The Main Stream

May 13, 2011 1:01 AM

Pushing for movies in Tucson

TUCSON - There was an open casting call at Old Tucson Studios Thursday for an upcoming flick called "To Kill a Memory."

Filming begins next week at Old Tucson and they're opening the set up to the public.

You just have to pony up the gate fee to get in.

Interesting to note, over the past 15 years the numbers of movies shot in Tucson has gone down.

"There was a time when the city of Tucson was second only to Hollywood as far as filmmaking goes we'd love to see that happen again," said Old Tucson Studios Entertainment Director, Rob Jensen.

Once known for making westerns, filmmaking is almost a thing of the past in Tucson.

"A whole bunch of movies are flying right over Tucson and going to New Mexico and shooting there," said filmmaker and president of Independent Film Association of Southern Arizona, Eric Schumacher.

Schumacher said without a motion picture production tax incentive, filmmakers are going else where. The movie "Goats" is an example.

"Incidently it was a film about Tucson, based on a book about Tucson they shot in Tucson for two weeks and then went to New Mexico," said Schumacher.

He estimates $500,000 - $700,000 was spent in Tucson during their two week stay.

"Imagine if that film made about Tucson was shot 100% in Tucson and instead of $500,000 dollars was spent here - $5 million was spent here," he said.

"The westerns need to come back they need show more of them, make more of them," said Tucsonan David Munch.

"We need it for the economy, we need it to revive interest in the westerns," said Kathleen Conklin.

Jensen said Arizona is the perfect backdrop.

"The state of Arizona alone has every type of landscape possible except for the ocean for filming which is really unique for a state," said Jensen.

"Tucson is not really taking advantage of that. Right now something that could transform our economy in a matter of months," said Schumacher.

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