Surviving as a photographer or filmmaker in New York City isn’t easy, and without a big budget, it can feel like the odds are really stacked against you. Fitting the costs of cast, crew, gear, insurance, permits, catering, vehicles, and locations into a small budget requires a combination of financial wizardry, stubborn persistence, and a certain amount of good luck. Whether you’re currently planning out the costs of an upcoming shoot or merely scoping out the feasibility of future passion project, the best area to take control of costs is going to be your filming locations.

Locations are typically the first or second largest production expense on any project, so choosing a cost-effective, affordable space will free up cash for other things. While cameras can be borrowed and people will work for credit  – good film locations cost money – with most New York properties falling in the $1500-$3500 per day range.

If you don’t have thousands of dollars for locations, don’t worry – there are hidden gems from Bushwick to the Bronx available for only a couple hundred bucks. To make finding these budget-friendly spaces a little bit easier,  we thought we’d put together a list of highlighting some of the best deals in the city.

How did we rank the most affordable locations for filming?

To build our list, we combed through Giggster’s entire residential location library. We have over 1,000 NY homes and event locations on our site (and another 4,000 in Los Angeles) with prices ranging from $30 to $1,000 per hour.  While we considered sharing an unbiased list of the lowest priced film locations in New York, we quickly realized that many of bargain basement deals lack the ‘wow factor’ to make them stand out for professional filmmakers and photographers.

Instead, we decided to rank our homes by the best bargain.  While the properties had to be cheap (under $100/hour), they more importantly needed to offer enough cinematic potential to make them a great choice for just about every type of project in need of an affordable film location in New York. Just like our list of Cheapest Homes for Filming in Los Angeles, we looked at five core criteria and ranked each property on a scale of 1 (below average) to 5 (exceptionally good).

Design: The layout, decor, and overall aesthetic taste of the filming location.
Functionality: How well the location suits different purposes.
Location: How film-friendly is the neighborhood (parking, permits)
Value: How fair is the price relative to properties with similar features
Personality: How unique is the film location?

To supplement our scored ranking, we've included important location details for each property such as price range, max crew size, and geographic location, as well as a direct link to the full location listing on our website. If you're interested in booking any one of these properties, you can get more details and contact the property owners on that page.  

**Note: Our star ratings are relative to the other locations on this list. Every location in our ranking was chosen over thousands of other rentable spaces, and they truly represent the very best of New York film location market.

10) Bright and Chic Loft in Brooklyn

Hourly Price: $100
Minimum Price: $400
Neighborhood: Brooklyn
Perfect For: Commercials, Photoshoots
Max Crew Size: 10 people

Compared to the majority of the New York filming locations market, this apartment is an incredible bargain. However, for this ultra affordable  list, it's $100 per hour rate is on the higher-end. However, you really do get a lot of value for your money. The loft location has impressively high ceilings, a magazine-worthy living room design and 7 meters of windows. Having been recently renovated, this location is perfect for photoshoots and filming. It’s biggest downsides in addition to the higher price is that it's a single room open-concept and its perched on the fourth floor. Like many apartment rentals for filming in New York parking is no guarantee.

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9) Sun Drenched Zen Loft in Brooklyn

Hourly Price: $50
Minimum Price: $200
Neighborhood: Clinton Hills, Brooklyn
Perfect For: Photoshoots, Small Films, Brunches/Dinners
Max Crew Size: 30 people

If you’re looking for amazing lighting, lively and classy design, and a peaceful space, this Brooklyn loft film location is a perfect match. With 1600 sq. ft. to play with, this residential location has amazing lighting and is a beautiful backdrop for photo shoots or has the perfect ambiance and atmosphere for dreamlike brunches and dinner parties. Lined with vibrant trees all around, you’ll feel as if you’re in paradise. Located in a suburb in north-central Brooklyn, this loft is accessible with street parking and a parking structure nearby. While it offers tranquility in the suburban location, it is also far from any other attractions.

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8) Colorful Candy Shop on Long Island

Hourly Price: $90
Minimum Price: $360
Neighborhood: Mineola
Perfect For: TV, Films, Commercials
Max Crew Size: 40 people

Design: ★★★
Functionality: ★★★
Location: ★
Value: ★★★★
Personality: ★★★★★

Of all of the locations on the list, this shop is undoubtedly the most unique. With its bright, vintage walls and decor balanced by the clean white furniture, this store is perfect for both scripted content or a unique event. At $90 per hour it's one of the very cheapest commercial filming locations in the tri-state area. It’s also easily accessible with private parking for 60 and tucked away in the small village of Mineola. The downside is the long commute from anywhere in the city.

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7) Exposed Brick Cafe in Manhattan

Hourly Price: $83
Minimum Price: $83
Neighborhood: Lower Manhattan
Perfect For: Commercials, Small Films, Photoshoots
Max Crew Size: 20 people

Design: ★★★★
Functionality: ★★★★
Location: ★★
Value: ★★★
Personality: ★★★

This exposed brick event space in Lower Manhattan is perfect for hosting events and taking artsy photos. With an amazing warm atmosphere from the overhead lights and further lit by the large, street-facing windows, this space provides a bright, homey feel and is a perfect canvas for photoshoots and events. Though the set-up is incredibly well-designed, this space does lack decor beyond the tables and walls, potentially causing an issue for those who want to shoot “as-is,” without bringing extra props. This space also is restricted in that it is directly by the street and so space may be an issue with a large crew. Despite the cons, however, this exposed brick multi-use space offers an amazing canvas for any artist looking for a place to shoot at a reasonable price and no hourly commitment.

