Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

June 26, 2007


Host: Jose Cardenas

Arizona Stories


  • In a state where historic buildings are sparse, the Florence courthouse stands as a monument to the past, while maintaining its role in the present. Find out what makes the historic courthouse unique.
Guests:
  • Dr. Bruce Merrill - Director, Cronkite-Eight Poll
  • Tara Blanc - Assistant Director, Cronkite-Eight Poll
  • Harry Tate - Director, Arizona Film Office


View Transcript
>>Jose Cardenas:
Tonight on "Horizon", we examine opinions about immigration and other topics in our latest Cronkite-Eight Poll. Plus, we continue our series, "Made in Arizona" with a look at movie making in our State. And the Florence Courthouse stands as a monument to the past, and maintains a unique link to the present. Those stories next on "Horizon".

>>Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Hello and welcome to "Horizon". I'm Jose Cardenas. Arizona registered voters think our State is headed in the right direction, but not the United States. They also don't feel the Senate will be able to pass an immigration plan, those are just some of the results of the latest Cronkite-Eight Poll conducted by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and KAET "Eight" TV. The poll was conducted from June 18 through the 20. We surveyed 386 registered Arizona voters, and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5\%. [Complete Poll results.]

>>Mike Sauceda:
The Cronkite-Eight Poll found that only 5\% of those surveyed are very confident that the Senate will come up with legislation that will significantly reduce illegal immigration to the United States. 21\% are somewhat confident, while 71\% are not very confident. The results were similar when we asked how confident they are the Senate will come up with a measure to deal with people currently in the country illegally. 4\% were very confident the Senate will come up with a solution, 19\% were somewhat confident, 73\% were not very confident of a solution. We also asked whether poll participants support or oppose a provision of the Senate immigration bill that would allow those here illegally a path to citizenship. 68\% support that provision, 26\% oppose the idea. Another part of the immigration bill we polled on was in regard to a Guest Worker Program. 65\% support that, 28\% are against it. Moving away from the immigration issue, we asked people whether they thought the United States is headed in the right direction. 26\% thought the nation I headed in right direction. 60\% said it is seriously off track. In an open-ended question, we asked those who thought the country is seriously off track why they thought that. 34\% pointed to the War in Iraq, 17\% cited politics, partisanship or infighting. 16\% thought it was President Bush or the Bush Administration, and 8\% said illegal immigration is a reason. Poll participants were asked whether partisanship has become more or less of a problem in Washington. 4\% said it's less of a problem, 45\% thought it was more of a problem, while 51\% said it's about the same as it's always been. We asked participants whether they thought Arizona is headed in the right direction. 54\% said the State is going in the right direction. 30\% said it is seriously off track. Of those who said it's off track, 47\% said it was because of illegal immigration, 12\% cited politics and political infighting. 12\% thought it was because of growth and lack of planning, 4\% cited education , and 3\% said it's because of the Freeway situation. Finally, we asked about the Military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for gays. 49\% favor changing the policy, while 35\% are against changing it.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And here to discuss the Cronkite-Eight Poll is its Director, Dr. Bruce Merrill, and Associate Director, Tara Blanc. Bruce, Tara, thanks for joining us today on "Horizon". A lot to talk about, and not as much time as I would like to cover it. But Bruce, the thing that jumps off the screen in those numbers is the difference in the way Arizonans feel about how Arizona is going, their Home State, and how they feel about the country. What are the factors?

>>Bruce Merrill:
There's no question most people are happy with the way Arizona is going. The one glitch is immigration, and they see that as a very serious problem. the Federal level, people really feel that we have gotten seriously off track, and the main reasons there are pretty obvious. The War in Iraq, the way the War is being conducted, President Bush, lowest ratings he's ever had now. So, there's just no question that right now, people really are very cynical. The third most frequent thing they mentioned was the partisanship, and they mentioned that at the State level too. The biggest thing we found in this poll that we haven't found before is people are beginning to get very tired of the infighting, the partisanship, the lack of cooperation, and the lack of leadership.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Well, on the immigration, though, there's such a discrepancy. I think people could understand why the focus at the National level might be Iraq, but it's only 8\% an issue at the National level for immigration, versus 47\% for the State. Why?

>>Bruce Merrill:
It's the war. The war and terrorism are still the dominant issue at the Federal level. But here in Arizona, the main issue is still illegal immigration.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And Tara, it's the main issue. everyone seems to concede that the solution has to be at the Federal level, but not much confidence that the Senate will do something about it.

>>Tara Blanc:
No, and I think we were a little surprised when we asked questions about whether people thought Congress would be able to pass legislation that would close the borders and deal with people who are here. Three-quarters of the people in both questions said they don't have that much confidence in the Congress to do that.

>>Jose Cardenas:
The other surprising thing on the immigration issue is the number of people who think immigration is a huge problem. But who, contrary to what we hear on talk radio, think that we need to have some process by which people can be regularized, legalized, whatever term you want to use. Why is that?

>>Tara Blanc:
Well, I think the voters -- we have asked these questions over and over again, and it's become clear to us that the voters see this as two distinct problems. One is the issue of closing the borders and stopping the flow of people coming into the country illegally. But they also see this problem of the people who are already here as a separate problem. So you find much more support for borders being closed. I don't think you'll get too much argument about that. But there seems to be much more sway, if you will, in looking at how we will deal with the people who already here. People who are realists about what can you really do with 12 to 20 million people. There's a very Conservative people that want to say, round them all up and send them all back to the people willing to hand them amnesty the next day. Somewhere in the middle, I think the majority of voters look at the problem and say, "We have to find a middle ground and we need to do something about it", but they don't necessarily support just sending them all back.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Bruce, you talked about a third big issue, which is partisanship, and people seem to be more tired of it, even though they were saying some of the same things during the Clinton era when you really did have government shut down because of that. Why now? Why are they more concerned?

>>Bruce Merrill:
Well, because of the media coverage. Remember we had the controversy in the Congress over funding, and the Democrats and Republicans did the same thing they have always done. They divided on the basis of Party lines. the same things happening now in the Senate over the immigration legislation. And I think what's happening is people are just saying, "you know what? we can't solve these problems if Republicans vote one way, and Democrats vote one way. we have to look at the issue, do the right thing regardless of being Republicans or Democrats", and there's just a ground swell of people beginning to believe that way.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Bruce, last question. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Majority of people think that's not a good policy, but do you have any sense for what they think the alternative should be?

>>Bruce Merrill:
Well, yes. Half the people in Arizona said we should be honest and open about it. Remember, Jose, 50 years ago, it was against the law in many states for Blacks and Whites to marry. And I think that this is simply another indication of a change in the kind of the Value System of the American public towards keeping the government out of our lives.

>>Jose Cardenas:
More acceptance perhaps of the whole subject.

>>Bruce Merrill:
Sure.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Bruce Merrill, Tara Blanc, thank you for joining us on "Horizon".

>>Jose Cardenas:
We continue our series on some of the industries that are not the typical contributors to Arizona's economy that most people think of. Our weather, diverse terrain, proximity to Hollywood, and our State's film tax incentives make filmmaking a successful "Made in Arizona" commodity. In a moment, more on that. First, Merry Lucero profiles a local filmmaker and his "Made in Arizona" art.

>>Merry Lucero:
Arizona has a long history as a choice location to shoot motion pictures. This movie poster and memorabilia collection at the Mesa Southwest Museum is from films all made in Arizona. Filmmaking here began in the early 1900s with some well-known Westerns. Our diverse terrain has also served for some "out of this world" scenes. Back in reality, Arizona grown film writer/director Jeff Santo just finished shooting on location in a little town near Payson called Jake's Corner.

>>Jeff Santo:
Rolling, rolling.

