El Paso, Cruces Make List of Top Movie Cities
The website Moviemaker compiled a list of “Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker”. Several cities/towns in New Mexico have made the list.
The criteria they’re looking at here are “Livable, affordable communities with enough film, television or commercial jobs” to make a living. Also, things like the cost of living and commute time factor in.
Also, for this list, they don’t include L.A. and New York because, duh.
There’s a list for large cities and a list for smaller cities. El Paso qualifies as a “large city” and it comes in at #25. The list only GOES to 25 but El Paso is tied with Dallas, a city with 7 times the population.
The article gives shout-outs to local filmmaker Lucky McKee (Old Man, Poker Face) and the El Paso Film Festival. This is the first year El Paso has made the Moviemakers list.
On the Big Cities List Ausin is all the way up at #4, which comes as no surprise. The Texas capitol has been a booming alternate Hollywood for at least three decades now.
Perhaps a bit more surprising is that Albuquerque is #2 on the list of big cities. Albuquerque has held the position as “Top U.S. City” on the Moviemakers list (#1 is Toronto) for several of the past few years. It’s not ALL because of “Breaking Bad”, either. Although, to be fair “Breaking Bad was huge for the Duke City.
One of the reasons for Albuquerque’s placement is because of its proximity to two New Mexico cities that make the “Small Cities” list. Las Cruces is an impressive #8 on that list, noting that with its southwestern architecture, lavish mansions, and ample palm trees, Cruces is “a solid stand-in for Los Angeles” and can also pass itself off as Mexico.
For the second straight year, Santa Fe takes the number one spot for “Small Cities for Moviemakers”. If you’ve visited, you know that Santa Fe isn’t like any other city. Its population is just under 90,000 but you wouldn’t know it if you drive by on the interstate. Santa Fe has numerous rules about what kind of architecture is allowed (adobe) and what colors can be used (earth tones). This results in Santa Fe being the most camouflaged town I’ve ever been to.
Santa Fe is also noted for its extremely generous tax incentives (up to 40%) and natural scenic beauty. Also, showbiz heavy hitters like Robert Redford, Gene Hackman, and George R.R. Martin all live there so it must be a great place to be (or see) a star.