Seven reality television productions have filmed in the Tucson region since February, whose estimated economic impact totals more than $1.3 million, according to the Tucson Film Office. Despite SB 1242, the Multimedia Production Tax Incentives Bill, stalling in the state legislature last month, the business of television production remains consistent.
“Because Arizona lacks a statewide film and television production incentive, we are losing millions of dollars to the 35+ states who do offer incentives. It has become nearly impossible to attract studio feature films to our state,” said Shelli Hall, director of the Tucson Film Office. “Right now we are capitalizing on the reality television shows and commercial productions that aren’t dependent on incentives.”
Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey‘s five day shoot at Miraval Resort generated $670,000 EEI. SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunters filmed in the Tucson area for two weeks and generated $668,000 EEI. The five other shows on location were Baggage Battles (Travel Channel), Deadly Women (Investigation Discovery), Fringe Benefits and The Aviators (both PBS) and a BBC documentary about jet engines in the Cold War.
From July 2011 to June 2012, the Tucson Film Office facilitated more than 60 projects that added up to thousands of hotel room nights and almost $6 million in direct expenditures in the Tucson region, which resulted in $8.9 million in EEI. Of that, 40 percent came from TV commercials, including two that ran during Super Bowl XLVI. Another 40 percent came from reality television shows, including multiple episodes on the Food Network’s Chopped, TNT’s The Great Escape and single episodes of programs for Discovery, National Geographic, A&E and BBC. The remaining 20 percent was an eclectic mix of documentaries, music videos, short films and print catalog shoots.
The Tucson Film Office, a division of the Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau, is responsible for marketing Tucson and Southern Arizona as an ideal location for film, television, and commercial advertising production. filmtucson.com. The mission of Visit Tucson is to drive economic development by connecting visitors with their ideal travel and meetings experiences in Tucson and Southern Arizona. visittucson.org.