Top 10 U.S. Feature Film Production Locations 2015 & 2016

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the last 2 years, film and television production has amounted to over 950,000 jobs and some $56.9 billion in wages. A total of 513 feature films between 2015 and 2016 shot the majority of their production in the United States.  With 35 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico currently offering some form of production incentives, IFTA Research tracked feature film production (both independent film and studio productions) in the U.S. for 2015 and 2016 to determine what the Top 10 primary shooting locations were over the two-year period.

Accounting for 29.4% of total U.S. feature film production and creating more than 198,000 total jobs amounting to $21 billion in wages (37% of total wages earned for the state), California held strong as the number one state with 151 feature film productions calling Los Angeles and other regions of the state their primary shooting location.

New York followed close behind at number two with 101 features taking advantage of the Empire State’s offerings.  These films accounted for 19.7% of feature film production and provided more than 90,000 total jobs and more than 53,000 production jobs totaling $10.2 billion in wages earned.

The Peach State, Georgia has long been a popular shooting location.  Over the two-year span, it reined the top southern state for film attracting 65 features (12.7%), which allowed for 28,656 direct jobs and 12,518 production jobs, which amassed to $1.9 billion in earnings.

The second most popular southern state for production, Louisiana, which offers one of the most attractive production incentive packages in the U.S., had 28 film productions call the Bayou State home.  These productions created 11,547 direct jobs, 7,667 production jobs and $505 million in taxable wages -- much needed for its local economy.

While the top four – California, New York, Georgia and Louisiana -- together accounted for two thirds of the primary production locations in the U.S. (345 films), three states tied at number five -- Massachusetts, New Mexico and Ohio. Each boasted an impressive 19 films over the two-year period and combined were responsible for 14,101 direct jobs. Massachusetts saw the biggest job impact with 10,228 direct jobs and 3,421 production jobs with earnings of $587 million.  Ohio also saw a substantial increase in production growing from three films in 2012 to nine and 10 films in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

Texas came in at number six on the list with 9 features, but ranked number three in terms of direct jobs created with 40,993 accounting for $1.831 billion in wages.  Pennsylvania and Utah were next on the list at number seven and eight with eight and seven productions respectively.  Pennsylvania’s productions created 14,756 direct jobs with earnings for the Keystone State accumulating nearly $794 million.

Five states from various regions tied for the number 9 spot with six feature productions each – Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, Rhode Island and Virginia.  Florida, however, ranks number four in terms of employment with 29,841 direct jobs and 10,349 production jobs with $1.8 billion in earnings.  Illinois’ earnings were also significant totaling more than $1 billion.

New kid on the block, Kentucky, which went from zero films shot in 2015 to five films lensed in 2016, as well as southwestern state Nevada shared the tenth spot.

For the Top 10 States for U.S. Film Production 2015-2016, see the Location by State Chart here