Hollywood, Texas

Alamo City co-stars among top film-friendly places in the U.S.

Alamo City co-stars among top film-friendly places in the U.S.

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MovieMaker Magazine has named San Antonio one of three top “on the cusp” big cities to live and work as a moviemaker in 2018. Courtesy of Bullock Texas State History Museum

UPDATE: A previous version of this story cited the 2017 list; it has been updated to reflect the 2018 rankings.


Alamo City is ready for its close-up. MovieMaker, a leading resource on the art and business of making movies, has deemed San Antonio "on the cusp" of being a top place for film in 2018. 

The honor is in recognition of the city’s strategic efforts to develop its film scene. Now entering year two of a five-year strategic plan, the San Antonio Film Commission has been tasked with developing San Antonio into a leading film-friendly town complete with a 7.5 percent film incentive, a one-stop shop resource in the commission, and picturesque shooting locations. 

“San Antonio is often recognized as a welcoming place to live, work, and visit,” says San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg in a release. “Our hospitality extends to the film industry, with the city not only being a place creativity and artistry are encouraged, but also where the substantial economic impact of artistic fields like filmmaking are recognized.”

The magazine assessed the 15 best cities in North America by taking into account film production in 2017 (shooting days, number of productions, dollars generated), film community and culture (film schools, festivals, independent theaters, film organizations), access to equipment and facilities, tax incentives, cost of living, and a general category that encapsulates lifestyle, weather, transportation, and other socio-cultural markers.

The results are divided into two different lists: the best 15 big cities (with a population of 400,000 and up) to live and work as a filmmaker, and the best five small towns for those who want a more intimate setting for shooting.

Each list ends with three cities that are “on the cusp” of breaking the top 15, including San Antonio, which tied with Seattle and Miami among big cities. 

Atlanta topped the big city list at No. 1 followed by Vancouver, Canada (No. 2) and Los Angeles (No. 3). New York City fell from the top spot in 2017 to No. 5. 

Here in Texas, Austin (No. 9) and Houston (No. 15) also made the cut. 

Rounding out the top three best small cities for filmmaking is New Orleans, Savannah, Georgia, and Santa Fe.