Letter From The Director
Peter and I haven’t had time to write an updated newsletter since last Spring. A lot has happened these last few months, much of which you will glean in this now combined Summer/Fall/Winter edition.
The biggest news is that the Tucson Film Office (TFO) moved from the City of Tucson’s Office of Economic Development to the Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau (MTCVB). We are now a part of a public/private partnership whose mission is essentially the same as ours: market Tucson as a destination. The only difference is that our target market is specifically the film and commercial production industry.
The MTCVB and TFO also use the same tactics to attract business. For example, we both: advertise, attend and exhibit at industry events, generate and aggressively follow leads, host prospects while they conduct site visits, or in our case, location scouts, and, most importantly, we both make sure our clients know, from pre-production through post, that we make every effort to meet their professional needs.
Both the MTCVB and TFO are known internationally for delivering on that very promise. Our clients often return again and again, refer us to other prospects, and in our case, oftentimes give us a credit at the end of their film.
NALIP Latino Producer Academy Held in Tucson
As fortune would have it, just as we moved into the MTCVB, our coordination with the Los Angeles-based National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) to help organize their first annual Latino Producers Academy here went into full swing.
It was an honor for Tucson to host this prestigious first Academy. Many accomplished feature film and television producers, executives, agents and actors were here including Academy Award-winning producer, Moctesuma Esparza, Executive Producer of the Showtime series, Resurrection Blvd., Dennis Leoni, Head Of Production Sam Martin from HBO and CSI-Miami actress Wanda de Jesus to name just a few. Several production leads were generated from the conference and one recently wrapped in…well…Yuma, Arizona.
The Tucson arts community pulled together to host this group. Community support and participation were an important factor in NALIP’s decision to hold the academy here as they were also considering Santa Barbara and San Antonio when we first started talking to them. Along with the MTCVB and TFO, NALIP received generous sponsorship from The Loft Cinema, Cox Communications, KUAT, the University of Arizona, and the Temple of Music and Art among others. NALIP announced, at their 2004 Conference in February, that Tucson would be the permanent home for the annual Latino Producers Academy. To find out more about NALIP, go to www.nalip.org.
Easy Streets For Feature Films
If there is one advantage to shooting a feature film in Tucson—and believe us, there are plenty of advantages—it’s our free, one-page City Permit for filming. Just ask writer/director/actor Eric Schaeffer, whose latest flick Mind the Gap used a number of Tucson’s suburban streets and sidewalks thanks to our streamlined permitting process. Be on the lookout for this film (which stars Alan King and Yolonda Ross) sometime in early 2004. You should also keep an eye out for Eating Out, a saucy new romance flick produced by long-time local film distributor Michael Shoel. The charmingly outrageous romantic comedy shot throughout Tucson this past June and July using mostly local crew and talent. Director Q. Allan Brocka, after getting used to how different our summers are from those in his Los Angeles home base, was genuinely pleased with how stress-free it was to shoot in our environs. Owing to a low budget, everyone on the set worked extra hard to meet the demands of the tight shooting schedule, but this also helped create a friendly sense of familial camaraderie during the entire production.