Leaders work to get Arizona more time on the silver screen

Posted at 7:19 AM, Aug 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-10 11:26:49-04

Arizona leaders are working on creative ways to get the state more exposure on the silver screen. 

"We are unveiling a couple of programs that I feel will actually be more effective than tax credits," said Matthew Earl Jones, Director of the Arizona Office of Film and Digital Media. 

"We have vetted [the programs] with producers in New York and Los Angeles and they really like the concept," he said, staying tight-lipped on details set to be announced soon. 

Jones started in December after the state film office was brought back, in part, by GoDaddy founder and local philanthropist Bob Parsons. The office closed in 2010 after Arizona ended tax incentives for filmmakers. 

Parsons also owns Scottsdale's Sneaky Big Studios, billed as the most state-of-the-art production facility in the southwest. 

"We can handle an entire production -- from start to finish -- all under one roof," CEO Marianne Guenther told ABC15. 

"We're able to do productions here now in Arizona and benefit our economy that, before, would have to go to a different market," she said. 

For the first time in years, Guenther said, the Arizona Lottery filmed its 'Windfall Willie' commercials in state. Before, that work would come from Los Angeles. 

Having resources like Sneaky Big keeps those production dollars here, she said. 

Note: In a previous story, Bob Parsons was referred to as CEO of GoDaddy. He is the founder and former CEO of GoDaddy and founder of YAM Worldwide Inc.