If you’ve lived in Phoenix long enough, it’s easy to take for granted how many days of sunshine we have here. After all, you are, (and rightfully so) a tad cranky about that famous dry heat when the handle of your car door must be manipulated with oven mitts.
Western Video Productions in Phoenix
But those annual 300-some days of cloudless skies amount to a lot of opportunity and efficiency for businesses who rely on predictable weather. Planes are rarely grounded or delayed, frost concern for agriculture is minuscule and everyone can come out and play. And for the video production industry in Phoenix, the show can go on without the expense of hiring labor to clear snow or lasso tornados. Phoenix and surrounding areas offer truly unique locations that have, since 1913, been a major draw for movie and television production. Over 5000 films and TV shows have been produced in Arizona, including Indiana Jones, Star Wars and HBO’s hit series, Westworld. source
While of course, the landscape is ideal for making a western, as of 2018 the majority of the 16.4 million in multimedia revenue came from industrial or corporate videos, commercials and still photography. An incredible 2,530 projects were completed in greater Phoenix in 2018. source Small and large businesses alike are recognizing the necessity of including video in their marketing portfolios and the cruciality of video to their branding efforts. Consequently, the video production industry in Phoenix is growing, and in a big way. Predictions state a 22 billion dollar increase in the digital video advertising industry across the US between last year and 2021. source
Not to be left in the dust, as it were, there are more, and better, production companies based in Phoenix than ever before. Point in Time Studios (born in 2002, before there were statistics for social media and web video production, let alone VR and AR) last year doubled its predicted annual revenue as well as its staff to accommodate the ever-increasing demand for quality video production and to keep pace with the evolution of the technology in the industry. source
A Major Video Production Driver in Phoenix
Back to the ever-sprawling desert oasis and what we have to offer here in the Valley of the Sun. We have tumbleweeds and rattlesnakes and Alice Cooper. But we also have what has been voted, for the past four years, the most innovative university in the country. Arizona State University not only boasts that illustrious title but is also home to one of the top 50 film schools in the nation, the Herberger Institute. source ASU’s Film Spark program within, founded by film professor Adam Collis, has connected students with nearly a dozen Oscar winners and nominees as well as Academy and Director’s Guild presidents, studio chiefs and award-winning directors and blockbuster producers. source With no small thanks to these institutions, Arizona is rife with talent and inspiration.
As part of ASU’s 2019 commencement profile series, newly graduated Maedeh Moayyednia is a testament to the power of storytelling through the art of film. Maedeh arrived in Phoenix in 2014 after receiving religious asylum from the United States, leaving behind her native country of Iran. Maedeh eventually enrolled at ASU, immersing herself in production classes while working in the Herberger Institute’s videography office and as a film lab technician at Scottsdale Community College.
After enduring prejudices after first immigrating, Maedeh says, “I found my chosen family at ASU and I found people who understand and support me.” During her education, Maedeh found her passion for storytelling through the editing process. “Editing is the art of filmmaking. It’s where it all comes together,” she said. Her advice? “For film students, I would say, tell a story that matters to you personally because when you do, it will touch the audience’s heart.” source Sound advice indeed for anyone who has a story to tell. And with all this sunshine here, video production is sure to continue to grow here in Phoenix.
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