Posted by Sindicator
on March 17, 2013 | One comment
In a cliff hanger that rivaled any blockbuster suspense thriller, the nail biting, sometimes gut wrenching, emotional roller coaster of our state’s film production saga came to a head this weekend.
First on Friday afternoon when the bad news spread all over the local film community and unfortunately spilled into national media that Governor Susana Martinez vetoed the increased film incentive proposal dubbed the “Breaking Bad” bill, citing lack of comprehensive tax reform as a part of her overall agenda.
Fortunately unyielding advocates for film jobs and the unsung impact of economic growth felt all across the state prevailed to see the most important adjustments to existing state film industry incentives live on.
The torch was carried on for thousands of industry workers and support service businesses in the form of pre-existing Legislative bill HB 641 – ironically titled An Act Relating to the Public Peace, Health, Safety and Welfare, which rapidly became known as the “Zombie” version of the Breaking Bad bill, largely because the amended act contained the very heart of the incentive changes required to bring more long living, qualified television productions to the state and securing unused budget dollars to roll-over into future years for more film production – all the while not impacting state spending.
Because of stalwart efforts on the floor, namely by bill sponsor, representative Antonio “Moe” Maestes, IATSE Local 480 Business Agent Jon Hendry, and driven on by a strong showing of film community support; by way of a public outcry to the Governor’s office, the “Zombie” bill lived to see another day, passing both the house and the senate, narrowly garnering a show of support from the Governor who promised to sign the bill into law as part of an omnibus tax bill which she deems acceptable and including a majority of her tax plan demands.
The cast of New Mexico’s longest running and most world famous production for whom the original film bill was named, was largely unaware of the drama at a charity event held on Saturday evening at Albuquerque Studios, where they had been filming til 4:30 a.m. Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, R.J. Mitte, Betsy Brandt and Bob Odenkirk, took part in the night’s Youth Development Inc. fundraiser which brought in over $28,000 to benefit children and their families right here in New Mexico, in large part to follow aspirations and become educated in film production careers, as spearheaded by Breaking Bad co-star and hometown activist Steven Michael Quezada.
Even the Mayor of Albuquerque, Richard Berry who lavished praise on the show’s substantial local economic impact and world over notoriety was learning at the same time as the cast that the heavily anticipated television production incentives were in fact one day closer to becoming a reality.
Bryan Cranston, who talked at length with reporters, YDI supporters and government officials in attendance spoke volumes about the value and immense talents of New Mexico cast and crew base, reiterating again and again that 90% of film workers on the six year production are New Mexico workers. Later in the evening at a closed door event, show creator Vince Gillagan too praised New Mexico, saying it’s a place, “which I now call my home”.
The passage of new legislation increasing incentives for long term production investment in our state finally raises the flag which New Mexico film advocates have championed for so long, sending the message to competing states and world wide productions that New Mexico Film is “open for business”.
Related: Governor Promises to Sign | Breaking Bad Brings Business
Posted by Sindicator
on February 22, 2013 | One comment
SANTA FE — State Representative Dona G. Irwin and Deming Mayor Andres Silva announced today that “ENEMY WAY” starring Academy Award Winner, Golden Globe Winner, and BAFTA Winner Forest Whittaker (The Last King of Scotland, Criminal Minds, Repo Man) will be filming in and around Deming April 3rd – May 3rd and Albuquerque May 7th – May 28th.
The film is directed by Rachid Bouchareb (True Justice, Maximum Conviction) nominated for an Academy Award and 2 Oscar as well as the Palme D’or at Cannes. Rachid’s “Outside the Law” was released in the US in 2011 and has garnered Rachid his third Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film. He just completed “Just Like A Woman” with Sienna Miller and Golshifteh Farahani, which shot in Chicago and New Mexico. The film is slated for release in the US in 2013.
“ENEMY WAY” is a story that takes place in Deming, New Mexico. Willie Garnett finds himself fighting his inner demon. Garnett must persevere, but will he be able to take on the most powerful man in Luna County?
“ENEMY WAY” Plans to spend over a month in Deming plus a month of wrap. $5 million dollars are to be injected to the Deming economy.
“The Runaway” Balliwood meets Tamalewood in this road film to be shot entirely in New Mexico. Award winning filmmaker Brad Littlefield from Open Range pictures is crewing up once again!
Extrordinary filmmakers from around the world come to New Mexico. Director Semir Banerjey from Hotel New York, from Russia Assitant Director Anna Zaitsevah, Japanese Director of Photography Katsumi Funihashi, and casting director Farrah West who worked with Lost and Dark Blue work with Littlefield to bring up to 50 jobs to New Mexico and will employ up to 50 cast and crew.
