Austin Makes the MovieMaker Magazine List of Best Cities for Filmmakers

Even in the pandemic, the city stays a home for filmmakers

Richard Linklater on the set of Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Adventure, with young actor Milo Coy. The upcoming film was one of the projects produced in 2021 that has helped get Austin on to the prestigious MovieMaker Magazine list of the best places in North America to live and work as a moviemaker. (Image Courtesy of Netflix, Photo by Matt Lankes)

Well, MovieMaker Magazine just confirmed what everyone knows already: Austin is one of the best places in America to live and work as a moviemaker, and the top city for filmmakers in Texas.

One of the few cities to make the prestigious list every year since the magazine launched it in the early 2000s, Austin came in at number eight on the prestigious list. MovieMaker cited Austin's "collaborative community of professional filmmakers" and large number of equipment rental and post-production facilities as reasons for its high ranking, as well as its 36 film festivals meaning that "opportunities for inspiration, networking, and showcasing your work are abundant."

Even in the pandemic, Austin proved its allure and capacity for making TV and movies. Robert Rodriguez wrapped his Hitchockian thriller Hypnotic, starring Ben Affleck, while there's a slate of indie titles including Mirasol, Chocolate Lizards, Match Me If You Can, Plus/Minus, and Home Free that lensed here during lockdown. The animation scene has never been hotter, with Rooster Teeth producing Transformers for Netflix and gen:LOCK for HBO Max, Powerhouse Animation reviving Masters of the Universe for Netflix, and Minnow Mountain hard at work on Apollo 10 1/2, the upcoming Rotoscoped family drama by Richard Linklater (who also shot more of his 20 year epic adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along). On the live-action TV side, there was also the CW's smash Walker starring Jared Padalecki as the Texas Ranger, the fourth locally-lensed season of AMC's Fear the Walking Dead, while Netflix came back to wrap shooting on Panic, and HBO is still filming its upcoming true-crime limited series Love and Death, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Lily Rabe, and written by David E. Kelly (Ally McBeal , Boston Legal, Goliath).

Brian Gannon, Director of the Austin Film Commission, described making the list as "an honor. … We have such a talented crew base here in Austin as well as the cast, local vendors, production companies and facilities that make Austin the place for commercial, film, and television production. Thanks to the reputation cultivated by the hard-working Austin professionals over the past 45 years, productions that film here always know they will come in on time, on budget, and looking great.”

The slightly bad news is that Austin slipped down the rankings, from number three in 2021 to number eight in 2022. However, it's the only city in Texas to make the top 10, beating Dallas at number 15, San Antonio (24), and Ft. Worth (25) showing the city's powerhouse position as a home for big-budget and indie production.

MovieMaker Magazine’s Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2022

1. Albuquerque
2: Toronto
3: Atlanta
4: Montreal
5: Boston
6: Vancouver
7: Chicago
8: Austin
9: Philadelphia
10: Calgary

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