Parsons continues financial backing to state film, digital media

Founder and CEO of YAM Worldwide Inc., Bob Parsons announced a second year of funding for the Arizona Office of Film and Digital Media.

A program of the Arizona Commerce Authority, the office was established in 2016 and focuses on showcasing Arizona as an ideal filming and digital destination for the production industry, according to a press release.

Bob Parsons

Last year, Mr. Parsons provided more than $250,000 in financial and in-kind contributions, which was matched by the ACA. Mr. Parsons’s commitment of more than $300,000 this year, also matched by the ACA, brings the YAM Worldwide Inc. total investment to more than half a million dollars.

“More filming and production in the state strengthens our economy and keeps jobs right here in Arizona,” said Mr. Parsons in a prepared statement.

“In just a handful of months, we’ve seen the Arizona Office of Film & Digital Media implement partnerships with other state entities and create programs to help advance the film industry throughout the state. The entire business community should rally behind this office and its goals.”

Two new signature programs were also announced during Thursday’s press conference – Reel Deals Discount program and The Film Resource Coordinator.

Reel Deals is a pro-business, free-market program that allows the private sector to support the film and digital media industry. Participating vendors, like hoteliers, rental car operators and restaurants, provide special discounts to out-of-state productions registered with the Arizona Office of Film & Digital Media.

“Since its launch in December 2016, the Arizona Office of Film & Digital Media has assisted nearly 50 productions in Arizona,” said Sandra Watson, Arizona Commerce Authority President & CEO, in a prepared statement.

“In addition, partnerships with the Arizona State Parks & Trails, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Arizona Department of Transportation have been formed. We value business leaders like Mr. Parsons for his willingness to show his support for the Arizona Office of Film & Digital Media in such a big way.”

The Film Resource Coordinator program will recruit key individuals in rural communities to serve as “point” persons for the film industry, thus tapping into a talent pool of people who know and understand their area better than anyone else, the press release stated.

Film Resource Coordinators will play a vital role by helping supplement the work of the limited number of full-time film commissioners across the state, helping production crews navigate items like permitting during shooting in their area, assisting in seeking out locations and sourcing local talent for productions.

The State Film Office, while a program of the ACA, also depends on the backing of the state’s business community. With its support, the office can continue to challenge established film offices in states like New Mexico, Colorado and Texas.

For more information on the Arizona Office of Film & Digital Media go to www.gofilmaz.com.

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