>>Merry Lucero:
You may know Santo, especially if you are a baseball fan, for his last film, a documentary about his father, former Chicago Cubs All-Star third baseman Ron Santo. Jeff Santo talks about his filmmaking.

>>Merry Lucero:
Now, you were actually born in Chicago, but you have a history and a connection with Arizona. what is that about?

>>Jeff Santo:
My dad played for the Cubs. So for 14 years, they would train in Scottsdale, and our family would come out for a month and a half during Spring Training. my brother and I would get tutored for the month and a half out here. So this is like a second home to us since I was a boy. Scottsdale just has a place in my heart, and now, my father lives out here half of the year when he's not broadcasting in Chicago. My mom lives out here, my sister lives here, and I came out here in 1992 to put on a play that I put on at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

>>Merry Lucero:
Prior to making "Jake's Corner", you made a documentary called "This Old Cub". It's about your father, and it was also shot partially here in Arizona.

>>Jeff Santo:
We shot a lot of it here in Arizona because that's where my dad lives in the off-season and that's where he's got both his operations. My dad was the first Major League Baseball player to play with Type 1 Diabetes. He's had the disease over 47 years and recently lost both legs to the disease. I wasn't going to do a movie on my father until my mom said this would be such an inspirational story to tell. Because when we was getting his -- they said that his second leg, there's a 65\% chance they could save, but he went through so many operations on the first leg he said, "what would happen if you took my second leg, could I be walking with both prosthetic legs by spring training to broadcast for the Cubs?" And the doctors said, "probably." he said, "take it."

>>Merry Lucero:
Now, that film, "This Old Cub", also has a connection to the film you just finished shooting here in Arizona, "Jake's Corner", and there's a kind of a story about how you happened upon the actual town of Jake's Corner and started to think about it as a location for a film.

>>Jeff Santo:
There's a gentleman in Prescott, Arizona, that got "This Old Cub" for a Christmas gift for his son, and watched it seven times in one day. [He] got so inspired he decided to walk from Prescott to Wrigley Field in honor of my dad and the movie to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. So, my dad told me about this gentleman, and I gave him a call to see if it was for real, and he was walking from Payson down to Rye, to Jake's Corner. And I met him at Jake's Corner to see what was going on, and maybe my office could help him out. When I went to meet him, Jake's corner is this charming old western town with a saloon, a general store, and trailers embedded in the mountain behind it, population of 51. And they put him up in a trailer that night, and I had lunch there, and just really fell in love with the place. I always wanted to write a story about a small town, charming town like this. Especially in Arizona, since I have been coming here since I was a little kid. And I really -- right there I said, "I'm going to do this".

>>Merry Lucero:
Jake's Corner is a drama about a University of Arizona Heisman Trophy winner who has moved to a small Arizona town after a family tragedy, and must care for his young nephew, who comes to live with him.

>>Jeff Santo:
The people at Jake's Corner, no one is really born there. They are from different walks of life, the way I call it. It's a rest stop for desert travelers, but for the people who live there, it's the rest stop for life.

>>Merry Lucero:
Now, when you shot "Jake's Corner", did you employ a lot of people from Arizona, both in the cast and crew?

>>Jeff Santo:
90\% of our crew was from Arizona, and they were great. We took the key people from LA, because you just have to. We cast a lot of the actors from Arizona. Obviously, we had some big names, Diane Ladd, Dan Trio, Richard Tyson, BJ Thomas, Tony Longo, but we got a lot of the main cast from Arizona. And the kid, Spence, the co-star in the movie, is from Arizona. We auditioned over 100 boys here in Arizona, and just got this wonderful kid that just does an amazing job. So it's really an Arizona film with the town, with the cast, with the crew. Everything about this I don't think there's been a film like this so embedded in Arizona.

>>Merry Lucero:
Did shooting the film here in Arizona have other advantages? Did you take advantage of the Motion Picture Film Production Tax Incentive Program?

>>Jeff Santo:
Independent films won't survive without the independent investor. Having tax credit takes away a lot of the risk, saying that, "hey, this helps finance a film, you know." not only are you going to spend your money but you're going to get a credit for how much you spend in Arizona. It really makes even the bigger films come here too. But for us, for independent filmmakers, it lets investors say, "OK, there's less of a risk". There's still a big risk, you know, you need a great crew and a great story, but there's less of a risk. And it's just been wonderful with the commission what they have done now. I think it's going to bring a lot more films out here. Hopefully one day, I hope this could be -- there would be a studio out here, and hopefully I could be involved in that because this is home to me, and my film couldn't have got done without those credits.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Joining me with more on Arizona's motion picture industry, Harry Tate, Director of the Arizona Film Office, and Barry Kluger, Chair of the Arizona Film Commission. Gentleman, thanks for joining us on "Horizon".

>>Harry Tate, Barry Kluger: Thanks.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Barry, some kudos for the commission. Tell us about the Commission, and who are the members.

>>Barry Kluger:
It's always nice to see someone complimenting the work we're doing. The Governor's Commission on Television and Film was really put together to draw talent from the state, people who are active in film. People like Leslie Nielsen, who has a legendary career and is a resident here. Newscaster Hugh Downs, Joanie Sledge of the group Sister Sledge, who has been here a number of years, does a lot of recording, a lot of video projects. Various film commissions have joined throughout the State. Don Lipsie, head of the Screen Actors Guild in Arizona. I think the idea was to really pull this talent pool of people who have worked in motion pictures, in radio, in film and television production, and from the business sector to be ambassadors, if you will, to go out and spread the word why people should come to Arizona to film.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And Harry, there were also some nice comments about the incentive programs that Arizona offers. before we talk about that specifically, how important is the motion picture industry to Arizona?

>>Harry Tate:
I think what's interesting to note is it's a multi-billion dollar industry, and a lot of people don't recognize that or notice that at first. It does employ a large number of people when it puts projects in your State. In fact, it's got one of the fastest growing rates in the country for employment in an industry in the motion picture industry overall. When the industry comes to Arizona, it adds not only to our economy and our job base, but it also brings goodwill, it brings recognition of our State in many other areas. it attracts interest in our State.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Now, in years past, I think people would say, I'm not surprised that movies are made in Arizona. We've seen all the westerns and everything else, but it's no longer the case that that's enough, our scenery. So we're doing other things, and one of this is the tax incentive program. tell us about that.

>>Harry Tate:
You recognize a good point. there, Jose. We do have over a 100-year history in the filmmaking industry in Arizona. It's always been an attractive State to come to for locations. About 25 years ago, the programs that were established were changing as film companies, production companies needed some impetus to move their projects around. And that was incentives. Incentives have become the number one draw in film and television industry for where they place program product. As you know, international countries have gotten very active and very involved. Canada, New Zealand, Australia, all vying for that Hollywood dollar also. There's a concept called runaway production, which is labeled that in Southern California. We're trying to control and keep a good deal of the productions from going out of country and back into the United States. in the United States, there are 12 or 13 really aggressive states that have sent up incentives programs.

>>Jose Cardenas:
How does ours work?

>>Harry Tate:
Our program is based on a tax credit, so that the filmmakers who comes here has to expand dollars into the State. And those expenditures add up to a tax credit that he can transfer.

>>Jose Cardenas:
We're not actually handing money out to get people to come.

>>Harry Tate:
No rebates, no cash. It's based on a tax credit form.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And as I understand, one of the other things we're doing is making it easier to do business in Arizona.

>>Harry Tate:
One of the things we've tried to establish is with the State Film Office and the many Film Offices around the State is to make it a lot easier for production companies to come into our State, find the resources, the contacts they need, and get permissions granted so they can do their work.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And Barry, as I understand it, Arizona is a good location not simply for westerns or the sand dunes for "Star Wars," but you could film in Arizona and have scenes representative of any place else in the country, is that right?