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6) Bright Bushwick Studio in Brooklyn

Hourly Price: $85
Minimum Price: $340
Neighborhood: Brooklyn
Perfect For: Photoshoots, Youtube, Commercials
Max Crew Size: 20 people

Design: ★★★
Functionality: ★★★★
Location: ★★★
Value: ★★★
Personality: ★★★★

This studio in Brooklyn is the artistic loft of your dreams with large custom windows, surround sound, a work area, and more. Skillfully decorated with plants, chandelier lights, and deep brown couches to offset the raw wooden floor and brick wall, this loft gets an A for design. It can be used for filming, photo shoots, pop-up shops, and endless more possibilities because of its size and design. This studio is definitely not for those who want to work with a blank canvas decorated themselves, but is perfect for those who want to shoot “as-is.”

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5) Photogenic and Modern Loft in Midtown

Hourly Price: $50
Minimum Price: $250
Neighborhood: Midtown West
Perfect For: Commercials, Photoshoots
Max Crew Size: 10 people

Design:★★★★★
Functionality:★★
Location: ★★★
Value:★★★★
Personality: ★★★★★

Simply but tastefully designed, this loft used to be a bakery but now stands as an ideal place to film or to hold a photoshoot. With dimmable lights, a neutral color scheme, and high ceilings, this space can be manipulated in various ways to suit the creator’s needs. It can either be left as-is for a sleek, simple background or can be used as a blank canvas to decorate with endless possibilities. It does,however, lack in functionality due to its smaller size and its difficult to change layout. Located in Midtown right by the Hudson River and close to Times Square, there is no shortage of attractions nearby, but there is also no shortage of traffic.

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4) Garden Apartment in Harlem Brownstone

Hourly Price: $29
Minimum Price: $116
Neighborhood: Harlem
Perfect For: Small Commercials, Photoshoots, Small Events
Max Crew Size: 10 people

Design:★★
Functionality: ★★★★
Location: ★★★
Value: ★★★★★
Personality: ★★

Despite all of these options being excellent, affordable locations for filming, shooting, and/or events, this one definitely takes the prize for afforability. The contemporary and unique art pieces and the sleek wooden floors give this apartment a fantastic, artistic design, and the hourly price of $29 is unbelievable. This location is conducive to creating small films and photo shoots or for hosting private events, but it's main downfall is that doesn’t allow much flexibility as it’s located in an apartment building. This location is perfect for small projects or even events but requires a lot of renter contribution if a specific look is desired.

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3) Old Industrial Photo Studio in Brooklyn

Hourly Price: $62
Minimum Price: $248
Neighborhood: Brooklyn
Perfect For: Photoshoots, Films
Max Crew Size: 15 people

Design:★★★★
Functionality:★★★
Location: ★★★
Value:★★★★
Personality: ★★★★

Grabbing the third spot on this list is a very niche studio area. While it wouldn’t be categorized as “pretty” or “appealing,” this studio area is most definitely versatile and eye-catching. Located right by the East River in Brooklyn, this area provides a blank canvas for the creator’s imagination to take over. Whether it be a photoshoot for a fashion magazine or a clothing store, this space can be completely renovated to suit any needs. With a grungy feel, this space provides unlimited room for expansion, decoration, and creation in a way that is far from mainstream fashion. At $62 an hour, it’s unbelievable what you have the potential to create in this space.

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2) Spacious, Duplex Loft in Brooklyn

Hourly Price: $66
Minimum Price: $264
Neighborhood: Brooklyn
Perfect For: Big Shoots, Short Films, Photos
Max Crew Size: 30 people

Design:★★★★★
Functionality:★★★★★
Location: ★★★
Value:★★★★
Personality: ★★★★

In a place like New York, it’s difficult to find a property to shoot at that has an interior space and an exterior space, making this loft incredibly unique and desirable. With a downstairs studio, upstairs loft, and rooftop, for $66 an hour you’re essentially getting three spaces for the price of one. While the downstairs studio can be completely darkened, the rooftop provides an outside shooting location, making this location extremely functional in variety of spaces and perfect for creators. On the other side, the amount of space on each floor is very limited, creating some restriction. This space can also be used for movie screenings, and the owners have previously had many projects shot at their property.

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1) Beautiful and Bright Townhouse in Brooklyn

Hourly Price: $50
Minimum Price: $200
Neighborhood: Brooklyn
Perfect For: Photoshoots, Films, Music Videos
Max Crew Size: 30 people

Design: ★★★★★
Functionality: ★★★★
Location: ★★★★
Value: ★★★★★
Personality: ★★★★★

Coming in first place on our list of the top 10 most affordable filming locations in New York is this bright, fully-renovated, townhouse in Brooklyn, right by Prospect Park. This chic, modern house boasts it all, from a beautifully decorated interior that leaves room for a wide range of uses to a gorgeous backyard for those coveted outdoor shots. The terrace is surrounded by lush greenery while each room has its own pop of color and personality. Since this location is a townhouse, you have maximum usage of the surrounding outdoor areas as well as free range of each room to take those perfect pictures or to finish your dream film. At only $50 an hour, this house is undoubtedly the best deal for a filming location in New York.

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NOTES: All prices and details indicated on this page are subject to change at owners discretion. They are accurate based on the last revision dated January 29th, 2019.