Jon Hendry, IATSE local 480 the film technicians union, said, “This is a game changer for Deming. This high profile project not only will spend millions but put Southwest New Mexico firmly on the movie map. My members look forward to spending their money and the movie’s money in Deming “
Posted by Sindicator
on February 14, 2013 | One comment
From New Mexico’s International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees:
Film & Media Day will be on Friday, Feb. 22nd this year. We start with a Women In Film presentation on the evening before. A full schedule can be found below.
The Halls of History at the State Capitol will be full of exhibitors from communities, colleges, and film vendors from around the state. “Breaking Bad” star Steven Michael Quezada will introduce Friends of Film, Warriors for Film workers at noon in the Rotunda to be followed by a showing of “Carmen & Ben: A Love Story,” our documentary tribute to Speaker Lujan.
Background casting call will take place from 11am-4pm in the auditorium at the State Land Office, 310 Old Santa Fe Trail. The public is encouraged to attend. For casting session questions please call Hillary Baca at 974-8058.
The industry reception for legislators will follow at The Dragon Room in the Pink Adobe from 5-8 pm.
Jon Hendry said, “After ten years, Film & Media Day has become one of the biggest and most well-attended lobbying days during the session. Schools and communities from all over the state send students and businesses to meet their representatives and thank them for their continued support of this exciting industry. It’s a great day to come to the Capitol, and this year you could even become an extra!”
Schedule of Events
Thursday, Feb. 21st:
NMWIF and IATSE Local 480 kick-off event at the New Mexico Federation of Labor (NMFL) Legislative Office 7pm.
Friday Feb. 22nd:
7:30am Exhibitors being to set up tables in the Halls of History
8am – Exhibitor tables continue until 4:30pm
9-10am – Mayor’s Welcome Breakfast hosted by IATSE Local 480 at the NMFL legislative office, 410 A Old Santa Fe Trail
10am – Reel Working America class on lobbying at the NMFL office – open to all
11aqm -4pm – Open casting call at the State Land Office auditorium – 310 Old Santa Fe Trail
Noon –1pm – Press conference in the Rotunda with Steven Michael Quezada. We will also be screening IATSE 480 Business Agent, Jon Hendry’s tribute to Speaker Ben Lujan.
1pm – Sky video systems demo of their camera drone outside on the Old SF Trail side
2-5pm – Lobbying
4:30pm – Vendors break down their displays and tables and chairs are loaded out
5pm – 8pm VIP Legislative reception at the Dragon Room, Pink Adobe, Old SF Trail
7pm – Sundance Film and CCA present, “Upstream Color” at the Lensic.
IATSE Local 480 is participating by offering discounted tickets to NM film makers, available at the Roundhouse on the day for $5, first come first served.
Contact: Linda McDill, NMWIF President
Posted by Sindicator
on February 11, 2013 | 4 comments
UPDATE: Above Governor Martinez speaks to KOB-TV’s Stuart Dyson about her stance on the “Breaking Bad Bill”.
Today (1:30 room 317) the New Mexico Legislature will hear House Bill 379.
Introduced by Representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D), HB379 raises the tax incentive percentage from 25% to 30% for qualifying television productions.
The bill would also allow any money of the $50M cap that is not spent to roll over to the next year. So if this year only $40M were paid out, $10M would carry over into next fiscal year, essentially raising the incentive budget to $60M the following year.
This legislation is tailored to attract and maintain television series production in the state. While the world renowned, five season run, hit series Breaking Bad is set to wrap in just a matter of weeks, New Mexico is looking to take on more of this kind of steady employment for our very rich crew & talent base, like that of the second season A&E hit Longmire, now in production.
As Jon Hendry, business agent for the local film technician’s union, recently spelled out for the Taos News, there are currently four network television series that are shooting or plan to begin production in the state. He said HB 379 would help keep those productions in New Mexico if the shows get picked up by networks.
Contact YOUR HTRC now in support of the so-called Breaking Bad Bill!
On the senate side, Senator John C. Ryan (R) has just introduced Senate Bill 468 which is said to “clean-up” language of previous legislation with clearer and more defined parameters for New Mexico Film Incentives.
SB0468 outlines taking any money not used in the $50M cap to pay out deferred payments on films due a rebate above $5OM. Those films would get 3 equal payments, one immediately, one in 12 months and the 3rd in 24 months. The bill also states that if there is money left at the end of the year of the 50m it would be used to pay the production company in real-time instead of waiting for the 12 and 24 months.
