It’s MovieMaker’s 2014 edition of the Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker! We’re counting down through our Top 10 Big Cities, Top 5 Small Cities, and Top 5 Towns—releasing one location a day for the entire month of January. The full list, published in MovieMaker‘s Winter 2014 issue, will be available on newsstands January 28.

Top cities

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!


Top Small Cities

#4. Providence, RI

Bobby and Peter Farrelly, Viola Davis, and Richard Jenkins are proud to call Providence home, as does legendary screen actor, James Woods. “Because Providence has not been overused, it has an aura of authenticity,” Woods said. “Its colonial heritage mixed with a tougher blue collar underbelly—from Ivy League to 20th century mob haunt—lends a uniqueness to its image, making it a gritty locale you can actually feel onscreen.” With that in mind it is no wonder films such as Moonrise Kingdom  and Infinitely Polar Bear (just premiered at Sundance) were filmed there!


Besides Brown University, there’s the Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Rhode Island, as well as Rhode Island International, Newport, and the Southeast New England film festivals. Just like its northern neighbor, Boston, many of the streetscapes remain as they were 80 years ago.

Reportedly, Providence has more coffee shops per capita than any city in the country, which is terrific for those long days of filming when you need that extra mojo. And as for incentives? Through the Rhode Island Film & TV Office, moviemakers may receive up to a 25 percent tax credit for qualified expenses with a minimum of a $100,000 spend so long as 51 percent of the project is filmed within the state.


For more information about filming in Providence visit the Rhode Island Film & TV Office.

Check back every day for the rest of January to see which small cities and towns are the best places to live and work as a moviemaker in 2014! Previous rankings:


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

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