AZ Film Producer Seeks To
Arouse Area's Film Industry
Controversial Film, She, About Sex and AirBnB, Is An Attempt At Putting The State’s Filmmakers Back On The Map
Filming on location in Phoenix of SHE. Actress Hannah McKay, actor Alex Parisi (tall dude), actor Jeff Unterkofler (older dad guy) and William Goldstein (the man behind camera). Photo courtesy William Goldstein.
By Joey Hancock
Modern Times Magazine
July 5, 2018 — The Arizona film industry has been lacking over the past eight years since incentives for the industry were taken away and one local movie producer is looking to change that with his controversial Phoenix-based film She.
Filming specifically in Phoenix was important to William Goldstein because this is where he grew up and he is hoping that his new film will cause a stir within the media and others to get Phoenix back on the movie making map.
“I sat out to write something that I could make for a low budget,” Goldstein said. “That I could keep the scale modest, keep it simple and use local talent and local crew and create a movie that would create enough of a stir for people to start paying attention to film production in Phoenix because there is a ton of it going on and a ton of great people that are working in Phoenix. I just don’t feel there is enough of a mouth piece for it in the media. I think as soon as that happens there will be a lot of opportunities for people to see what is happening over here.”
She is described as “a seductive Airbnb owner who uses her sexuality to manipulate her male guest into doing her evil bidding,” according to a press release.
The film is based at one local Phoenix home and has many twists and turns that will cause discussion among its viewers but the location of the film is what Goldstein is really hoping to get viewers to talk about and show that Phoenix is more than just desert and cowboys.
“The idea with this, with Phoenix, is that it’s the place I grew up and its close to my heart.” Goldstein said. “I think outside of westerns there is such a great community and what I’m hoping is if we can create enough of a stir, people will start paying attention to this movie and we made it intentionally controversial to stir up dialogue and the idea is once that idea is going they will be talking about the movie and they will hopefully talk about Phoenix.”
Arizona used to be a hub for Hollywood with films and television shows like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Maverick and Natural Born Killers being filmed with the Arizona landscape as the background. In recent years the film industry has stayed away from filming in Arizona due to lack of incentives from the state with Hollywood taking its projects to neighboring states like New Mexico.
Arizona offered tax incentives for films between 2006 and 2010 with $110 million being brought into the state but after the incentives generated only $11 million, according to a report by AZPBS.
Goldstein is open for anything that can take place in order to bring bigger productions to Phoenix and uses the booming film industry in Atlanta as an example.
“A good model is Atlanta,” Goldstein said. “I think it took like 30 years for them to get proper incentives in place but as far as the particular formula or types of incentives, I can tell you on a broad level that we want people to be excited to come and shoot in Arizona. The idea isn’t just for it to be incentive type purposes because there are outstanding locations here and outstanding people to work with.”
Currently New Mexico offers a 25 percent tax incentive for the film industry and has seen popular programs like Breaking Bad being shot there in recent years with Arizona’s largest film project being a short scene in the latest Michael Bay iteration of Transformers being filmed here.
Goldstein said he believes if incentives for filming in Arizona were reinstated, Hollywood would come calling once again and that he sees change already taking place.
“I do know if there were incentives offered the doors would fly open,” he said. “It seems the tide is starting to turn. There have been sound studios built in Phoenix, there are a lot of successful videography companies and I think people are starting to catch on.”
Currently HBO’s Westworld films in northern Arizona and MTV is creating a reality show that will be filmed in Nogales but to truly bring in the large studios incentives must be brought back to the state and Goldstein said he is hopeful his film will help start the incentive dialogue once again.
“The doors are opening up and I’m just hoping that getting this out to people they will start making a stir about it,” he said.
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