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

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

Annual Lists

6. Ashland, Oregon

The smallest city on our list, with a population of 21,117, Ashland in Southern Oregon punches far above its weight. It’s both a picturesque filming location with attractions like the 93-acre Lithia Park, which boasts tennis courts, Japanese gardens, and an outdoor music bandshell, and increasingly a home for moviemakers and actors such as Repo Man director Alex Cox and Friday the 13th star Adrienne King. The flourishing community of moviemakers includes Gary Lundgren, who spent two years raising funds to film the sports drama Calvin Marshall in Ashland.

“Ashland has always been welcoming—and it’s perhaps even more so these days,” says Lundgren. “When we made Calvin Marshall in 2007, we employed quite a few first-timers and promoted people within their departments. A lot of those people are still friends of ours and have careers in bigger markets now, like Portland or Atlanta.” He adds that work in Ashland can be sporadic and making a consistent living can be tricky, but “ambitious people interested in moviemaking can make contacts and eventually they’ll get some experience if they are hard-working. On our film Phoenix, Oregon this past summer, we hired our regulars, but again we gave quite a few young people paying jobs and their first on-set experience.”

At a cabin on Hyatt Lake, 12 miles east of Ashland, the crew sets up a scene for the pilot episode of The Stem starring Abby Wathen, Marlyn Mason and Clive Rosengren. Photograph by Ray Nomoto Robison

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  1. Avatar

    Rebecca Gibson

    January 17, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Winnipeg! Not to brag, but there is about to be a BOOM here. The community is amazing, so welcoming to production (not burned). The architecture is glorious, there are four beautiful seasons, the crews are not only competent – but tenacious and deeply talented. There is a tax credit unparalleled in any other Canadian centre that was made permanent by the provincial government 2 days ago. Great hospitality, diverse people – strong and experienced producers. It’s the world’s best kept secret in film, and it’s only getting better.

    • Avatar

      Eric C Oveson

      January 19, 2019 at 3:07 pm

      That is interesting, had no idea.I am sensing there is going to be a big change overall in the industry too, like how many times can you see a film and it’s LA or New York ?

  2. Avatar

    Pearl Spa KC

    January 24, 2019 at 1:31 am

    Kansas City rocks!`

  3. Avatar

    Michelle Daniels

    February 4, 2019 at 10:15 am

    Cumming, Georgia is a great film city too! There’s so much filming happening there and it’s a small suburb just north of Atlanta. Ozark called this city home – there’s other productions that have discovered it, too.

  4. Avatar

    T. Bender

    August 27, 2019 at 6:46 am

    After working on such films as MI 3, Transformers 1 & 2, WindTalkers, Operation Dumbo Drop, Speed 2 and other films along with such TV series The Unit, Threshold, and Space Above and Beyond. My wife and I now call the Knoxville area home. I also had a great time doing commercials.
    Now retired for many years.
    The Knoxville area is a great place to shoot lending itself to all film genres be it action adventure, sci-fi, comedy or drama. One might call the Knoxville area a blend of old with the new.

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