Legislation Underway to Draw Hollywood Filming to Arizona

Jan 29, 2014

A Senate panel took steps today to help ensure that the next Hollywood film featuring this state is actually filmed here. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains

"Raising Arizona"
Credit Courtes photo

The legislation would reestablish the state’s Office of Film and Media, charging it with encouraging producers and directors to set up their cameras in Arizona. The measure would establish the agency within the governor’s office and give it an initial operating budget of $612,500. Sen. Carlyle Begay said a lot of producers like the idea of filming against the backdrop of the Grand Canyon, Sedona or Monument Valley. But, he said the lack of a film office to help them get the necessary permissions and permits sends them away discouraged.

“This is why movies like ‘3:10 to Yuma’ were shot predominantly in New Mexico. Or, more recently, ‘The Lone Ranger,’ which was with a backdrop of the Southwest of our United States and Arizona, predominantly was shot in New Mexico. They had a few background shots around Monument Valley,” Begay said.

Barry Aarons, who lobbies for the Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau, said a film office would provide what he called one-stop shopping for those permits. Aarons said that lack of that single point of coordination leaves producers to figure out the permits on their own, making them more likely to simply go somewhere else. The measure gained unanimous approval of the Committee on Commerce, Energy and Military.