In its annual survey of the best places to make films in the United States, Moviemaker Magazine once again ranked Philadelphia among the Top 10,. Editors placed the city at #9, after a busy 2009 production schedule when Jamie Foxx, Dev Patel and Reese Witherspoon came to shoot movies with F. Gary Gray (Law Abiding Citizen), M. Night Shyamalan (The Last Airbender) and James L. Brooks (Untitled James L. Brooks Project) . (Last year, Philly ranked #15, in 2007 it was #5).
According to the magazine's editor Jennifer Wood, "The criteria for the list included a swarm of factors: Cost of living, employment opportunities, housing costs, crime rates and quality of life, state and city financial incentives, access to talent, size and closeness of the local moviemaking community, ease of shooting (i.e. amount of red tape), local production resources and movie-related vendors." Sharon Pinkenson, executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, was on her way to the Sundance Film Festival and could not be reached for comment. But Flickgrrl is reasonably sure that Pinkenson would have thanked state legislators for keeping the endangered Film Tax Credit in the state budget. That's the financial incentive that gets productions to do business here.
Your favorite film shot in Philly? I'm going to declare a three-way tie between Rocky, Blow Out and The Sixth Sense, though I also like Philadelphia and Invincible.