Why Film in Flagstaff?

The distinctive town of Flagstaff, Arizona offers a wealth of opportunities for every kind of filmmaker.

Whether you’re a large production company or an independent filmmaker, here are 10 reasons why you will find everything you need at 7,000 feet. 

1. An Easy Permit Process

Depending on your film’s requirements, official permission may be needed. If so, film approval can be easily obtained through the online Filming Permit Application. This process is a simple one, and may be approved in as little as two weeks. The application is free but fees may apply depending on the film activity such as park usage or street closures.

2. Production Resources 

During your filming process, Flagstaff offers a variety of local services such as location managers and scouts, camera operators/videographers, equipment rentals, special effects, stunt workers, and production companies.

3. A Diverse Population

Flagstaff is a hub of diversity. This mountain town has a substantial Hispanic, Latino and Native American population. It is also a popular place of convergence to many that live on the Navajo Indian Reservation, which is a few miles east of Flagstaff. 

San Francisco Peaks Spring Wildflowers

4. Not “Just a Desert”

Flagstaff is located within the largest contiguous Ponderosa Pine forest in the world. With natural landscapes that provide breathtaking backgrounds: Lake Mary, the San Francisco Peaks, Mount Elden, alpine aspen meadows, edges of the painted desert, ancient lava flows and volcanos.

In addition to these stunning landscapes, Flagstaff is within close proximity to high desert regions, mystic red rocks, oak creek canyon and one of the seven natural wonders of the world - the Grand Canyon.

Arizona Snowbowl Skiers

5. The Four Seasons

This mountain city gets 300 days of sunshine, is home to an average of 100 inches of snow per year, with the fall leaves starting to change color toward mid-September, and temperatures return to the seventies by May. Flagstaff truly is a four-season city, offering a beautiful, scenic climate throughout the year. 

Weatherford Hotel Downtown Flagstaff

6. Big City Amenities with a Small Town Feel

Flagstaff is home to more than 200 restaurants, award-winning breweries, galleries, hotels, shopping centers and more. This city offers a convenience and familiarity of restaurants and retail stores, including a mixture of unique, independently-owned businesses (many of which are registered on Flagstaff’s Film Registry and Catering List). 

historic train station platform at the train station in Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff Visitor Center and Amtrak Station

7. Incredible Transportation

Flagstaff is a very accessible city, as it connects to the I-40, I-17, Route 66, Highway 89 and Highway 180. Flagstaff is home to the Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, that has direct to-and-from flights to Dallas (DFW) and Phoenix (PHX), the Amtrak Train Station for Southwest Chief rail service, and the Groome Transportation shuttle service. This means, there are plenty of options for transporting cast, crew, equipment and more to your production.

Additionally, when in Flagstaff, Mountain Line provides an incredible local transit system, which utilizes eco-friendly, hybrid-electric buses. There is also an abundance of bike lanes and pedestrian access, if you prefer biking, walking, or jogging - seeing as how you could traverse from one end of the city to the other in just under eight miles. 

 Hotel Monte Vista exterior in daylight
Hotel Monte Vista

8. Historic Settings

Historic Downtown, Lowell Observatory, Historic Route 66, Railroad Station, Hotel Monte Vista, Riordan Mansion, Museum of Northern Arizona, and Northern Arizona University are just a few of the unique historical landmarks within Flagstaff. With so many historical landscapes to choose from, Flagstaff provides the perfect environment for Westerns, period pieces, documentaries and more. 

UTV Studios, “The Surprise”

9. Local Film Students

Another amazing resource located in Flagstaff is Northern Arizona University, home to an exciting film program and University Television (UTV), which has received a multitude of awards for their student productions.

These programs are overflowing with eager, experienced filmmaking students who may be tapped as interns, production assistants, extras and more. 

10. Post-Production Resources

When productions come to a close, Flagstaff offers a variety of Post-Production Services, which can assist with sound design, special effects, editing and more. 

Although more post than production, Flagstaff offers a variety of recreational activities when your day is wrapped, including stargazing, movies at Harkins Theatre, shows at the Orpheum Theatre, dancing at the Museum Club, or bowling at Starlight Lanes. For more to discover in Flagstaff, visit the Official Tourism Page.

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downtown flagstaff at dusk

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Discover Flagstaff features travel information for visitors to Flagstaff, Arizona and regional attractions like the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Navajo Nation and Route 66.