Every day for the past month MovieMaker has counted down the Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2014. Here is the complete list of Top Big Cities, Top Small Cities, and Top Towns. The full list, published in MovieMaker‘s Winter 2014 issue, is on newsstands now.

Unlike previous years where locations were pitted against each other in a single pool, this year we separated the list into three distinct categories: Big Cities (pop. 500,000 and up), Small Cities (pop. 100,000 to 500,000), and Towns (pop. 100,000 and under). After months of research, interviews, and mathematical formulas, we boiled the rankings down to the essential elements. All locations were rated according to six criteria: Film Production in 2013 (shooting days, number of productions, dollars generated), Film Community and Culture (film schools, festivals, independent theaters, film organizations), Access to Equipment and Facilities, Tax Incentives, Cost of Living, and a General category that included lifestyle, weather, and transportation. Did your place of choice make the list? If not, maybe you should choose again if you’re serious about rooting yourself in a location that’s conducive to your career and life goals – or drop us a comment proposing a place we overlooked this year!






10) San Francisco

9) Memphis

8) Portland

7) Philadelphia 

6) Boston 

5) Seattle

4) Los Angeles

3) Austin

2) New York 

1) Chicago


5) Savannah, GA

4) Providence, RI

3) Shreveport, LA

2) Wilmington, NC

1) New Orleans, LA


5) Marfa, TX

4) Bozeman, MT

3) Boulder, CO

2) Ashland, OR

1) Asheville, NC

MovieMaker would like to thank all of the Film Commissions and Offices across the country for their generous help in compiling information about their respective cities.  This list, and the movie making industry, would be nothing without you! We would also like to thank the MovieMaker interns, writer Mark Sells, and illustrator Lily Padula, for all of their hard work and dedication. MM

Illustration by Lily Padula.

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