Arizona’s film production saw a dramatic downward shift since the Grand Canyon state cut incentive funding in 2009 to alleviate pressure during the financial crisis. Since then, the state’s competitive edge in film production dwindled despite offering many of the same environmental benefits as nearby film production powerhouses, New Mexico and California. Despite legislative efforts to revive incentives in the state, Arizona still lacks a program, even as over 700 productions were created in the state in 2016. Local Arizonans have now taken up the effort to bring back production, first with the renewal of the Arizona Film Office, known as “Studio 48” in December 2016 and now with the help of Arizona’s Bob Parsons, founder of GoDaddy, funding Studio 48, filmmakers will be able to take advantage of the resources provided. Studio 48 provides resources for filmmakers in the same vein as traditional film offices, including location scouting, permit assistance, talent and other services.
Arizona’s Studio 48
Studio 48 also helps lure productions to Arizona with the “Reels Deals” programs that allows hotels, car rental companies, restaurants and other to provide discounted products and service to out of state film productions. Vendors can offer at least 10% discounts off their prices which creates immediate benefits for filmmakers. Arizona film proponents hope that this program will provide success and showcase the benefits to filming in Arizona to a wider group of filmmakers. While California recently expanded its program to offer more incentives, Studio 48 knows that many film professionals migrate to Arizona from California and with their knowledge of the film industry can help create the infrastructure to build a more permanent film industry in the state.