Arizona film office working to lure production companies for keeps

Sep 20, 2017, 9:25 AM

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( Photo)

PHOENIX — As a program of the Arizona Commerce Authority, it’s the job of the Arizona Office of Film and Digital Media to bring motion-picture production to the Grand Canyon State.

Louisiana, Georgia, Texas, Kentucky, New York, and even California have offered tax incentives to production companies to bring them out from (or in California’s case, keep them in) Hollywood.

But Arizona has a different plan: Reel Deals is a long-term program to establish the state as a partner in film production and helping the film industry establish a foothold in a state with more to offer than just locations, but real opportunity as a production center.

“A lot of states that give out large tax programs is because they don’t have the infrastructure … from LA. We’ve got the best people here, all the equipment, the locations, and the talent, everything you need,” the office’s director, Matthew Earl Jones, said.

Reel Deals wants to make the process of bringing a production crew to Arizona as easy as possible.

This means working with local businesses and state authorities to gain discounts (hotels, car rentals, facilities, wardrobe, craft services, etc), obtain permits, arrange to use roads, state parks—fee free. and build a continuing relationship with the production company for the next time it wants to shoot in “America’s Backlot.”

“Once you register your project with the state film office, it really engages the private sector and the business community into helping attract the film industry here,” Jones said.

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Arizona film office working to lure production companies for keeps