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But the resolution of the sit-down, revealed to the principals just two weeks ago by deputy Commerce director Dave Guthrie, was that MacCallum had wrongly bypassed proper state procedure (he evidently needed to issue a request for proposals, then take bids) in awarding the deal to 602, and that he'll have to continue producing his own book, for now, at least.
The deal was off.
Says Murray, in the aftermath: "This was a get-Bill issue."
@body:There have been others. The feud between Tucson's Hilderbrand and MacCallum, of which the booklet flap was the latest salvo, is long-running and well-documented.
Tucson Citizen business reporter Kathleen Allen was the first to reveal the dispute, in a 1991 series of stories for her newspaper. For years, Allen's stories revealed, Tucson had sponsored its own promotional booth at an annual L.A.-area location expo--while insisting that it be located a considerable distance from the Arizona state booth. The expo is a big deal. States and cities from around the country use the occasion to tout themselves as tasty spots for lucrative location shooting.
According to expo attendees, Tucson was conspicuous in its annual distance from the rest of its own state's display space. Hilderbrand pleads that he "inherited" the booth problem when he took that job light-years ago. Last year, in a show of diplomacy topped only recently by the Mideast peace accord, Tucson rejoined the rest of the area code at the expo.
Another "continual point of contention" between the Tucson and state movie offices (Hilderbrand's words) has been MacCallum's alleged propensity to show producers or location scouts around southern Arizona without informing Hilderbrand, his purported colleague in the Old Pueblo.
"The state office would bring producers, directors or location people into Tucson and never tell anybody they were there," says Hilderbrand. "Anybody' meaning this office.
"A film company would come into town and never be told that there was a city film office here. And then they would get here and find out that they actually had to deal with us to get street closures and permits, and they always were like, 'We're sorry, we just didn't know you were here.'" The poaching problem spotlighted by the Citizen's Allen began to lessen once the Tucson mayor and city manager collaborated on a cease-and-desist letter to Jim Marsh, buddy of Arizona Governor J. Fife Symington III (and then-Commerce director) last December. "That's been resolved pretty well," says Hilderbrand. "I'd say it's in the 90 percent resolved area."
@body:The true Bill-getting episode of all time occurred in June 1990. Then, some 200 of the state's film-trade workers assembled at the Arizona Biltmore for a "symposium"--actually a privately organized gripe session.
Among the topics discussed that day, either from the podium or in the aisles, were many of the rumors that had been dogging MacCallum for years.
Example: It has been understood that some kind of unholy alliance exists between MacCallum and Film Producer's Warehouse, a busy production house in Phoenix.
To this day, many workers continue to believe they've been overlooked--in favor of Film Producer's Warehouse--when the film office hands out references to in-calling producers.
The critics also murmur about some kind of blood relation between MacCallum and Burke Rhind, president of the production house. The two are widely believed to be first cousins. Baby pictures might prove it. Rhind, asked outright about the alleged tie, says no.
"God, no," he says. "There's absolutely no tie-in at all, of any kind. "In fact, we feed each other a great deal of information and help each other out a great deal . . . but the majority of our work is commercial work they [the film office] don't know about. "There's just a lot of ways in which we can be communicative with each other, but there's no tie," Rhind continues. "I don't think we've ever been tipped off to a job through the Motion Picture Office."
Example two: MacCallum's son, Danny MacCallum, happens to be one of the state's busiest film techies, reportedly a production assistant (gofer) who worked his way up to gaffer (electrician). He must be getting work through his pop, right? Bob Warner, who says he's hired Danny MacCallum a half-dozen times on productions, suspects the younger MacCallum gets so much work because he's good.
"The fact is, Danny is a crack professional, topnotch," says Warner. Example three: Just about everybody says MacCallum parties too hard on the job. Stories of wrap-party excesses proliferate. Tales of liquid lunches abound.
In fact, the organizer of the 1990 "symposium" says she once considered hiding out to videotape MacCallum taking the wheel of his state vehicle after several too many.
Actually, such a photo opportunity could've come a year ago at a retirement function for Robert Shelton, patriarch of the Old Tucson film-studio-slash-theme-park west of new Tucson. The event was held on the studio's sound stage, before what has been described as a "mixed audience." MacCallum was one of the speakers. According to a letter from Tucson Mayor George Miller to deputy Commerce director Dave Guthrie, MacCallum "seemed to be under the influence of alcohol when he made his comments, which included obscenities."