Ashland, OR Named Top Place to Live/Work as a Filmmaker
If you are a filmmaker searching for the best city to live and work in, you’d probably start off with the usual suspects like Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and most recently, Atlanta. With production credits and tax incentives diverting many productions away from Hollywood, independent filmmakers and video production companies across the country are looking for new opportunities in emerging cities and markets. While it may be a surprise to everyone but Oregonians, MovieMaker Magazine recently named Ashland, OR as the #1 place to live and work as a filmmaker.
The ranking is due in part to Oregon’s cash rebate of 20% on goods and services and 16.2% on labor. Of particular interest to independent filmmakers and low-budget productions is the fact that 5% of Oregon’s incentives are carved out for productions between $75,000 and $750,000.
Economics aside, Ashland (and the rest of Southern Oregon for that matter) is a filmmakers dream. In the surrounding Rogue Valley and into Medford, film permits can be easily obtained and are relatively cheap. Film locations are plentiful, both public property and on private land. The various looks available in Oregon are truly amazing; from rocky beaches, to dense forests, deserts, and quaint mountain towns, Oregon has it all. An extra plus… no sales tax in Oregon!
Home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland is a vibrant, forward-thinking town with plenty of entertainment, dining, and nightlife. Lodging in Ashland is abundant, and while housing is more expensive than the Oregon average, apartment rentals can be had for under $1,000/month. Ashland recently gained the praise of Google, being named Oregon’s “eCity Digital Capital” for the second year in a row by the technology giant.
Rounding out the top 5 were: #2 Asheville, NC, #3 Sante Fe, NM, #4 Missoula, MT, #5 Portland, ME. MovieMaker categorized places into three pools: Big Cities (pop. 400,000 and up), Small Cities (pop. 100,000 to 400,000), and Towns (pop. under 100,000). Ashland, OR was #1 in the “Town” category.
(Photo Courtesy of HearkenCreative)