Milwaukee ranks among top cities for filmmakers

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 10:06 am

The city of Milwaukee was recently selected by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the top 25 cities for an independent filmmaker to live – based on employment opportunities, reasonable cost of living, strong quality of life, affordable home prices and financial incentives.

Things like the number of film schools, festivals, movie vendors and local theaters were also factored in the rankings.

Milwaukee ranked ninth on the list, which cited Wisconsin’s 25-percent state refundable tax credit as one key incentive.

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton told the magazine she was not surprised that Milwaukee made the list.

"This ‘Third Coast’ city boasts glamour and vistas matching anything New York or Los Angeles can offer," Lawton said.

Wisconsin has been providing filmmakers with the 25-percent refundable tax credit since early 2008. Wisconsin also offers filmmakers a 15-percent film production company investment credit, which, according to the article, has Hollywood taking notice.

Director Michael Mann recently completed filming parts of the John Dillinger movie "Public Enemies," starring Jonny Depp. 

The magazine also cites Milwaukee’s new $6 million RDI Stages rental complex as an asset for filmmakers. The studio rests in two converted WWII-era factory buildings and has 27,000 square feet of space for use.

"Filmmakers coming to Milwaukee luxuriate in our Midwestern work ethic and frugality," Lawton said.

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