The senate bill also aims to tighten-up the language about how non-residents can be hired, and under what circumstances. These revisions are meant to resolve some conflicts and “loopholes” in laws created during previous legislation.
The Bills: HB379 | SB468
Title edit via Matthew Reichbach
Posted by Sindicator
on February 1, 2013 | 7 comments
“I’m still receiving inquiries about my thoughts on studies. As I said in my plan, the problem with studies is that it depends on who performs them. I can give you the results right now. If you believe it’s government’s function to create jobs, then film is one of, if not the, most dynamic programs in the country. If you believe that everything government does must create more tax revenue than it spends, then film doesn’t work. How we go about building roads or educating our kids on the basis of the return to the treasury is a complete mystery to me but that is the argument that is made. While conspiracy theorists believe the Governor’s office want a study released in 2014 when she’s running for reelection, I believe the film office is trying to figure out how to do it as fairly and equitably as possible while satisfying both of these constituencies. I’d be disappointed if politics took precedence over jobs.
We as a business mustn’t fall into the trap of calling these tax credits “subsidies.” We know they are not and if we use that word it becomes common practice. It’s what is happening in the New Mexican, and even fair and unbiased journalists like those at KUNM are using the Republican language. They don’t say oil and gas subsidies, solar subsidies or cheese subsidies; they call them tax credits. If you have the time write, email, or tweet press outlets when you see them use the term “subsidies” and let’s try to reframe the debate.”
This bill [HB379] is our first attempt at something the legislature can pass and the Governor will sign. It will probably not be the final version. There are a couple of amendments and the possibility of a committee sub but at least you can now see the way we are going. The first thing we really need to deal with is the roll over. If we wrote $9 million in checks in a year that we did $225 million in business, there is $30 million missing which we need to recapture. We’re still working on language around the vendor issue to be amended or substituted in. The Film Office has similar issues. We wanted to send a clear signal that we want to increase TV to 30% and give a talking point for conversations that people can pursue with their legislators.
The thinking is this: we have a number of pilots shooting here then returning to California and our big competition (Louisiana and Georgia) are both at 30%. We’d like to get that figure into the discussion for NM. As we all know, nothing provides stable, long term employment like a TV series. We’ve got a pretty good industry consensus and we’re working on the Governor’s office. Here we go!
New Mexico Labor Federation President, IATSE Local 480 Business Agent
Posted by Sindicator
on November 27, 2012 | 4 comments
Click to enlarge
There are at least two sides to every story and often a myriad more modus operandi, even when working from the same playbook, toward the same goal.
The purpose of this very site is to promote any and everyone with an interest in furthering opportunities for New Mexicans through Film, Entertainment and Community Activism. Many such advocates surface and then subside, but something that does not wane is the passion of the people taking up tasks to support New Mexico Film.
Below are the Point and Counterpoint of two very active, if not vocal advocates for New Mexico Film on the Hot Topics of our state governing vs. our collective favorite state industry.
From New Mexico Filmmakers Moderator, Nevada Sands –
Humanitarian documentary film production is the reason I studied filmmaking. When I came to New Mexico, I met many independent filmmakers struggling financially and working for free and saw Hollywood production companies spending millions on subject matter that didn’t interest me. I became disheartened. However, after noticing Governor Susana Martinez never appointed a chairman for…the Governor’s Council on Film and Media Industries, I got excited about making Susana Martinez accountable for non-compliance of Film Council bylaws: NMSA 1978, Section 9-15-4.1.
For nearly two years, the NM Governor has stood in her willful defiance of Film Council by refusing to appoint a chairman, failing to meet at least quarterly and failing to report the results of these meeting to Legislature as is mandated. For the last four months, this lawlessness has been made public on the New Mexico Filmmakers Facebook page. Moreover, the following public servants have been repeatedly notified in writing of this very crime: NM Lt. Governor John Sanchez, NM Secretary of State Dianna Duran, NM Attorney General Gary King, NM Director of Boards and Commissions Jeremiah Ritchie, NM Secretary of Economic Development Jon Barela, NM Deputy Director of Constituent Services Henry Varela, NM Film Office Director Nick Maniatis, the NM Legislature along with media at the local, national and international levels. However, it appears that nobody seems to have the courage, ethics or know-how on how to enforce the law at the political level.
