6 Production-Friendly States to Start Your Film Industry Job Search

6 Production-Friendly States to Start Your Film Industry Job Search

You made it!

Your final day at film school has been and gone. Now, armed with skills and fueled by knowledge, you’re ready for action.

That’s right, it’s job search time. But there’s a big, wide world of opportunity out there. And you could find yourself thinking: Where do I start? 

Here’s the thing, landing your first film job after school is exciting. But it can also feel a little…daunting. 

Location choices span the country. Tax incentives can be complex. And then there’s the affordability aspect to consider.

In terms of location, Hollywood has always been the obvious choice. It’s no secret that it’s still the entertainment capital of the US. But now there are other contenders entering the picture. All with vibrant film economies and tax incentives that make them a good fit for recent film graduates, too.

Sure, it’s inspiring to have so much choice. But knowing where to start? That’s the tough part.

Don’t worry – we’ve got you. Here’s our blog post, packed full of information on the best states to start your search.

Let’s take a look.



Los Angeles is bursting with inspiration in every corner. And the film set options are many: sand dunes, cities and suburbs, countless diverse terrains all within a few hours’ drive. You’ll also have easy access to production lots, gear rentals and crew members!


If you’re filming in California, you could see as much as 20-25% for all crew returned in the form of a tax credit. 


There’s no sugarcoating it: California can be expensive. BUT, you’ll be in the heart of Hollywood, the number-one place to connect and network with top talent.

Famous productions: Pretty Woman, The Artist, Six Feet Under



Atlanta has a booming production scene, set within a huge and diverse landscape. With towering skyscrapers, thick forests and hidden waterfalls, it’s easy to see why it’s a popular choice for filmmakers. 


Looking for an enticing incentive? Georgia provides a 20% tax credit for companies that spend $500,000 or more on production and post-production. 


Atlanta makes living on a budget easy. In fact, it has a huge 50% lower cost of living than New York!

Famous productions: Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy



The Grand Canyon. Monument Valley. Saguaro National Park.

Between the rugged deserts, red rocks and flowing waterfalls, the breathtaking scenery of Arizona is a natural film location. And another bonus? It’s only a short flight from Hollywood.


The landscape of the film industry in Arizona is changing. There’s a brand-new refundable tax credit scheme on the horizon, set to make it easier for film companies to produce there.

Arizona is now offering $75 million in tax credits in 2023 (increasing to $125 million in 2025).


The cost of living in Arizona is on par with the national average. Making it much more affordable than other nearby states such as Nevada.

Famous productions: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Thelma and Louise, Tombstone



Beautiful natural landscapes, diverse culture and the home of Cajun cooking—Louisiana has a lot to offer. 

Which explains why Avenger and New Orleans native actor Anthony Mackie is building a film and television studio on 20 acres of land in the southern city. 


All production types are eligible for film tax credits in Louisiana, including video games, reality shows and commercials. It just comes with one condition—that at least 25% of the production budget is spent in Louisiana. 


The cherry on top of Louisiana’s stunning scenery and tempting tax incentives is the low cost of living. Which means your hard-earned dollars will go that little bit further.

Famous film productions: Dallas Buyers Club, 12 Years a Slave, Django Unchained



Utah’s remarkable scenery has always inspired storytelling. And when you look at the red-rock mountains, desert landscapes and beautiful majesty of the Wasatch Mountains, it’s easy to see why.


Animations, documentaries, films, pilots, scripted television—these are just some of the production types that qualify for tax incentives in Utah. And if you have a budget smaller than $500,000? A cash rebate is inon the cards. 


Good news! Utah is one of the most affordable states in the US. With its relatively low prices and high income levels, it’s a compelling choice.

Famous productions: Westworld, Andi Mack, Yellowstone



Albuquerque is home to an array of scenic locations. Alien abductions, apocalypses, westerns—they’ve all happened here. And with sunshine for more than 300 days of the year, filming is a breeze. 

Netflix in Your Neighborhood also launched in 2022 to attract more visitors, fresh talent and production opportunities.


New Mexico offers a 25% tax credit for all crew (and for all production types).


New Mexico’s cost of living is on the cheaper side. In fact, it’s 11.6% lower than the US average.

Famous productions: Breaking Bad, The Avengers, Thor 

The choice is yours. 

And there you have it. All the info you need to make the decision about where to start your job search.

Hopefully you’re feeling excited, inspired and ready to get on the road. 

Which one will you pick? 


The Los Angeles Film School