>>Barry Kluger:
Well, it's interesting. Arizona has locations that mirror 50 of the United States. For example, "Kingdom", which is coming out this Fall, was shot here mirroring locations in other parts of the world. You have a movie "Desperation", I believe, that was shot down in Tucson, which mirrored some parts of old Saigon in Vietnam. So, what people tend to think of when they think of Arizona are great Westerns, but we have major cities, as you can see, just a few miles from here, and we have very lush areas. We have waterfront, we have lakefront, we have all four seasons. So this really can be applicable to any producer looking to shoot anywhere with any kind of scene.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And with that, we have to end the interview. thank you both for joining us.

>>Harry Tate,
Barry Kluger: Thank you.

>>Jose Cardenas:
One of Arizona's best-kept secrets involves time and a charming clock tower. The clock is part of the Florence Courthouse, the oldest public building in Arizona still being used by the public. You might think that ghost roams in such an old building in the heart of Florence. Producer Mike Sauceda suggests there might be something to that in tonight's "Arizona Story".

>>Mike Sauceda:
Time stands still at the old Pinal County Courthouse in Florence, at least on the stamp metal clock faces.

>>Ernie Feliz:
There's never been clocks in the clock tower. There wasn't enough money, and so they brought in clock facings, and these are made of pressed metal.

>>Mike Sauceda:
Some folks think the clocks read 11:44. Others 9:00 or 11:43. here's one version of why the hands rest where they do.

>>John Swearengin:
That when they built this Courthouse, they set the time on there at about quarter to 12:00 so people coming into town would know they could come to the courthouse and get their business done before they shut it down at noontime.

>>Mike Sauceda:
But there's no doubt time has been flying for the rest of the structure. the oldest continuously used public building in Arizona. The 111-year-old courthouse was built in 1891 for $29,000.

>>John Swearengin:
This was the second courthouse that the County build. This was the third they used. They rented the first one, which was an adobe building. The second one, the first one they built, is in McFarland State Park now.

>>Mike Sauceda:
The courthouse was constructed to show the County was planning to prosper, even though the curtains in the clock tower are actually just paint.

>>Ernie Feliz:
This is American Victorian architecture style. It's a little bit later in the period when we began to see we're getting away from adobe construction, and we have a railroad now and we can bring in material from other parts of the country.

>>Mike Sauceda:
The building is rich in architectural detail. Millwork abounds throughout. Some of the original doorknobs still in use, not something you can get at Lowe's. Feliz, whose family has lived in Florence for about as long as the Courthouse has been around, has fond memories of the building, especially the staircase.

>>Ernie Feliz:
Five years old, my mother brought me in here. I walked in, an I saw that split staircase, that was something I wanted to run up and down all day on, because it was so fabulous.

>>Mike Sauceda:
But the building where Swearengin worked as a clerk of the court in the 1940s is falling apart.

>>John Swearengin:
The only thing been done really since I worked here was deteriorate more or less because, like me, it got older, and you have to allow certain deterioration.

>>Mike Sauceda:
The total cost of renovations depends on which plan the County decides to use. The most complete renovation would involve taking away parts of the building built after 1891, especially where the brick and mortar don't match the original. That would restore the building to its original cross-shape.

>>Ernie Feliz:
Complete restoration would involve removing the additions of 1982, 1975, 1933, and 1917. So then, you would have the cross-shaped building and 15,000 square feet. If you go back to -- then the other alternative was keeping 1917, and getting rid of all the other additions. And then, the third alternative was to keep 1933, and get rid of the two later additions. The fourth alternative was to keep all of the additions.

>>Mike Sauceda:
The old courthouse in Florence has seen a lot of history. Trunk murderess Winnie Ruth Judd had a Sanity Hearing there. the last Stagecoach robber in America had her trial in it. And there's even talk of ghosts.

>>John Swearengin:
The one thing that I can say there might be a ghost somewhere in there, it's not the ghost. Really, it's the ones left behind in the cemetery. this building sits on what used to be the Town Cemetery. And when they took all the bodies out they missed a few, naturally, because a lot of them weren't marked. Some of those ghosts may be floating around in there. That's the only basis for our ghost story that I know of from this building here.

>>Mike Sauceda:
But ghosts don't stop people from loving the old courthouse.

>>John Swearengin:
Oh, they love this place. It's a treasure for the whole County and for the State, really. The people in Florence particularly, because of the part of our lives.

>>Jose Cardenas:
We will have "Arizona Stories" segments each Tuesday night here on "Horizon". Now you can see the new series of the half hour program "Arizona Stories" following "Horizon" tonight and every Tuesday night at 7:30 PM.

>>David Majure:
A look at the good, the bad, and everything in between as we review the recently ended session of the Arizona State Legislature. And our "Made in Arizona" series continues with a visit to Wine Country. We'll give you a taste of what this growing Arizona industry has to offer. That's Wednesday at 7:00 on "Horizon".

>>Jose Cardenas:
Thanks for joining us on this Tuesday evening. I'm Jose Cardenas. We'll see you tomorrow.

>>Announcer:
If you have comments about "Horizon", please contact us at the addresses listed on your screen. Your name and comments may be used on a future edition of "Horizon".

>>Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Cronkite-Eight Poll


  • The Senate continues its attempt to pass an immigration bill. Find out what Arizonans think about components of the bill in the latest Cronkite Eight Poll. [Complete Poll Results.] Poll Director Bruce Merrill and Associate Director Tara Blanc discuss the results. Read the complete Poll results.
Guests:
  • Dr. Bruce Merrill - Director, Cronkite-Eight Poll
  • Tara Blanc - Assistant Director, Cronkite-Eight Poll
  • Harry Tate - Director, Arizona Film Office
Category: Cronkite-Eight Poll

View Transcript
>>Jose Cardenas:
Tonight on "Horizon", we examine opinions about immigration and other topics in our latest Cronkite-Eight Poll. Plus, we continue our series, "Made in Arizona" with a look at movie making in our State. And the Florence Courthouse stands as a monument to the past, and maintains a unique link to the present. Those stories next on "Horizon".

>>Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Hello and welcome to "Horizon". I'm Jose Cardenas. Arizona registered voters think our State is headed in the right direction, but not the United States. They also don't feel the Senate will be able to pass an immigration plan, those are just some of the results of the latest Cronkite-Eight Poll conducted by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and KAET "Eight" TV. The poll was conducted from June 18 through the 20. We surveyed 386 registered Arizona voters, and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5\%. [Complete Poll results.]

>>Mike Sauceda:
The Cronkite-Eight Poll found that only 5\% of those surveyed are very confident that the Senate will come up with legislation that will significantly reduce illegal immigration to the United States. 21\% are somewhat confident, while 71\% are not very confident. The results were similar when we asked how confident they are the Senate will come up with a measure to deal with people currently in the country illegally. 4\% were very confident the Senate will come up with a solution, 19\% were somewhat confident, 73\% were not very confident of a solution. We also asked whether poll participants support or oppose a provision of the Senate immigration bill that would allow those here illegally a path to citizenship. 68\% support that provision, 26\% oppose the idea. Another part of the immigration bill we polled on was in regard to a Guest Worker Program. 65\% support that, 28\% are against it. Moving away from the immigration issue, we asked people whether they thought the United States is headed in the right direction. 26\% thought the nation I headed in right direction. 60\% said it is seriously off track. In an open-ended question, we asked those who thought the country is seriously off track why they thought that. 34\% pointed to the War in Iraq, 17\% cited politics, partisanship or infighting. 16\% thought it was President Bush or the Bush Administration, and 8\% said illegal immigration is a reason. Poll participants were asked whether partisanship has become more or less of a problem in Washington. 4\% said it's less of a problem, 45\% thought it was more of a problem, while 51\% said it's about the same as it's always been. We asked participants whether they thought Arizona is headed in the right direction. 54\% said the State is going in the right direction. 30\% said it is seriously off track. Of those who said it's off track, 47\% said it was because of illegal immigration, 12\% cited politics and political infighting. 12\% thought it was because of growth and lack of planning, 4\% cited education , and 3\% said it's because of the Freeway situation. Finally, we asked about the Military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for gays. 49\% favor changing the policy, while 35\% are against changing it.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And here to discuss the Cronkite-Eight Poll is its Director, Dr. Bruce Merrill, and Associate Director, Tara Blanc. Bruce, Tara, thanks for joining us today on "Horizon". A lot to talk about, and not as much time as I would like to cover it. But Bruce, the thing that jumps off the screen in those numbers is the difference in the way Arizonans feel about how Arizona is going, their Home State, and how they feel about the country. What are the factors?

