Lights, camera, but no action: Filmmakers push for bill to boost state's movie industry

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Lights, camera, but no action: Filmmakers push for bill to boost state's movie industry

CREATED Aug 5, 2012

Reporter: Marcelino Benito

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Old Pueblo used to be a mecca for movie production. But now movie makers and producers are looking elsewhere. And the area is losing out on tens of millions of dollars a year. Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik believes House Bill 2127 is the key to jump starting Tucson's movie industry once more.

"It's a no brainer," he said. "Filmmakers won't get any money until they spend some money here. Why would you not do that?"

Right now movie makers are skipping out on Arizona.

"They're using us as a flyover country, and there's no reason for that," Kozachik said.

Production companies choosing to make movies and drop money in New Mexico and Texas instead. It boosts their economies instead of Southern Arizona's.

"Boy, if we could stop them 400 miles before they get to Albuquerque, it'd be great for everyone in this town," said Richard Rose.

Rose is President and CEO of Film Creations, a production house in Tucson. He says the new law would make movie making profitable in Arizona, plus help create new jobs. 9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito asked Rose what he thinks has blocked the legislation. He replied, "In one word, the holdup has been politics."

Kozachik agrees. He blames Governor Jan Brewer for the standstill.

"The Governor is the one who put the brakes on this thing," Kozachik said. "It's unconscionable."

Michael Bay's blockbuster hit Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was the last major film to shoot some in Tucson. Local film makers believe there's no reason why blockbusters like that can't shoot in Southern Arizona all the time. They say if HB 2127 finally passes, they're confident movie makers will return.

"What we're missing is a tool to create a powerful industry that will positively effect every human being in Arizona,"said Eric Schumacher of Picture Arizona, LLC.

Kozachik and supporters are planning rallies across the state to show support for the bill. Tucson's rally is set for August 16th at the Center for Creative Photography. Information on time will be posted as soon as it's available.