After WGA agreement, Arizona's Hollywood dreams still on hold

By Katherine Davis-Young
Published: Wednesday, September 27, 2023 - 7:05am
Updated: Wednesday, September 27, 2023 - 5:45pm

Someone holding a film slate on a movie set.
Getty Images
Someone holding a film slate on a movie set.

After nearly five months on the picket lines, the Writer’s Guild of America has struck a tentative deal with film studios. But SAG-AFTRA union actors are still on strike. And the standstill in Hollywood is having impacts on Arizona. 

Arizona had hoped to attract more Hollywood productions to the state this year through a new tax credit program. The Arizona Motion Picture Production Program took effect in January. It would have allowed up to $75 million in tax credits in 2023.

But Phil Bradstock with the Phoenix Film Office said, so far, that hasn’t been possible.

“Right now we have a great incentive program we’re waiting to launch, but until these two unions both ratify their contracts, we’re going to be in a holding pattern,” Bradstock said. 

The tax credits are set to grow to $125 million annually by 2025 and will last through 2043. 

Bradstock said commercial shoots and industrial videos currently make up the bulk of Arizona's film industry. He said those non-union productions have not been impacted by ongoing strikes.

"Those are not projects that seek incentives, so we've just been humming along as usual," Bradstock said. 

Holly Bauman Photography
An old view of the Barrister Building in Phoenix. Formerly the Jefferson Hotel, it was featured in Alfred Hitchcock's opening frame of "Psycho."

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