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Hollywood taking notice of Arizona's film potential

"I think California's getting a little nervous"
Posted at 9:44 PM, Jul 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 11:15:33-04

MESCAL, Ariz. — Hollywood is already taking notice that Arizona will soon be open for movie making business.

An article in Variety spotlighted the new tax incentive bill waiting for Governor Doug Ducey's signature, and the Mescal Movie Set. The bill promises $125 million in tax incentives for filmmakers who shoot in Arizona and hire local crews.

Mescal is an old western town in Cochise County, and it's the type of location that could benefit greatly from a tax rebate to production companies.

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"It's going to pull more productions, more revenue out of California. The advantage that Arizona has is that we're an hour flight, we're less than an eight hour drive. So as far as cast and crew coming over here to work and going back for the weekend or something like that," said Mescal Movie Set marking director Mark Sankey. "It's a big benefit. Of course the incentive is built to hire local people. I think California's getting a little nervous."

The incentives require pre and post production be done in Arizona, putting an emphasis on the need for sound stages to be built here.

"We've been lobbying to get some built down here in Southern Arizona. There is some interest to get them down here," Sankey said. "As more productions come in I think it will open the door for Southern Arizona and Tucson or other communities to come in with something. We're going to see a significant impact next year in the number of days the set is rented. It will grow from there."

Old Tucson Studios officials tell KGUN 9 they have also been having conversations with production companies about using the location after the first of the year.

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Pat Parris is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. He is a graduate of Sabino High School where he was the 1982 high school state track champion in the 800 meters. While in high school and college, he worked part-time in the KGUN 9 newsroom. Share your story ideas and important issues with Pat by emailing pat.parris@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.