>>Bruce Merrill:
There's no question most people are happy with the way Arizona is going. The one glitch is immigration, and they see that as a very serious problem. the Federal level, people really feel that we have gotten seriously off track, and the main reasons there are pretty obvious. The War in Iraq, the way the War is being conducted, President Bush, lowest ratings he's ever had now. So, there's just no question that right now, people really are very cynical. The third most frequent thing they mentioned was the partisanship, and they mentioned that at the State level too. The biggest thing we found in this poll that we haven't found before is people are beginning to get very tired of the infighting, the partisanship, the lack of cooperation, and the lack of leadership.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Well, on the immigration, though, there's such a discrepancy. I think people could understand why the focus at the National level might be Iraq, but it's only 8\% an issue at the National level for immigration, versus 47\% for the State. Why?

>>Bruce Merrill:
It's the war. The war and terrorism are still the dominant issue at the Federal level. But here in Arizona, the main issue is still illegal immigration.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And Tara, it's the main issue. everyone seems to concede that the solution has to be at the Federal level, but not much confidence that the Senate will do something about it.

>>Tara Blanc:
No, and I think we were a little surprised when we asked questions about whether people thought Congress would be able to pass legislation that would close the borders and deal with people who are here. Three-quarters of the people in both questions said they don't have that much confidence in the Congress to do that.

>>Jose Cardenas:
The other surprising thing on the immigration issue is the number of people who think immigration is a huge problem. But who, contrary to what we hear on talk radio, think that we need to have some process by which people can be regularized, legalized, whatever term you want to use. Why is that?

>>Tara Blanc:
Well, I think the voters -- we have asked these questions over and over again, and it's become clear to us that the voters see this as two distinct problems. One is the issue of closing the borders and stopping the flow of people coming into the country illegally. But they also see this problem of the people who are already here as a separate problem. So you find much more support for borders being closed. I don't think you'll get too much argument about that. But there seems to be much more sway, if you will, in looking at how we will deal with the people who already here. People who are realists about what can you really do with 12 to 20 million people. There's a very Conservative people that want to say, round them all up and send them all back to the people willing to hand them amnesty the next day. Somewhere in the middle, I think the majority of voters look at the problem and say, "We have to find a middle ground and we need to do something about it", but they don't necessarily support just sending them all back.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Bruce, you talked about a third big issue, which is partisanship, and people seem to be more tired of it, even though they were saying some of the same things during the Clinton era when you really did have government shut down because of that. Why now? Why are they more concerned?

>>Bruce Merrill:
Well, because of the media coverage. Remember we had the controversy in the Congress over funding, and the Democrats and Republicans did the same thing they have always done. They divided on the basis of Party lines. the same things happening now in the Senate over the immigration legislation. And I think what's happening is people are just saying, "you know what? we can't solve these problems if Republicans vote one way, and Democrats vote one way. we have to look at the issue, do the right thing regardless of being Republicans or Democrats", and there's just a ground swell of people beginning to believe that way.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Bruce, last question. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Majority of people think that's not a good policy, but do you have any sense for what they think the alternative should be?

>>Bruce Merrill:
Well, yes. Half the people in Arizona said we should be honest and open about it. Remember, Jose, 50 years ago, it was against the law in many states for Blacks and Whites to marry. And I think that this is simply another indication of a change in the kind of the Value System of the American public towards keeping the government out of our lives.

>>Jose Cardenas:
More acceptance perhaps of the whole subject.

>>Bruce Merrill:
Sure.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Bruce Merrill, Tara Blanc, thank you for joining us on "Horizon".

>>Jose Cardenas:
We continue our series on some of the industries that are not the typical contributors to Arizona's economy that most people think of. Our weather, diverse terrain, proximity to Hollywood, and our State's film tax incentives make filmmaking a successful "Made in Arizona" commodity. In a moment, more on that. First, Merry Lucero profiles a local filmmaker and his "Made in Arizona" art.

>>Merry Lucero:
Arizona has a long history as a choice location to shoot motion pictures. This movie poster and memorabilia collection at the Mesa Southwest Museum is from films all made in Arizona. Filmmaking here began in the early 1900s with some well-known Westerns. Our diverse terrain has also served for some "out of this world" scenes. Back in reality, Arizona grown film writer/director Jeff Santo just finished shooting on location in a little town near Payson called Jake's Corner.

>>Jeff Santo:
Rolling, rolling.

>>Merry Lucero:
You may know Santo, especially if you are a baseball fan, for his last film, a documentary about his father, former Chicago Cubs All-Star third baseman Ron Santo. Jeff Santo talks about his filmmaking.

>>Merry Lucero:
Now, you were actually born in Chicago, but you have a history and a connection with Arizona. what is that about?

>>Jeff Santo:
My dad played for the Cubs. So for 14 years, they would train in Scottsdale, and our family would come out for a month and a half during Spring Training. my brother and I would get tutored for the month and a half out here. So this is like a second home to us since I was a boy. Scottsdale just has a place in my heart, and now, my father lives out here half of the year when he's not broadcasting in Chicago. My mom lives out here, my sister lives here, and I came out here in 1992 to put on a play that I put on at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

>>Merry Lucero:
Prior to making "Jake's Corner", you made a documentary called "This Old Cub". It's about your father, and it was also shot partially here in Arizona.

>>Jeff Santo:
We shot a lot of it here in Arizona because that's where my dad lives in the off-season and that's where he's got both his operations. My dad was the first Major League Baseball player to play with Type 1 Diabetes. He's had the disease over 47 years and recently lost both legs to the disease. I wasn't going to do a movie on my father until my mom said this would be such an inspirational story to tell. Because when we was getting his -- they said that his second leg, there's a 65\% chance they could save, but he went through so many operations on the first leg he said, "what would happen if you took my second leg, could I be walking with both prosthetic legs by spring training to broadcast for the Cubs?" And the doctors said, "probably." he said, "take it."

>>Merry Lucero:
Now, that film, "This Old Cub", also has a connection to the film you just finished shooting here in Arizona, "Jake's Corner", and there's a kind of a story about how you happened upon the actual town of Jake's Corner and started to think about it as a location for a film.

>>Jeff Santo:
There's a gentleman in Prescott, Arizona, that got "This Old Cub" for a Christmas gift for his son, and watched it seven times in one day. [He] got so inspired he decided to walk from Prescott to Wrigley Field in honor of my dad and the movie to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. So, my dad told me about this gentleman, and I gave him a call to see if it was for real, and he was walking from Payson down to Rye, to Jake's Corner. And I met him at Jake's Corner to see what was going on, and maybe my office could help him out. When I went to meet him, Jake's corner is this charming old western town with a saloon, a general store, and trailers embedded in the mountain behind it, population of 51. And they put him up in a trailer that night, and I had lunch there, and just really fell in love with the place. I always wanted to write a story about a small town, charming town like this. Especially in Arizona, since I have been coming here since I was a little kid. And I really -- right there I said, "I'm going to do this".

>>Merry Lucero:
Jake's Corner is a drama about a University of Arizona Heisman Trophy winner who has moved to a small Arizona town after a family tragedy, and must care for his young nephew, who comes to live with him.

