This City is Cinematic: Ten Cities for Independent Filmmaking

Thanks to the digitalization of the film industry, one no longer has to live in Los Angeles or New York to become a filmmaker. Now the auteurs are able to plan, produce and cut their films in just about any city in the world without needing the Hollywood studio lots and financing to back up. With many cities and states seeking to cut away from LA’s business, they’ve been implementing tax breaks and resources which make things a little easier for the independent filmmaker.

For the past ten years Movie Maker magazine has been posting a list of the ten best cities to live, work and make movies for independent filmmakers. Recently, they have published their list of cities for 2010, which can be seen in their latest article here. CyniCritics looks at what these cities have put out recently and what their locations can be ideal for.

1. Albuquerque, New Mexico

What’s been filmed there: The Book of Eli, Terminator Salvation, Crazy Heart, The Men Who Stare at Goats, Transformers 2, Sunshine Cleaning, No Country for Old Men, Little Miss Sunshine and 21 Grams

Who used it best: The Cohen Brothers in No Country for Old Men

Ideal for:  Desert settings, possible Iraqi war films, post-apocalyptic films

2. Los Angeles, California

What’s been filmed there: Just about everything

Who used it best: Paul Haggis Crash

Ideal for: Anything

3. Shreveport, Louisiana

What’s been filmed there: I Love You, Phillip Morris, Factory Girl, The Great Debaters, The Guardian, and Interview with a Vampire

Who used it best: Allen Ball in the True Blood series

Ideal for: Sultry vampire flicks, southern dramas, civil war epics

4. New York, New York

What’s been filmed there: Just about everything not filmed in LA

Who used it best: Spike Lee in Do the Right Thing or Woody Allen in Annie Hall

Ideal for: Anything set in the city really, gang or crime dramas

5. Austin, Texas

What’s been filmed there: Death Proof, Planet Terror, 3:10 to Yuma, Stop-Loss, Sin City, Capote, and Office Space

Who used it best: Quentin Tarantino in Kill Bill vol. 1

Idea for: Tarantino westerns, westerns, football movies

6. Stamford, Connecticut

What’s been filmed there: Away We Go, Rachel Getting Married and What Just Happened

Who used it best: Sam Mendes in Revolutionary Road

Ideal for: Modern New England suburb settings

7. Boston, Massachusetts

What’s been filmed there: Shutter Island, Gone Baby Gone and Good Will Hunting

Who used it best: Martin Scorsese in The Departed

Idea for: Crime dramas

8. Detroit, Michigan

What’s been filmed there: Up in the Air, Youth in Revolt, and 8 Mile

Who used it best: Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino

Ideal for: Economic doom, pre-apocalyptic city settings

9. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

What’s been filmed there: The Lovely Bones, Baby Mama, The Fountain, Seven, and Twelve Monkeys

Who used it best: Darren Aronofsky in The Wrestler

Ideal for: Gloomy run down blue collar men pieces, future Rocky installments

10. Seattle, Washington

What’s been filmed there: Grey’s Anatomy, The Ring, ER and 10 Things I Hate About You

Who used it best: Sean Penn in Into the Wild

Ideal project: Medical dramas, horror movies with a need for constant cloudy skies

7 thoughts on “This City is Cinematic: Ten Cities for Independent Filmmaking

  1. Hhahah I’m from Philly and almost every film I see that is based in Philly, I just know it is, mostly cause of the crappy look they give it all the time. But whatever, I can’t complain that much, at least we are still noticed in movies.

    • Haha, it’s odd though that they always show how run down it looks, because I’ve been to Philly once and the actual city was really well kept and clean. Of course that was just the downtown.

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