Folder in the shape of a film clapboard, along with a bucket of popcorn


Sundance filmmakers from across the globe turn to Dropbox


Published on January 21, 2016

We’re proud that Dropbox plays a critical role in the filmmaking process, and for the participants at the Sundance Film Festival 2016, that’s definitely the case. In a recent survey, 65% of filmmakers heading to this year’s Sundance said they use Dropbox during prep, production, or post-production. And their use is widespread—crews, research teams, production office staff, and editors all rely on Dropbox to bring their movies to the big screen. Whether it’s scripts, production binders, and contracts for prep, cuts and dailies during production, or VFX files in post, Dropbox serves as home base for their work. It’s a sentiment echoed by writer/director/actor (and one-time Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner) Ed Burns, who said, “Dropbox is an invaluable resource when needing to look at hundreds of photographs, locations, wardrobe fittings, props, etc., while on location shooting a film or television show.” Another recurring theme in the survey responses was location. Respondents called out using Dropbox to work with teams spread across the country—or even the globe. And while that shouldn’t come as a surprise, we were interested in where exactly people are making films today. So we took a deeper dive, looking at data on Dropbox usage for professional film-related file types 1. And it turns out that films are being made not just in media hotspots, but all over the globe. The top 10 cities represent a cross-section of the world of film production:
Rank City
1 Los Angeles
2 San Francisco
3 Stockholm
4 New York
5 Berlin
6 Tokyo
7 Seattle
8 Vienna
9 Munich
10 Paris

As you might expect, Los Angeles topped the list. But that’s just the city. When we included the entire metropolitan area (technically speaking, the 20 principal cities of the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area), LA outpaces #2 city San Francisco three to one. That said, there’s a surprising amount of diversity in the data. When we look at the top countries, the US comes in first, followed by Germany, the UK, France, and Spain. With filmmaking happening in so many places, we’re proud to have Dropbox connecting the directors, producers, and everyone else involved. And it’s in that spirit that we’re heading to Sundance this week to celebrate the amazing things filmmakers are creating with the help of Dropbox. If you’re planning on being there, be sure to stop by and say hi. We’ll be hosting a panel series at the Chase Sapphire on Main space on January 22, 25, and 26 from noon to 1:00 pm. At these panels, we’ll explore filmmakers’ journeys to Sundance, to celebrate the best—and worst—parts of the creative process, and champion indie filmmaking from unique vantage points. We hope to see you there. Can’t make it? Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for more behind the scenes from Sundance. And be sure to check out our panel with filmmakers Kevin Macdonald and Matthew Heineman live on Periscope Friday, January 22 at 11:00 am PT/2:00 pm ET. 1Anonymized, aggregated data from Dropbox usage between January and December of 2015, with location determined by IP address. File types included native formats for programs including Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, Avid, After Effects, and Final Draft, as well as professional-grade video formats like MXF, ArriRaw, and CinemaDNG.