Some say that money is the root of all evil, while others hold that evil follows money’s
absence. Likewise for today’s independent moviemakers, while some contend that
bigger budgets open up more creative options, others maintain that limited budgets
have a better chance of generating true innovation.

The latter seems to be proving true in American cities big and small, as increasing
numbers of would-be auteurs make the leap from moviegoer to moviemaker. They’re
being aided by the low cost of digital technologies, which make the medium ever more
democratic at the same time that costs creep lower. The barriers that existed for
independent moviemakers just a few years ago have all but disappeared, not only in
terms of accessibility to reasonably priced production and post-production equipment,
but with distribution opportunities, too. Best of all, freshly minted moviemakers don’t
even need to leave home to make cinema happen.

For the past decade, MovieMaker Magazines’s editors have paid careful attention to
location trends. From recent financial incentives to new soundstages, we have tracked
these developments while being vocal proponents of the “backyard/backlot” lifestyle—
the idea that one should be able to shoot close to where he or she lives.

We also understand that moviemaking is not a solo enterprise; it’s an endeavor that
benefits greatly from the support of like-minded artists. It would stand to reason, then,
that moviemakers in traditional “cinema cities” such as New York and Los Angeles
might have an edge over their peers in lesser-known production areas. But with
previously under-utilized areas such as Shreveport, Louisiana and Albuquerque, New
Mexico continuing to climb the “best places” list year after year, the truth is that
moviemaking can happen anywhere—as long as there are creative artists willing to
make a go of it and a community of supporters happy to nurture their talents.

Here, then, is the MovieMaker Magazine 10th annual ranking of the country’s best cities
in which to be an independent moviemaker:

1. Albuquerque, NM 

2. Los Angeles, CA 

3. Shreveport, LA 

4. New York, NY
5. Austin, TX 

6. Stamford, CT 

7. Boston, MA 

8. Detroit, MI 

9. Philadelphia, PA 

10. Seattle, WA
Boston makes the grade - 10 Best Cities To Live,
Work & Make Movies in 2010
by Roland Hansen
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