MovieMaker Magazine unveils its top movie making cities

By Steve Mathie
Staff Writer

For the past decade, MovieMaker Magazine has compiled an annual list of the nation’s top cities for filmmakers to dwell in. They recently came out with the list of the Top 25 for 2009, and on the list are some surprising cities, many of which found themselves on the list as a result of their state’s tax incentive.

The list is a strong indicator that although the economy has seen on the worst downturns in our nation’s history, filming is still going on in so many cities and states across the country. You’re probably wondering by now who topped the list. It’s Chicago. Now you’re what the criteria is to climb to the top of this list.

According to MovieMaker - average salary, cost of living, job growth, festivals, film schools, movie-related vendors, local theatres, unemployment rate, median home price and crime rate all factor in to the formula. Other major credit was given to cities with large talent pools, lots of production days, green filmmaking efforts and aggressive tax incentives.

Chicago is rich in filmmaking history and has seen an increase in both independent and feature film production in the last couple of years. Seeing Chicago at the top of this list is not a big surprise, nor is the rest of the top 10.

Joining Chicago in the top 5 are Atlanta, Ga., New York, N.Y., Shreveport, La., and Albuquerque, N.M. Ernst & Young recently conducted studies on New York and New Mexico in defense of the positive fiscal impact on the state economy as a direct result of their competitive tax credits.

Rounding out the top 10 are Boston, Mass., Stamford, Conn., Memphis, Tenn., Milwaukee, Wis., and Austin, Texas. More to come on the next 15 cities in the top 25.

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