>>Jeff Santo:
The people at Jake's Corner, no one is really born there. They are from different walks of life, the way I call it. It's a rest stop for desert travelers, but for the people who live there, it's the rest stop for life.

>>Merry Lucero:
Now, when you shot "Jake's Corner", did you employ a lot of people from Arizona, both in the cast and crew?

>>Jeff Santo:
90\% of our crew was from Arizona, and they were great. We took the key people from LA, because you just have to. We cast a lot of the actors from Arizona. Obviously, we had some big names, Diane Ladd, Dan Trio, Richard Tyson, BJ Thomas, Tony Longo, but we got a lot of the main cast from Arizona. And the kid, Spence, the co-star in the movie, is from Arizona. We auditioned over 100 boys here in Arizona, and just got this wonderful kid that just does an amazing job. So it's really an Arizona film with the town, with the cast, with the crew. Everything about this I don't think there's been a film like this so embedded in Arizona.

>>Merry Lucero:
Did shooting the film here in Arizona have other advantages? Did you take advantage of the Motion Picture Film Production Tax Incentive Program?

>>Jeff Santo:
Independent films won't survive without the independent investor. Having tax credit takes away a lot of the risk, saying that, "hey, this helps finance a film, you know." not only are you going to spend your money but you're going to get a credit for how much you spend in Arizona. It really makes even the bigger films come here too. But for us, for independent filmmakers, it lets investors say, "OK, there's less of a risk". There's still a big risk, you know, you need a great crew and a great story, but there's less of a risk. And it's just been wonderful with the commission what they have done now. I think it's going to bring a lot more films out here. Hopefully one day, I hope this could be -- there would be a studio out here, and hopefully I could be involved in that because this is home to me, and my film couldn't have got done without those credits.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Joining me with more on Arizona's motion picture industry, Harry Tate, Director of the Arizona Film Office, and Barry Kluger, Chair of the Arizona Film Commission. Gentleman, thanks for joining us on "Horizon".

>>Harry Tate, Barry Kluger: Thanks.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Barry, some kudos for the commission. Tell us about the Commission, and who are the members.

>>Barry Kluger:
It's always nice to see someone complimenting the work we're doing. The Governor's Commission on Television and Film was really put together to draw talent from the state, people who are active in film. People like Leslie Nielsen, who has a legendary career and is a resident here. Newscaster Hugh Downs, Joanie Sledge of the group Sister Sledge, who has been here a number of years, does a lot of recording, a lot of video projects. Various film commissions have joined throughout the State. Don Lipsie, head of the Screen Actors Guild in Arizona. I think the idea was to really pull this talent pool of people who have worked in motion pictures, in radio, in film and television production, and from the business sector to be ambassadors, if you will, to go out and spread the word why people should come to Arizona to film.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And Harry, there were also some nice comments about the incentive programs that Arizona offers. before we talk about that specifically, how important is the motion picture industry to Arizona?

>>Harry Tate:
I think what's interesting to note is it's a multi-billion dollar industry, and a lot of people don't recognize that or notice that at first. It does employ a large number of people when it puts projects in your State. In fact, it's got one of the fastest growing rates in the country for employment in an industry in the motion picture industry overall. When the industry comes to Arizona, it adds not only to our economy and our job base, but it also brings goodwill, it brings recognition of our State in many other areas. it attracts interest in our State.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Now, in years past, I think people would say, I'm not surprised that movies are made in Arizona. We've seen all the westerns and everything else, but it's no longer the case that that's enough, our scenery. So we're doing other things, and one of this is the tax incentive program. tell us about that.

>>Harry Tate:
You recognize a good point. there, Jose. We do have over a 100-year history in the filmmaking industry in Arizona. It's always been an attractive State to come to for locations. About 25 years ago, the programs that were established were changing as film companies, production companies needed some impetus to move their projects around. And that was incentives. Incentives have become the number one draw in film and television industry for where they place program product. As you know, international countries have gotten very active and very involved. Canada, New Zealand, Australia, all vying for that Hollywood dollar also. There's a concept called runaway production, which is labeled that in Southern California. We're trying to control and keep a good deal of the productions from going out of country and back into the United States. in the United States, there are 12 or 13 really aggressive states that have sent up incentives programs.

>>Jose Cardenas:
How does ours work?

>>Harry Tate:
Our program is based on a tax credit, so that the filmmakers who comes here has to expand dollars into the State. And those expenditures add up to a tax credit that he can transfer.

>>Jose Cardenas:
We're not actually handing money out to get people to come.

>>Harry Tate:
No rebates, no cash. It's based on a tax credit form.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And as I understand, one of the other things we're doing is making it easier to do business in Arizona.

>>Harry Tate:
One of the things we've tried to establish is with the State Film Office and the many Film Offices around the State is to make it a lot easier for production companies to come into our State, find the resources, the contacts they need, and get permissions granted so they can do their work.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And Barry, as I understand it, Arizona is a good location not simply for westerns or the sand dunes for "Star Wars," but you could film in Arizona and have scenes representative of any place else in the country, is that right?

>>Barry Kluger:
Well, it's interesting. Arizona has locations that mirror 50 of the United States. For example, "Kingdom", which is coming out this Fall, was shot here mirroring locations in other parts of the world. You have a movie "Desperation", I believe, that was shot down in Tucson, which mirrored some parts of old Saigon in Vietnam. So, what people tend to think of when they think of Arizona are great Westerns, but we have major cities, as you can see, just a few miles from here, and we have very lush areas. We have waterfront, we have lakefront, we have all four seasons. So this really can be applicable to any producer looking to shoot anywhere with any kind of scene.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And with that, we have to end the interview. thank you both for joining us.

>>Harry Tate,
Barry Kluger: Thank you.

>>Jose Cardenas:
One of Arizona's best-kept secrets involves time and a charming clock tower. The clock is part of the Florence Courthouse, the oldest public building in Arizona still being used by the public. You might think that ghost roams in such an old building in the heart of Florence. Producer Mike Sauceda suggests there might be something to that in tonight's "Arizona Story".

>>Mike Sauceda:
Time stands still at the old Pinal County Courthouse in Florence, at least on the stamp metal clock faces.

>>Ernie Feliz:
There's never been clocks in the clock tower. There wasn't enough money, and so they brought in clock facings, and these are made of pressed metal.

>>Mike Sauceda:
Some folks think the clocks read 11:44. Others 9:00 or 11:43. here's one version of why the hands rest where they do.

>>John Swearengin:
That when they built this Courthouse, they set the time on there at about quarter to 12:00 so people coming into town would know they could come to the courthouse and get their business done before they shut it down at noontime.

>>Mike Sauceda:
But there's no doubt time has been flying for the rest of the structure. the oldest continuously used public building in Arizona. The 111-year-old courthouse was built in 1891 for $29,000.

>>John Swearengin:
This was the second courthouse that the County build. This was the third they used. They rented the first one, which was an adobe building. The second one, the first one they built, is in McFarland State Park now.

>>Mike Sauceda:
The courthouse was constructed to show the County was planning to prosper, even though the curtains in the clock tower are actually just paint.

>>Ernie Feliz:
This is American Victorian architecture style. It's a little bit later in the period when we began to see we're getting away from adobe construction, and we have a railroad now and we can bring in material from other parts of the country.

>>Mike Sauceda:
The building is rich in architectural detail. Millwork abounds throughout. Some of the original doorknobs still in use, not something you can get at Lowe's. Feliz, whose family has lived in Florence for about as long as the Courthouse has been around, has fond memories of the building, especially the staircase.

>>Ernie Feliz:
Five years old, my mother brought me in here. I walked in, an I saw that split staircase, that was something I wanted to run up and down all day on, because it was so fabulous.

