Filmmakers from all over have to make the choice at some point to move to one of three places: L.A., New York, or Atlanta. These three places are the main hubs of film and T.V. and although the most popular option is L.A. I’m going to make a case for why living as a filmmaker in Atlanta is the best option for those who are starting off.
L.A. and New York have great potential for the later part of your career, but when you’re just starting off, you’re just another drop in the ocean. Therefore, here are my 3 top reasons why you should move to Atlanta in order to start your film career.
Living in Atlanta as a Filmmaker
Atlanta has a relatively low cost of living. Especially compared to the other two options for filmmakers.
This was the main appeal for me when I was deciding where to move because as a filmmaker who is just starting off, you’re going to have to work an hourly job and do free film work for a while. Once you build your network and have a name for yourself, the paid work will come regularly, but until then you will have to support yourself with another job. Now this isn’t to say that’s not possible in the other two locations, but it’s definitely going to be harder with the higher costs of living.
I promise it doesn’t happen overnight either. Don’t go into this move thinking you’ll be working part time and doing free film work for only six months, it takes a while to make connections.
One of the reasons I love L.A. is that the city eats, breathes, and sleeps movies. The whole culture of the place revolves around everyone trying to make it big and it’s fun to be a part of. That being said, it makes the competition much harder.
When you’re in L.A. you’re just a drop in the ocean of everyone trying to do the same thing. In Atlanta, however, there are far less people competing for work. There are enough people and studios here for work to be consistent, but much less than the over saturated L.A. and New York. Additionally, if you’re trying to get your name out there, it’s much easier if you’re one in one hundred rather than one in a million.
Atlanta has been growing ever since the film incentives were introduced. For a while, Georgia had more film work than L.A. and it’s industry has been growing ever since.
This really goes hand in hand with my previous point. Atlanta is in a phase of growing, and if you get in early while it’s still getting its footing, you’ll be at the top while others are just starting to get in. L.A. on the other hand, doesn’t need to grow. It has been solidified as the main hub for creative minds for years now. So, like I said before, if you get in early, there’s less people you’ll need to compete with and much more work to get done.
Clearly, Atlanta is growing in terms of the film industry. As the area continues to get more recognition, the industry will change and mold itself into something nice. Either way, Atlanta is a great place to be, a great place to film, and a fun place to call home. I would say, there are still plenty of great opportunities in this city for making it big. As long as you do not mind traffic, welcome to Atlanta.
Filming in Atlanta
To wrap this up, Atlanta is the perfect place to make a name for yourself. You’re not just a drop in the ocean or a fish in the sea, not to the degree of the other options anyway.
In Atlanta, the potential to grow is huge, there’s plenty of work to be done and not many people to do it. So take those opportunities and start working on your career. Once you have a name and an impressive resume you can go wherever you’d like, but in the meantime, get your start in ATL.