When a movie clapboard
cracks and a director yells, “Action!”
your first logical response is that a movie is being filmed in Tinsel Town — Hollywood, California.
California isn’t the only state that can put out a great movie.
In fact, as the economy has bounced up and down, film crews have explored regions of the country that you would never imagine as being fit to film a movie.
Here’s our top five list:
In its heyday, Motown and Michigan were booming as Chevrolets and Fords rolled off the line.
Today, the entire state is still rebounding from the economic crisis of 2008, but that hasn’t stopped filmmakers from making their way to the mitten state.
And it’s not just because of the hefty tax incentive.
Michigan offers it all.
From rough and tough cities like Detroit and Flint to some of the most picturesque postcard views you’ll ever see like the wine vineyards of Traverse City, the mighty Mackinac Bridge connecting the upper peninsula to the top of the mitten and what was recently voted the most beautiful place in America by Good Morning America: The Sleeping Bear Dunes.
Top movies filmed in Michigan:
2. South Dakota
Many people probably can’t name the capital of South Dakota (the answer is Pierre), but South Dakota doesn’t need to be the most-known state to attract film crews from around the country.
The Mount Rushmore State offers an amazing variety of filming locations, including mountains, deserts, rolling plains, small towns, historical buildings, quaint churches and more.
You could literally film 10 different types of movies in South Dakota.
Top movies filmed in South Dakota:
Sure Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world, but that’s generally associated with stage performers, gambling and excessive drinking.
But as MovieMaker.com puts it, “As long as America remains addicted to gambling — and watching others gamble — there will always be a thriving film and television industry in the City of Sin.”
Nevada offers more than bright lights and cheap thrills, though.
There’s also picturesque lakes, majestic mountains, ghost towns, active mine shafts, deserts, valleys, dude ranches and more.
Lake Tahoe, where California and Nevada meet, is the largest alpine lake in North America and is best known in the film industry as the location where the infamous boat scene in “Godfather II” took place.
Nevada is also home to some of America’s greatest roads for that next “lonely road” scene.
It also offers dramatic mountain ranges and rock formations, like Lamoille Canyon and the magnificent Ruby Mountains, also known as “Little Yosemite.”
Top movies filmed in Nevada:
Vermont can bring any production to life.
The east coast state offers classic New England locations, rolling farm hills with mountain backdrops and old-time downtowns.
All of this and more makes for the ultimate filming location.
The Chittenden Reservoir offers breathtaking landscapes, especially during the autumn season.
Groton State Park features verdant greens, lush valleys, winding creeks and spectacular mountain views.
While Vermont is in the process of contemplating whether or not it should can its state film office, there are still some basic tax incentives available to filmmakers.
Top movies made in Vermont:
There are several popular films filmed in Louisiana that are sure to surprise you.
Some from as recent as “21 Jump Street” and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” to award-winning films like the “Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “The Apostle.”
Louisiana offers a diverse palette of filming locations, from big cities to swamps — it can literally double for anywhere in the United States.
While the summer can get sticky, the fall and winter offer mild climates, offering comfortable temperatures for filming outside.
As mentioned, Louisiana is filled with awesome filming locations.
Head to downtown Ponchatoula for an older looking downtown.
If you’re filming a sports-related movie, you have the most iconic football stadium in the New Orleans Superdome at your disposal.
And if you need a beach shot, Holly Beach on the Gulf of Mexico is superb.
Top movies filmed in Louisiana:
What’s your favorite movie?
It may have been filmed in a state that you would least expect.
Share your favorites below…
About the Author
Andrew is the luxury travel consultant for Estate Weddings and Events, offering readers the latest trends when it comes to high-end travel. When it comes to travel, he credits his expertise to his wife Erin, who has quite the understanding of the finer things in life. Living in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, he enjoys the fresh mountain air, Colorado craft brews and relaxing with his cat Franklin.