>>Mike Sauceda:
But the building where Swearengin worked as a clerk of the court in the 1940s is falling apart.

>>John Swearengin:
The only thing been done really since I worked here was deteriorate more or less because, like me, it got older, and you have to allow certain deterioration.

>>Mike Sauceda:
The total cost of renovations depends on which plan the County decides to use. The most complete renovation would involve taking away parts of the building built after 1891, especially where the brick and mortar don't match the original. That would restore the building to its original cross-shape.

>>Ernie Feliz:
Complete restoration would involve removing the additions of 1982, 1975, 1933, and 1917. So then, you would have the cross-shaped building and 15,000 square feet. If you go back to -- then the other alternative was keeping 1917, and getting rid of all the other additions. And then, the third alternative was to keep 1933, and get rid of the two later additions. The fourth alternative was to keep all of the additions.

>>Mike Sauceda:
The old courthouse in Florence has seen a lot of history. Trunk murderess Winnie Ruth Judd had a Sanity Hearing there. the last Stagecoach robber in America had her trial in it. And there's even talk of ghosts.

>>John Swearengin:
The one thing that I can say there might be a ghost somewhere in there, it's not the ghost. Really, it's the ones left behind in the cemetery. this building sits on what used to be the Town Cemetery. And when they took all the bodies out they missed a few, naturally, because a lot of them weren't marked. Some of those ghosts may be floating around in there. That's the only basis for our ghost story that I know of from this building here.

>>Mike Sauceda:
But ghosts don't stop people from loving the old courthouse.

>>John Swearengin:
Oh, they love this place. It's a treasure for the whole County and for the State, really. The people in Florence particularly, because of the part of our lives.

>>Jose Cardenas:
We will have "Arizona Stories" segments each Tuesday night here on "Horizon". Now you can see the new series of the half hour program "Arizona Stories" following "Horizon" tonight and every Tuesday night at 7:30 PM.

>>David Majure:
A look at the good, the bad, and everything in between as we review the recently ended session of the Arizona State Legislature. And our "Made in Arizona" series continues with a visit to Wine Country. We'll give you a taste of what this growing Arizona industry has to offer. That's Wednesday at 7:00 on "Horizon".

>>Jose Cardenas:
Thanks for joining us on this Tuesday evening. I'm Jose Cardenas. We'll see you tomorrow.

>>Announcer:
If you have comments about "Horizon", please contact us at the addresses listed on your screen. Your name and comments may be used on a future edition of "Horizon".

>>Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Made in Arizona: Filmmaking


  • Most people think of Hollywood when they think of movie making. Arizona also has a long history in film production. Our weather, diverse terrain, proximity to Los Angeles, and our state’s Motion Picture Production Tax Incentive Program are among the many reasons why filmmaking is a successful “Made in Arizona” commodity. We profile Arizona-grown filmmaker, Jeff Santo. Harry Tate, director of the Arizona Film Office and Barry Kluger, chair of the Arizona Film Commission, join the studio discussion.
Guests:
  • Dr. Bruce Merrill - Director, Cronkite-Eight Poll
  • Tara Blanc - Assistant Director, Cronkite-Eight Poll
  • Harry Tate - Director, Arizona Film Office


View Transcript
>>Jose Cardenas:
Tonight on "Horizon", we examine opinions about immigration and other topics in our latest Cronkite-Eight Poll. Plus, we continue our series, "Made in Arizona" with a look at movie making in our State. And the Florence Courthouse stands as a monument to the past, and maintains a unique link to the present. Those stories next on "Horizon".

>>Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Hello and welcome to "Horizon". I'm Jose Cardenas. Arizona registered voters think our State is headed in the right direction, but not the United States. They also don't feel the Senate will be able to pass an immigration plan, those are just some of the results of the latest Cronkite-Eight Poll conducted by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and KAET "Eight" TV. The poll was conducted from June 18 through the 20. We surveyed 386 registered Arizona voters, and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5\%. [Complete Poll results.]

>>Mike Sauceda:
The Cronkite-Eight Poll found that only 5\% of those surveyed are very confident that the Senate will come up with legislation that will significantly reduce illegal immigration to the United States. 21\% are somewhat confident, while 71\% are not very confident. The results were similar when we asked how confident they are the Senate will come up with a measure to deal with people currently in the country illegally. 4\% were very confident the Senate will come up with a solution, 19\% were somewhat confident, 73\% were not very confident of a solution. We also asked whether poll participants support or oppose a provision of the Senate immigration bill that would allow those here illegally a path to citizenship. 68\% support that provision, 26\% oppose the idea. Another part of the immigration bill we polled on was in regard to a Guest Worker Program. 65\% support that, 28\% are against it. Moving away from the immigration issue, we asked people whether they thought the United States is headed in the right direction. 26\% thought the nation I headed in right direction. 60\% said it is seriously off track. In an open-ended question, we asked those who thought the country is seriously off track why they thought that. 34\% pointed to the War in Iraq, 17\% cited politics, partisanship or infighting. 16\% thought it was President Bush or the Bush Administration, and 8\% said illegal immigration is a reason. Poll participants were asked whether partisanship has become more or less of a problem in Washington. 4\% said it's less of a problem, 45\% thought it was more of a problem, while 51\% said it's about the same as it's always been. We asked participants whether they thought Arizona is headed in the right direction. 54\% said the State is going in the right direction. 30\% said it is seriously off track. Of those who said it's off track, 47\% said it was because of illegal immigration, 12\% cited politics and political infighting. 12\% thought it was because of growth and lack of planning, 4\% cited education , and 3\% said it's because of the Freeway situation. Finally, we asked about the Military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for gays. 49\% favor changing the policy, while 35\% are against changing it.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And here to discuss the Cronkite-Eight Poll is its Director, Dr. Bruce Merrill, and Associate Director, Tara Blanc. Bruce, Tara, thanks for joining us today on "Horizon". A lot to talk about, and not as much time as I would like to cover it. But Bruce, the thing that jumps off the screen in those numbers is the difference in the way Arizonans feel about how Arizona is going, their Home State, and how they feel about the country. What are the factors?

>>Bruce Merrill:
There's no question most people are happy with the way Arizona is going. The one glitch is immigration, and they see that as a very serious problem. the Federal level, people really feel that we have gotten seriously off track, and the main reasons there are pretty obvious. The War in Iraq, the way the War is being conducted, President Bush, lowest ratings he's ever had now. So, there's just no question that right now, people really are very cynical. The third most frequent thing they mentioned was the partisanship, and they mentioned that at the State level too. The biggest thing we found in this poll that we haven't found before is people are beginning to get very tired of the infighting, the partisanship, the lack of cooperation, and the lack of leadership.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Well, on the immigration, though, there's such a discrepancy. I think people could understand why the focus at the National level might be Iraq, but it's only 8\% an issue at the National level for immigration, versus 47\% for the State. Why?

>>Bruce Merrill:
It's the war. The war and terrorism are still the dominant issue at the Federal level. But here in Arizona, the main issue is still illegal immigration.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And Tara, it's the main issue. everyone seems to concede that the solution has to be at the Federal level, but not much confidence that the Senate will do something about it.

>>Tara Blanc:
No, and I think we were a little surprised when we asked questions about whether people thought Congress would be able to pass legislation that would close the borders and deal with people who are here. Three-quarters of the people in both questions said they don't have that much confidence in the Congress to do that.

>>Jose Cardenas:
The other surprising thing on the immigration issue is the number of people who think immigration is a huge problem. But who, contrary to what we hear on talk radio, think that we need to have some process by which people can be regularized, legalized, whatever term you want to use. Why is that?

