Magazine names B.R. best small city for filmmakers
BATON ROUGE - The Capital City is the best small city to live and work as a filmmaker, according to industry publication Moviemaker Magazine.
Baton Rouge ranked best among five film-making cities with populations between 100,000 and 400,000 residents. New Orleans took second place in the category, followed by Savannah, Pittsburgh and Orlando.
The article, which appeared on the publication's website earlier today, points out that Baton Rouge played host to over $200 million in film and TV production last year, including a reboot of Marvel's Fantastic Four, Pitch Perfect 2, The Final Girls, NCIS: New Orleans, and the indie feature film Zipper with Patrick Wilson and Richard Dreyfuss.
According to Moviemaker, one of the main factors behind Baton Rouge's top ranking was the state's current tax incentives, but it was also noted that the Baton Rouge Film Commission, created by Mayor-President "Kip" Holden, helped to promote the local filmmaking industry.
"The Baton Rouge Film Commission often secures crew members and partners with the production to find local crews, keeping stipend spending down," the Moviemaker article said. "City-owned properties do not charge location fees-for example, the now vacant Women's Hospital, owned by the city, has been used for several productions which only had to pay for security and utilities."
The cause for Baton Rouge's appearance at No. 1 is also helped by the presence of the city's Celtic Media Centre, which is the largest studio of its kind in the state with seven sound stages ranging from 15,000 to 35,000 square feet.
According to Mayor Holden's office, 2015 promises to be another banner year for the film industry in Baton Rouge with three film projects starting production this month. The Baton Rouge Film Commission and the Mayor are also currently working with Sony and the AMC television network to bring more long-term TV program to the city for production.
The article appears in the latest print edition of Moviemaker Magazine, which will be distributed during this year's Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, later this month.
Image: Moviemaker Magazine