Friday evening, moments after a quick mention on the weekly radio show, Cinema Scope (101.1 Santa Fe/simulcast on the web) touched on some local concerns around the disconnect between New Mexico State Tourism and the State Film Industry, confirmations of the out of state marketing firm awarded the $2M New Mexico contract having recently hired a San Francisco production company to trek-in and film tourism spots poured in.
IATSE 480 Business Director, Jon Hendry tells OHI exclusively:
(IATSE 480 – New Mexico chapter of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees)
“I’m disappointed that the New Mexico Tourism department chose to go with a California based production company to shoot their most recent commercial. The Department often points to their limited budget yet spends considerably more than they needed to transporting an entire crew from out of State. They brought in equipment we have readily available here and even shipped in Wardrobe for New Mexicans, no doubt so they could look “authentic”. The two local hires [on the production] were the Craft service person and the driver.
To add insult to injury the New Mexican based talent were the lowest paid people on the shoot, working for flats with no residuals. And by coincidence the weather on the shoot days were [un]typically blustery spring days with complete overcast when they were shooting the Santa Fe Plaza. A local crew would have called a weather day but when you’ve transported everyone a long way then that’s not possible. They can hardly have showed NM in its best light.
The main problem is this; We in the Industry have not convinced our own Tourism Department that there’s better, cheaper and more committed resources right here in the State. More troubling, our Film Office who evidently were aware of this and did not intercede apparently feel the same or how could this occur? If they are not our advocates who is?” -Jon Hendry
After the recent shoots, Hendry furthermore extended his apologies to New Mexico production companies vowing to work harder than ever going forward to close gaps between state agencies and state film workers.
Multiple, highly qualified in-state production houses are known to have made considerable efforts to submit for work on the New Mexico State Tourism ad campaign. One local production house confirmed to industry advocates that their firm worked diligently, over several months attempting to be considered for production work on the local tourism shoot.
Repeated contact, including at least one promising exchange with the Texas based company hired to execute the ad campaign, [pen]ultimately led to the New Mexico company being simply ignored – that is until the visiting crew hired was on location here in NM, when it is reported that the California producers called-in for advice on how to shoot a particular way, while the aforementioned regional weather issues griped the production.
Based on such accounts, what we can so far come to expect from the forthcoming campaign is an overcast Santa Fe Plaza and a wind ravaged Sandia Peak. At least it looks like the Kayak shoot was a success. New Mexico Kayak Instruction, Inc. (NMKI) posted on their blog all about the very positive experience of their water sport segment of the campaign shoot.
“Yesterday was my first experience working with the New Mexico Film industry,” NMKI’s Kelly Gossett wrote of the filming. Kayaks yes, NMFilm not so much. Click here for the full account on how at least one New Mexico based company was featured thus far in this out of state, out of pocket ad campaign.