Baton Rouge named best ‘small city’ for moviemakers, New Orleans is No. 2

Diana Samuels, | The Times-Picayune  The Times-Picayune

Baton Rouge was named the best "small city" for moviemakers to live and work by an industry magazine on Wednesday, beating out New Orleans at number two.

Moviemaker Magazine is releasing annual rankings of best places for filmmakers, divided into categories of towns, small cities with a population of between 100,000 and 400,000, and larger cities.

Baton Rouge was at the top of the list of small cities, followed by New Orleans, Savannah, Ga.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Orlando, Fla.

What put the Capital City at the top? Both Baton Rouge and New Orleans got credit for the state's filmmaking tax incentives. But the magazine also recognized Baton Rouge for its moviemaking facilities like Celtic Media Centre, and the support of the city's film commission. 

The commission has helped filmmakers get access, for example, to free use of vacant city facilities. The former Woman's Hospital has been used for several productions and filmmakers only had to pay for security and utilities.

The commission also touted the fact that they've been discreet: Apparently, no information about the filming of Fantastic Four was leaked during production.

Baton Rouge hosted over $200 million in film and television production last year, including Fantastic Four and Pitch Perfect 2.