Small Cities & Towns (continued)

1. New Orleans

The number one small city on our list of the Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker is, once again, The Big Easy.

And it’s not hard to see why: Dollars generated from film and television productions in the Louisiana city have nearly doubled since last year, when we thought $475 million was jaw-dropping. Carroll Morton, director of Film New Orleans, tells MovieMaker that figure increased to $903 million in the last year, so there are plenty of opportunities for work.

Will Smith’s previously mentioned Emancipation was shot here in 2021, as well as Netflix’s supernatural family film We Have a Ghost and AMC’s upcoming Interview with the Vampire series. Producers looking to take advantage of the 25 percent base tax credit would be wise to partner with local screenwriters, too, because the state offers an additional 10 percent tax credit to productions using a Louisiana screenplay, and another 15 percent if Louisiana resident labor is employed.

Local writer-producer-director Angela Tucker is collaborating with Queen Latifah on her next film Paper Chase, a teen comedy about a New Orleans teenager who throws a rager to raise money for college tuition. “Moving to NOLA is the best thing I’ve done for my career,” Tucker tells MovieMaker. “It’s a small community where everyone supports each other and keeps each other busy. It’s a community of culture, creativity and uniqueness; with all of the inspiration around us, New Orleans is a gift to creators of every medium. A fantastic place to call home.”

Although the area was heavily impacted by COVID this past summer, the city has dropped its mask mandate and, as of this writing, it is mostly open without restrictions. That means filmmakers can enjoy live music again in their leisure time, and look forward to the return of iconic cultural celebrations, like Mardi Gras and the Jazz & Heritage Festival, set to return in the spring of 2022 after the pandemic forced a two-year hiatus. “Music and culture simply rises up from our city’s streets,” Morton says. “No city on earth can celebrate the way that we do!”

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