MovieMaker Magazine’s annual “Top 10 Cities to Be a Moviemaker” article was released last week, and for the first time in five years Portland appears on list - behind our “friendly rival to the north” Seattle.
Portland’s position on the list has steadily fallen since it was listed as the #3 “best place
to live and work as an independent
American moviemaker” in 2006. Our readers may remember that in 2011 Portland received an “honorable mention,” and in 2012 the Rose City didn’t make the list at all.
So, what made the difference between this year and last year in the MovieMaker editors’ minds? Some clues to MovieMaker’s judgement can be found in the introductory paragraphs of the article:
To determine which cities made the cut (and in what order), we cobbled together myriad statistics for each city—including population, dollars generated by the film industry, list of movie projects, cultural vibrancy, and availability of production facilities. That data then helped us narrow down our assessment rubric to just five criteria, and we scored each of 50 cities, comparing the following information: Film Community (scored on 10 scale), Access to New Films (10 scale), Access to Equipment (seven scale), Cost of Living (scored on a reverse five scale—one being the most expensive, five being the least) and Tax Incentives (four scale). The highest possible score was a 36, and individual scores for each of the top 10 cities are provided below. (Read the entire article…)
Portland, which weighs in at #5 in the nation with a score of 28.5, is hailed for its “slower-paced, naturally beautiful city environment without the hustle-and-bustle of New York or LA… a temperate climate, gorgeous scenery and, perhaps most important, affordability.” Yes, economics plays a major role in the editors’ assessment of the city, with focus being given to the lack of sales tax and Oregon’s film incentive program.
But why did Seattle rank higher, at #3, than Portland on the list? We can’t be sure, but the closing lines of MovieMaker’s Portland section may provide a clue -
If the characters in “Portlandia” disgust you, Portland isn’t your city. But if Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein remind you of your friends, you might want to pack up your camera, car, and bike, and move there already.
Then again, it may be because (as the article points out) “…MovieMaker first appeared on the streets of Seattle back in 1993.” Seattle may have just started its lobbying earlier than Portland.