>>Tara Blanc:
Well, I think the voters -- we have asked these questions over and over again, and it's become clear to us that the voters see this as two distinct problems. One is the issue of closing the borders and stopping the flow of people coming into the country illegally. But they also see this problem of the people who are already here as a separate problem. So you find much more support for borders being closed. I don't think you'll get too much argument about that. But there seems to be much more sway, if you will, in looking at how we will deal with the people who already here. People who are realists about what can you really do with 12 to 20 million people. There's a very Conservative people that want to say, round them all up and send them all back to the people willing to hand them amnesty the next day. Somewhere in the middle, I think the majority of voters look at the problem and say, "We have to find a middle ground and we need to do something about it", but they don't necessarily support just sending them all back.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Bruce, you talked about a third big issue, which is partisanship, and people seem to be more tired of it, even though they were saying some of the same things during the Clinton era when you really did have government shut down because of that. Why now? Why are they more concerned?

>>Bruce Merrill:
Well, because of the media coverage. Remember we had the controversy in the Congress over funding, and the Democrats and Republicans did the same thing they have always done. They divided on the basis of Party lines. the same things happening now in the Senate over the immigration legislation. And I think what's happening is people are just saying, "you know what? we can't solve these problems if Republicans vote one way, and Democrats vote one way. we have to look at the issue, do the right thing regardless of being Republicans or Democrats", and there's just a ground swell of people beginning to believe that way.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Bruce, last question. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Majority of people think that's not a good policy, but do you have any sense for what they think the alternative should be?

>>Bruce Merrill:
Well, yes. Half the people in Arizona said we should be honest and open about it. Remember, Jose, 50 years ago, it was against the law in many states for Blacks and Whites to marry. And I think that this is simply another indication of a change in the kind of the Value System of the American public towards keeping the government out of our lives.

>>Jose Cardenas:
More acceptance perhaps of the whole subject.

>>Bruce Merrill:
Sure.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Bruce Merrill, Tara Blanc, thank you for joining us on "Horizon".

>>Jose Cardenas:
We continue our series on some of the industries that are not the typical contributors to Arizona's economy that most people think of. Our weather, diverse terrain, proximity to Hollywood, and our State's film tax incentives make filmmaking a successful "Made in Arizona" commodity. In a moment, more on that. First, Merry Lucero profiles a local filmmaker and his "Made in Arizona" art.

>>Merry Lucero:
Arizona has a long history as a choice location to shoot motion pictures. This movie poster and memorabilia collection at the Mesa Southwest Museum is from films all made in Arizona. Filmmaking here began in the early 1900s with some well-known Westerns. Our diverse terrain has also served for some "out of this world" scenes. Back in reality, Arizona grown film writer/director Jeff Santo just finished shooting on location in a little town near Payson called Jake's Corner.

>>Jeff Santo:
Rolling, rolling.

>>Merry Lucero:
You may know Santo, especially if you are a baseball fan, for his last film, a documentary about his father, former Chicago Cubs All-Star third baseman Ron Santo. Jeff Santo talks about his filmmaking.

>>Merry Lucero:
Now, you were actually born in Chicago, but you have a history and a connection with Arizona. what is that about?

>>Jeff Santo:
My dad played for the Cubs. So for 14 years, they would train in Scottsdale, and our family would come out for a month and a half during Spring Training. my brother and I would get tutored for the month and a half out here. So this is like a second home to us since I was a boy. Scottsdale just has a place in my heart, and now, my father lives out here half of the year when he's not broadcasting in Chicago. My mom lives out here, my sister lives here, and I came out here in 1992 to put on a play that I put on at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

>>Merry Lucero:
Prior to making "Jake's Corner", you made a documentary called "This Old Cub". It's about your father, and it was also shot partially here in Arizona.

>>Jeff Santo:
We shot a lot of it here in Arizona because that's where my dad lives in the off-season and that's where he's got both his operations. My dad was the first Major League Baseball player to play with Type 1 Diabetes. He's had the disease over 47 years and recently lost both legs to the disease. I wasn't going to do a movie on my father until my mom said this would be such an inspirational story to tell. Because when we was getting his -- they said that his second leg, there's a 65\% chance they could save, but he went through so many operations on the first leg he said, "what would happen if you took my second leg, could I be walking with both prosthetic legs by spring training to broadcast for the Cubs?" And the doctors said, "probably." he said, "take it."

>>Merry Lucero:
Now, that film, "This Old Cub", also has a connection to the film you just finished shooting here in Arizona, "Jake's Corner", and there's a kind of a story about how you happened upon the actual town of Jake's Corner and started to think about it as a location for a film.

>>Jeff Santo:
There's a gentleman in Prescott, Arizona, that got "This Old Cub" for a Christmas gift for his son, and watched it seven times in one day. [He] got so inspired he decided to walk from Prescott to Wrigley Field in honor of my dad and the movie to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. So, my dad told me about this gentleman, and I gave him a call to see if it was for real, and he was walking from Payson down to Rye, to Jake's Corner. And I met him at Jake's Corner to see what was going on, and maybe my office could help him out. When I went to meet him, Jake's corner is this charming old western town with a saloon, a general store, and trailers embedded in the mountain behind it, population of 51. And they put him up in a trailer that night, and I had lunch there, and just really fell in love with the place. I always wanted to write a story about a small town, charming town like this. Especially in Arizona, since I have been coming here since I was a little kid. And I really -- right there I said, "I'm going to do this".

>>Merry Lucero:
Jake's Corner is a drama about a University of Arizona Heisman Trophy winner who has moved to a small Arizona town after a family tragedy, and must care for his young nephew, who comes to live with him.

>>Jeff Santo:
The people at Jake's Corner, no one is really born there. They are from different walks of life, the way I call it. It's a rest stop for desert travelers, but for the people who live there, it's the rest stop for life.

>>Merry Lucero:
Now, when you shot "Jake's Corner", did you employ a lot of people from Arizona, both in the cast and crew?

>>Jeff Santo:
90\% of our crew was from Arizona, and they were great. We took the key people from LA, because you just have to. We cast a lot of the actors from Arizona. Obviously, we had some big names, Diane Ladd, Dan Trio, Richard Tyson, BJ Thomas, Tony Longo, but we got a lot of the main cast from Arizona. And the kid, Spence, the co-star in the movie, is from Arizona. We auditioned over 100 boys here in Arizona, and just got this wonderful kid that just does an amazing job. So it's really an Arizona film with the town, with the cast, with the crew. Everything about this I don't think there's been a film like this so embedded in Arizona.

>>Merry Lucero:
Did shooting the film here in Arizona have other advantages? Did you take advantage of the Motion Picture Film Production Tax Incentive Program?

>>Jeff Santo:
Independent films won't survive without the independent investor. Having tax credit takes away a lot of the risk, saying that, "hey, this helps finance a film, you know." not only are you going to spend your money but you're going to get a credit for how much you spend in Arizona. It really makes even the bigger films come here too. But for us, for independent filmmakers, it lets investors say, "OK, there's less of a risk". There's still a big risk, you know, you need a great crew and a great story, but there's less of a risk. And it's just been wonderful with the commission what they have done now. I think it's going to bring a lot more films out here. Hopefully one day, I hope this could be -- there would be a studio out here, and hopefully I could be involved in that because this is home to me, and my film couldn't have got done without those credits.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Joining me with more on Arizona's motion picture industry, Harry Tate, Director of the Arizona Film Office, and Barry Kluger, Chair of the Arizona Film Commission. Gentleman, thanks for joining us on "Horizon".

>>Harry Tate, Barry Kluger: Thanks.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Barry, some kudos for the commission. Tell us about the Commission, and who are the members.

