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Indie film shot in Tucson premieres at "The Screening Room"

"Once Upon a Time in Tombstone"
Posted: 10:09 PM, Apr 12, 2022
Updated: 2022-04-13 01:09:32-04
The Screening Room sign

TUCSON, Ariz. — Movie making continues in Tucson even as the Arizona legislature wrestles with a new film tax credit bill.

"Once Upon a Time in Tombstone" premiered Tuesday April 12 at "The Screening Room" in downtown Tucson.

Tucson filmmaker Mark Headley wrote and directed the movie.

"We wrote essentially a story about all the characters that came and went in Tombstone, which only lasted about five years," Headley said.

Tuesday night represented a culmination of five months of hard work for Headley and his crew.

"You're sitting with the actors, the crew and newcomers," Headley said. "It's a celebration of all of the hard work everybody put into it."

Headley used all local actors and crew. That included film students from the University of Arizona.

"It was a combination of kind of newcomers into the industry. That's what we're doing, training people in the film industry because it's a hundreds-of-billion-dollar industry," Headley said. "Eventually, if you work at it you can make a living."

Headley has produced over 75 feature films. He said the toughest part of making movies in Southern Arizona is the cost. That's something a new film tax credit bill making its way through the legislature could help with.

"This is the first attempt in many years of people getting together and actually making a tax incentive that would be attractive to Hollywood," Headley said.

For Headley and his Southern Arizona Video Productions that could mean even more work. The same goes for the local actors and crew members he used in his most recent film. Headley said he's hopeful the bill will pass but it's not a done deal.

"Even if it doesn't pass the energy is there and it's a momentum that's building," Headley said.

Senate Bill 1708 has already passed the senate and is awaiting a vote on the house floor.

The bill would create tax rebates for filmmakers who choose to make their movies in Arizona with additional breaks for those who use local crews.

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Pat Parris is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. He is a graduate of Sabino High School where he was the 1982 high school state track champion in the 800 meters. While in high school and college, he worked part-time in the KGUN 9 newsroom. His father, Jack Parris, is a former general manager of the station. Share your story ideas and important issues with Pat by emailing pat.parris@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.