Payson and the Rim country recently hosted a total of 42 crew members from a Japanese film company for the production of a commercial, according to the latest edition of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce newsletter.
"The nice thing about this is they'd contacted the Arizona Film Commission for assistance and for one reason or another, the commission couldn't provide it, so they turned to us," said Tina Bruess, executive director for the chamber. "The department of commerce and film commission congratulated us on the project in their newsletter."
The visit had it roots in an e-mail. A photo was sent to the chamber from a film crew based in Honolulu. They wanted to know the location in the photo. Staff member Pat Johnson recognized the site as the second crossing on Houston Mesa Road.
The crew was in Payson from July 1 through July 11, plus there were at least three sit check trips prior to filming, involving four to six people who stayed in the area two or three days on each trip.
The approximate economic impact to the visits was $35,508, including lodging, catering, meals, entertainment, vehicle rentals, permits, fees, fire personnel and various miscellaneous expenses.
The filming took place in spite of the Willow Fire, though a separate fire near one of the sites caused a temporary halt in the work.
"As a result, we've proven ourselves and have a strong feeling more productions will be sent our way," Bruess said. She facilitated and coordinated the project off and on for three months prior to filming.
She explained the film commission organizes the state into regions and Payson, the Rim and White Mountains are in the same region as Flagstaff, Sedona and Prescott.
"It's nice to know the film commission now knows we can pull it off," Bruess said.