Predictably sour on film, Governor Susana Martinez tells lawmakers at this year’s legislative session that it would be “a waste of time,” to pass a bill along to her proposing lifting the $50M cap on New Mexico Film Incentives, which she worked to impose during the last session.
Martinez says, “I want predictability for the film industry and they have received predictability and I think they really appreciate the fact that there is predictability. It allows us to formulate a budget and balance the budget.”
In the last year alone this now “predictable” stance has led untold numbers of productions, including the likes of Iron Man III – starring Robert Downey Jr., Oblivion – starring Tom Cruise, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and television series The Lying Game to quit New Mexico for more “receptive” states.
While Alasaka and Colorado shoot to redouble their efforts in bolstering their existing incentive programs, states like North Carolina, New Orleans and Texas nab big budget films, local jobs and the media attention that follows them away from New Mexico.
Perhaps bringing to fruition what was forewarned back in November 2011, when representatives of the Governor’s cabinet appeared at an industry event, tasked with proclaiming the Governor’s support for New Mexico Film. At the NMedia State of Film event the Governor’s Cheif of Staff Keith Garnder stated in his address to the crowed that the Governor, “vows to wield a veto pen” on any proposed changes to the current Film Program.
Representative Al Park (D) of Albuquerque disagrees with Martinez’ decision.
“We don’t have a cap on a single incentive in any other industry. We plant incentives all across the board for things all across New Mexico…this is an industry that we know right now is generating a billion dollars in economic activity,”
– Rep. Al Park to KOB-TV
While New Mexico sends millions of dollars out of state to improve
create our image around the world, and this ongoing targeting of the Film Industry is racking up losses in jobs and notoriety for the state, neighboring states stand at the ready to take over.
Right next door Texas is wrangling for the top spot in video game production by extending credits akin to their film tax incentives. After handily procuring the production away from New Mexico, North Carolina rides away with thousands of paid extras casting, crew jobs and the influx of income that the blockbuster Iron Man III will bring to their state.
Given the current administration’s stance on film, and the losses that follow, being the resonating image New Mexico puts forth as a still high profile option for production, industry activists and advocates are set to convene at the Roundhouse to lobby state legislators on February 1st for New Mexico Film & Media Day 2012.