Superbowl Sunday Premiere
Look for the Cadillac Escalade to roll through familiar terrain during the second quarter of the Superbowl broadcast. Using Old Tucson as a staging area, Cadillac shot for three days in nearby locations Tucson Mountain Park, Saguaro National Park West and on Milewide Road for a series of commercials. The commercial will also appear during the Academy Awards, the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and during the Wimbledon broadcasts.
The Tucson Film Office is frequently asked to assist a number of independent feature film projects at different stages of development. Eight out of ten projects seem to get held up at the funding stage. Two Tucson-based "indie" projects that overcame the funding challenge are Runnin At Midnite and Native Wisdom.
Local Director, Pablo Toledo, premiered his first feature film, Runnin At Midnite on October 26, 2001 to rave reviews. Pablo and his Producer/father, Larry Toledo have, through sheer perseverance, determination, community collaboration, and the art of filmmaking, produced a stirring film about young men growing up in the barrios of South Tucson, using basketball as a means to escape a life of desperation. The film broke all attendence records during its first run at The Screening Room and we wish Pablo much continued success.
Another indie feature, Native Wisdom, worked closely with Tohono O'odham tribal leaders to shoot on reservation land for this film about a Native American tracker who works for the Drug Enforcement Agency. The production cast a number of locals in the film including many Native American actors and utilized State-owned fee free locations. The Producer, Terry Pierson, also worked with the U of A Media Arts Internship Director, Dr. Mary Beth Haralovich who arranged for select students to gain practical experience during production. This short film later had its world premiere at the Arizona International Film Festival, where its popularity was so overwhelming, a second showing had to be added later in the week.
Oprah's Reality Show and Other Cable Productions...
Oprah Winfrey's Oxygen Cable Network shot the pilot and five episodes of an upcoming reality series at Miraval, Tucson's world-renowned exclusive spa and resort. The show features Cheryl Richardson, a 'Life Coach' often featured on Oprah.
The PAX cable series, It's A Miracle, re-enacted the courageous, real-life story of a bear attack that two brothers survived in Gardner Canyon last spring.
National Geographic shot an episode for Wild Animals which followed a Tucson fireman on his daily rounds for several days. The fireman responds to emergency calls from citizens needing help with potentially dangerous wildlife (such as rattlesnakes) who have wandered into homes and yards. The fireman then rescues the animal (or is it the citizen?) by releasing the critter back into the wild.
The Discovery Channel worked closely with the Tucson Film Office, a local location scout and the U.S. Forest Service to find the perfect location to re-enact a Native American mammoth hunt. The production company came all the way from London to shoot the hunt in Greaterville, a small town north of Sonoita, AZ. The stark rolling hills of this area created the perfect scenery for this engrossing story.
Watch Lifetime Television for the documentary A Few Good Women. The New York-based production company flew in to interview Maria Gomez Murphy, founder and director of The Way of the Heart, a multicultural, bilingual community health center in Nogales, Arizona.