Of course, you want a profit from your investment. Therefore, we have done all we know to do to get the cost down on this normally very expensive genre (all historical movies are expensive) but also bring in healthy profits.
Free shooting site:
It would be impractical to film on location because people would have to move there for eight years (if the series runs for its entire 84 episodes). Some shooting sites cost up to $1200/day. The city of Casa Grande has granted free and indefinite use of its 320-acre desert park. For pictures, look here.
Free first-century town site:
I am working on building a first-century townsite (which can also be an ancient Indian village for other filmmakers) through a civil engineering major at Arizona State University. To get an idea what it would look like, look here:
The city of Casa Grande wants publicity for the filming site. They will put up signs on I-10 (two miles away) and also include blurbs about the site in state and national tourist booklets. “Come see where Come Fly With Me is being made. Bring a picnic basket.”
Arizona used to offer tax credits to the film industry. Matthew Earl Jones, Arizona State Film Commissioner, is working with the Commerce Department and the governor to try to get it reinstated.
About $4 million per episode