>>Barry Kluger:
It's always nice to see someone complimenting the work we're doing. The Governor's Commission on Television and Film was really put together to draw talent from the state, people who are active in film. People like Leslie Nielsen, who has a legendary career and is a resident here. Newscaster Hugh Downs, Joanie Sledge of the group Sister Sledge, who has been here a number of years, does a lot of recording, a lot of video projects. Various film commissions have joined throughout the State. Don Lipsie, head of the Screen Actors Guild in Arizona. I think the idea was to really pull this talent pool of people who have worked in motion pictures, in radio, in film and television production, and from the business sector to be ambassadors, if you will, to go out and spread the word why people should come to Arizona to film.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And Harry, there were also some nice comments about the incentive programs that Arizona offers. before we talk about that specifically, how important is the motion picture industry to Arizona?

>>Harry Tate:
I think what's interesting to note is it's a multi-billion dollar industry, and a lot of people don't recognize that or notice that at first. It does employ a large number of people when it puts projects in your State. In fact, it's got one of the fastest growing rates in the country for employment in an industry in the motion picture industry overall. When the industry comes to Arizona, it adds not only to our economy and our job base, but it also brings goodwill, it brings recognition of our State in many other areas. it attracts interest in our State.

>>Jose Cardenas:
Now, in years past, I think people would say, I'm not surprised that movies are made in Arizona. We've seen all the westerns and everything else, but it's no longer the case that that's enough, our scenery. So we're doing other things, and one of this is the tax incentive program. tell us about that.

>>Harry Tate:
You recognize a good point. there, Jose. We do have over a 100-year history in the filmmaking industry in Arizona. It's always been an attractive State to come to for locations. About 25 years ago, the programs that were established were changing as film companies, production companies needed some impetus to move their projects around. And that was incentives. Incentives have become the number one draw in film and television industry for where they place program product. As you know, international countries have gotten very active and very involved. Canada, New Zealand, Australia, all vying for that Hollywood dollar also. There's a concept called runaway production, which is labeled that in Southern California. We're trying to control and keep a good deal of the productions from going out of country and back into the United States. in the United States, there are 12 or 13 really aggressive states that have sent up incentives programs.

>>Jose Cardenas:
How does ours work?

>>Harry Tate:
Our program is based on a tax credit, so that the filmmakers who comes here has to expand dollars into the State. And those expenditures add up to a tax credit that he can transfer.

>>Jose Cardenas:
We're not actually handing money out to get people to come.

>>Harry Tate:
No rebates, no cash. It's based on a tax credit form.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And as I understand, one of the other things we're doing is making it easier to do business in Arizona.

>>Harry Tate:
One of the things we've tried to establish is with the State Film Office and the many Film Offices around the State is to make it a lot easier for production companies to come into our State, find the resources, the contacts they need, and get permissions granted so they can do their work.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And Barry, as I understand it, Arizona is a good location not simply for westerns or the sand dunes for "Star Wars," but you could film in Arizona and have scenes representative of any place else in the country, is that right?

>>Barry Kluger:
Well, it's interesting. Arizona has locations that mirror 50 of the United States. For example, "Kingdom", which is coming out this Fall, was shot here mirroring locations in other parts of the world. You have a movie "Desperation", I believe, that was shot down in Tucson, which mirrored some parts of old Saigon in Vietnam. So, what people tend to think of when they think of Arizona are great Westerns, but we have major cities, as you can see, just a few miles from here, and we have very lush areas. We have waterfront, we have lakefront, we have all four seasons. So this really can be applicable to any producer looking to shoot anywhere with any kind of scene.

>>Jose Cardenas:
And with that, we have to end the interview. thank you both for joining us.

>>Harry Tate,
Barry Kluger: Thank you.

>>Jose Cardenas:
One of Arizona's best-kept secrets involves time and a charming clock tower. The clock is part of the Florence Courthouse, the oldest public building in Arizona still being used by the public. You might think that ghost roams in such an old building in the heart of Florence. Producer Mike Sauceda suggests there might be something to that in tonight's "Arizona Story".

>>Mike Sauceda:
Time stands still at the old Pinal County Courthouse in Florence, at least on the stamp metal clock faces.

>>Ernie Feliz:
There's never been clocks in the clock tower. There wasn't enough money, and so they brought in clock facings, and these are made of pressed metal.

>>Mike Sauceda:
Some folks think the clocks read 11:44. Others 9:00 or 11:43. here's one version of why the hands rest where they do.

>>John Swearengin:
That when they built this Courthouse, they set the time on there at about quarter to 12:00 so people coming into town would know they could come to the courthouse and get their business done before they shut it down at noontime.

>>Mike Sauceda:
But there's no doubt time has been flying for the rest of the structure. the oldest continuously used public building in Arizona. The 111-year-old courthouse was built in 1891 for $29,000.

>>John Swearengin:
This was the second courthouse that the County build. This was the third they used. They rented the first one, which was an adobe building. The second one, the first one they built, is in McFarland State Park now.

>>Mike Sauceda:
The courthouse was constructed to show the County was planning to prosper, even though the curtains in the clock tower are actually just paint.

>>Ernie Feliz:
This is American Victorian architecture style. It's a little bit later in the period when we began to see we're getting away from adobe construction, and we have a railroad now and we can bring in material from other parts of the country.

>>Mike Sauceda:
The building is rich in architectural detail. Millwork abounds throughout. Some of the original doorknobs still in use, not something you can get at Lowe's. Feliz, whose family has lived in Florence for about as long as the Courthouse has been around, has fond memories of the building, especially the staircase.

>>Ernie Feliz:
Five years old, my mother brought me in here. I walked in, an I saw that split staircase, that was something I wanted to run up and down all day on, because it was so fabulous.

>>Mike Sauceda:
But the building where Swearengin worked as a clerk of the court in the 1940s is falling apart.

>>John Swearengin:
The only thing been done really since I worked here was deteriorate more or less because, like me, it got older, and you have to allow certain deterioration.

>>Mike Sauceda:
The total cost of renovations depends on which plan the County decides to use. The most complete renovation would involve taking away parts of the building built after 1891, especially where the brick and mortar don't match the original. That would restore the building to its original cross-shape.

>>Ernie Feliz:
Complete restoration would involve removing the additions of 1982, 1975, 1933, and 1917. So then, you would have the cross-shaped building and 15,000 square feet. If you go back to -- then the other alternative was keeping 1917, and getting rid of all the other additions. And then, the third alternative was to keep 1933, and get rid of the two later additions. The fourth alternative was to keep all of the additions.

>>Mike Sauceda:
The old courthouse in Florence has seen a lot of history. Trunk murderess Winnie Ruth Judd had a Sanity Hearing there. the last Stagecoach robber in America had her trial in it. And there's even talk of ghosts.

>>John Swearengin:
The one thing that I can say there might be a ghost somewhere in there, it's not the ghost. Really, it's the ones left behind in the cemetery. this building sits on what used to be the Town Cemetery. And when they took all the bodies out they missed a few, naturally, because a lot of them weren't marked. Some of those ghosts may be floating around in there. That's the only basis for our ghost story that I know of from this building here.

>>Mike Sauceda:
But ghosts don't stop people from loving the old courthouse.

>>John Swearengin:
Oh, they love this place. It's a treasure for the whole County and for the State, really. The people in Florence particularly, because of the part of our lives.

>>Jose Cardenas:
We will have "Arizona Stories" segments each Tuesday night here on "Horizon". Now you can see the new series of the half hour program "Arizona Stories" following "Horizon" tonight and every Tuesday night at 7:30 PM.

>>David Majure:
A look at the good, the bad, and everything in between as we review the recently ended session of the Arizona State Legislature. And our "Made in Arizona" series continues with a visit to Wine Country. We'll give you a taste of what this growing Arizona industry has to offer. That's Wednesday at 7:00 on "Horizon".

>>Jose Cardenas:
Thanks for joining us on this Tuesday evening. I'm Jose Cardenas. We'll see you tomorrow.

>>Announcer:
If you have comments about "Horizon", please contact us at the addresses listed on your screen. Your name and comments may be used on a future edition of "Horizon".

>>Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

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