Working in film and television is not the easiest career choice but you can make things a little easier by living in one of the more film friendly cities around the world. This isn’t to say that if you don’t live in these places then you won’t be able to work in film or television but the likelihood of booking jobs will increase tremendously if you live in one of the following cities.
10 Places to Live and Work in Film or Television
Toronto, Canada - If you live in Ontario then Toronto is where you are going to want to live to work in this industry. Toronto is a pretty exciting place for both film and television. There are multiple TV series that shoot here all year round and movies come into town quite often. If you are not going to work union there is also a lot of independent film and lifestyle television shooting in town. If you are looking for less of a long term commitment, there is plenty of work in the world of music videos and commercials too.
Los Angeles, USA – It is always warm and it is always busy in Los Angeles so if you like those 2 things it might be the place for you. There is no shortage of work in LA, but there are a lot of people all looking to do the same thing. You will very likely work if you live in LA, but it may not be the glamorous kind that you see in films and TV.
Montreal, Canada – A large number of feature films have shot in Montreal and if you can speak both English and French you will almost certainly get work there. If TV is more up your alley Montreal may not be the best place to live, but if you are bilingual you will have a good chance of beating out the competition for the jobs.
Vancouver, Canada - British Columbia is a pretty popular place for feature films and network television series to shoot, a lot of American films and TV shows have been known to head north when the Canadian dollar is good (for them). There is also a rise in lifestyle and factual television being shot there. You can almost definitely find work in Vancouver and the weather is better than Toronto!
New York City, USA – This one is a given, it is hard not to turn on the TV or watch a movie without seeing New York City, there are shows where New York City is a central character. There is always something filming in New York and there is a wide variety of options. It is very expensive to live there, but if you can lock down a good paying job then it is totally worth it.
Austin, USA – Texas is far away from home for me, but if you live in Austin or are thinking of relocating there for work, the film and television community is quite busy there. There is a lot of work available and the weather is usually pretty nice too. If you are looking for union work or independent work you should be able to find both in Austin, Texas.
Rome, Italy – A surprisingly high number of films shoot in Rome and productions from all over the world come to Italy to use its beautiful landscapes and picture perfect scenery in their films. This is another case of where knowing more than one language will really give you the upper hand.
Paris, France – The French film community is growing and French films are becoming more popular in North America, therefore if you live in France and want to work in film Paris is probably your best bet. Once again being bilingual will be hugely beneficial and help you get more work.
San Francisco, USA – If you are on the west coast and you want to live in the US, but not in the craziness that is LA then San Francisco might be the place for you. There is a fairly busy film community in San Francisco and a real desire to make great art.
London, England – There are a lot of opportunities to work in film and television across England and because of its size you don’t have to live in London to work in it. London is one of the film centers of the world though and it can be a great place to live.
When I finished college I made the tough decision to move to one of these cities to help me in my career and I can honestly say that I haven’t looked back. If I had stayed where I was, I would not be working in television the way I am now. I might have the occasional job here and there that I would have to commute to and take time off of my “real” job for, but I would not have a full time job and I don’t think I would be very happy either.
It is a tough decision to make but the work is a lot easier to find in these cities and if you are serious about working in film and television then this is a decision you will have to think long and hard about because it will change your life.