Big name movies are no longer being filmed in Arizona.
The state no longer provides tax incentives to movie studios who want to shoot within the state. Those incentives expired back in 2010.
States that border Arizona do offer sizable tax breaks for movie studios. For instance, New Mexico offers a 25 to 30 percent refundable tax credit. Even movies that are set in Phoenix are now being shot outside the state.
“A great example is (‘Spare Parts’), the movie about the students at Carl Hayden High School when they built the underwater robotics machine,” said Philip Bradstock with the Phoenix Film Office. “The movie with George Lopez contacted us about filming (in Phoenix), but opted to shoot in New Mexico.”
“Sicario,” starring Emily Blunt, is another recently released movie that was shot in New Mexico. The film about the battle with drug cartels is set in Phoenix and other Arizona locations. With a lack of big name movies in the Valley, Bradstock said the local film industry is bolstered by commercials that are shot in the area.
“It’s led to a lot of job creation (and) a lot of shooting days,” Bradstock said. “A lot of industries are benefited by the commercial and still photography work.”
Indie films are also shot in the Valley on a regular basis. Bradstock said those films are usually written locally and would not benefit from tax incentives if they were filmed in other states.
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