Boston has been the backdrop for scores of movies over the years and the city has welcomed and accommodated shooting of films for decades. There are several reasons why Boston has been such a sought after destination for filming:
1) Because the city is famous around the world, sometimes a film will specifically want the backdrop to be Boston. They want famous locations such a Quincy Market, Boston Common or the North End. Or they want something which is cliche Boston such as an Irish Pub, Newbury Street or Boston Garden. Boston is young and vibrant with a flavor that is hard to match in a studio.
2) Boston is unique. Filming in the Midwest, you can pretty much be in any city and aside from known landmarks, it can look like you are anywhere. Places like Boston, New York or Paris are so distinctive that the only way to get that affect is to actually be there. Try filming a Boston scene in Los Angeles and you will never be able to convince your audience that you are in Boston.
3) Boston gets snow. Sometimes a movie requires a winter backdrop and lets face it, Hollywood will never deliver real snow. Not ever.
4) Like many other cities, Boston (and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) offer tax breaks and other financial incentives for shooting movies in Boston. True Boston is not unique, but it also isn't behind the pack in this regard.
5) Filming in Boston promotes the city. Films and TV shows which highlight the beauty of the city and its neighborhoods make watchers want to visit. We must not underestimate the long term benefit of promoting the city. Many people when planning vacations, think about places that they have seen or heard about on TV or in the movies. How many people say that they have always wanted to visit KANSAS CITY or TALLAHASSEE or BIRMINGHAM? Places like Seattle, Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami and LA create an image that makes people want to visit someday.
Some recent movies and TV shows which were filmed at least partly in and around Boston include:
- The Town
- The Departed
- Fever Pitch
- Boston Legal (obviously)
- The Apprentice
- National Treasure
- Mystic River
- The Good Life
- The Lost Boys
- Stealing Harvard
- A Civil Action
- Good Will Hunting
- Boston Common (obviously)
- Little Big League
For a more comprehensive list of movies filmed in Boston, check out Jeff's Movietours page HERE or Screentours Boston here Also catch this Boston Magazine article on movies filmed in Boston. For information about making arrangements to film in Boston and associated tax credits visit the Mass Film Office.