographers captured horse-drawn buggies clomping down blocked-off streets while film cameras rolled. The Jessica Chastain-starring action film Eve also kicked off filming in Beantown during the fall, with cast and crew being spotted in the city’s Wayland suburb.

Below the radar of movie studio bigwigs is Boston’s humming festival scene, with the Boston Underground Film Festival prepping for its 21st annual run in 2019. Over the years the festival has attracted guest directors such as Don Coscarelli and Jason Eisener and in 2018 it was named one of MovieMaker’s 30 Bloody Best Genre Fests in the World. In 2019 the festival is promising a renewed focus on New England-based talent as well as more sci-fi and transgressive moviemaking.

Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum was transformed in October 2018 for the filming of writer-director Greta Gerwig’s Little Women in Boston. Courtesy of MA Film Office

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