Susan Martinez—with her reputation of being a conservative Republican who hates Hollywood—would rather grant her oil friends tax breaks than the film industry. A former Film Council member stated recently that New Mexico lost $300 million in business last year and another $300 million this year as a direct result of Susana’s actions. She took a solo runaway train and deliberately ran it right off the cliff. Many filmmakers and associated businesses have suffered great financial loss due to the changes made in the film industry by Susana without Film Council.
The greatest contribution I could ever make to the NM film industry is to ensure Film Council compliance so that the Governor receives needed counsel and accountability. Word on the street is that anyone who goes against Susana gets fired. When New Mexico Film Office Director Nick Maniatis saw the Facebook posts making the Governor accountable for breaking Film Council law, he blocked us on Facebook. My wonder is if Nick enjoys the extra power operating without Film Council, for I cannot fathom why Nick isn’t the one spearheading this effort. The head of New Mexico’s filmmaker union Jon Hendry called the Film Council an “ineffectual vanity council.” Sad.
This matter now stands before the President of the United States of America and the NM Federal Bureau of Investigation. Public servant financial disclosure statements–which are publicly available on the Internet–were posted on this public page; but, since public servants complained, Facebook removed the public information with a warning. Seems New Mexico public servants not only feel they don’t have to comply with Film Council bylaws, by they also believe they don’t have to comply with the Financial Disclosure Act. Time to defend our rights to make politicians obey the law and remain accountable.
Governor Susana Martinez stands 23 months in willful defiance of the Governor’s Council on Film and Media Industries. My focus is on that. If you read the poster that this thread is attached to, you will see the trail of public servants who enable this crime. What I mean about making a mockery of that, is that it’s so blatantly obvious that it’s a joke.
From New Mexico Federation of Labor President Jon Hendry -
Why are people asking me about the Governor’s Council on film? I sat on that thing under both Johnson and Richardson. In fact I was the longest serving member. Tell me one thing, just ONE that we did in ten years of meetings that made a difference? Governors use these commissions to reward friends and give themselves cover. There are real issues out there in our business. This isn’t one of them.
I’ve been reading the postings on impeaching the Governor over not appointing a film advisory council. Much as I appreciate the enthusiasm, I kind of feel obliged to throw my nickels’ worth in here as the only person who sat continuously on every advisory board from Gov. Johnson to Richardson.
Understand that the reason you form one of these Councils is not to get advice but to have a Board you can point to and say “these people are in the business and they approved it”, so you’re going to appoint people who pretty much agree with you – not those who would question your judgment or decisions in any way. That is the same across all levels of government. These types of commissions are set-up to allow Departments to report and get their news and opinions on record and to give the administration cover. Having a Film Council appointed by the Governor alone is really pointless in making a difference.
On initiating impeachment proceedings – it’s never going to fly as long as at least a third of the House members are Republicans. It’s again pointless.
This talk of a reconstituted film council is just a distraction. If the intent is to highlight the Governors failure then fair enough. But if the intent is to actually get a Council appointed that will make a difference then it’s not only a wasted effort but it’s a waste of resources. The NM Film Office is tasked to administer and staff the council. It’s time consuming wrangling that many people to attend meetings , prepare agendas and take minutes. With the large budget cuts that have resulted in minimal marketing dollars you’re using staff time and resources that will have to come out of already greatly diminished funds. Is this the best use of their time ? If the board was neutral and knowledgeable then yes. An independent oversight of the State’s programs would be beneficial not only to the industry but to the Film Office. However as the Governor appoints and replaces there’s not even the suggestion of independence. It would simply give the Governors office the opportunity to point to the board and say “this body approves of what were doing therefore it must be right” and many will believe it. Frankly I’m surprised there’s no board as it would be of more use to the administration than to the Business.
Posted by Sindicator
on September 17, 2012 | Comments Off
POINT via Ann Lerner, City of Albuquerque Film Liaison:
The film industry is alive and well in Albuquerque.
We’ve seen a variety of film activity in the area this year. “In Plain Sight” finished Season 5, filming out at I-25 Studios and on location around town. “Breaking Bad” shot eight episodes of Season 5, and will be back in December for eight more episodes. “The Last Stand,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, filmed in Downtown Albuquerque in January. (Watch the trailer to see an impressive stunt across the intersection of Fifth and Marquette.)
And, oh yes, the largest movie being made in the world this year, “The Lone Ranger,” chose Albuquerque Studios as its home for offices and sets and built two western towns out by the Rio Puerco, filming here for months.
“2 Guns” just wrapped, “Lone Survivor” starts filming in October for nine weeks. Two other films will be shooting this fall as well.
Numerous independent filmmakers are making low-budget projects – from features, to shorts, to webisodes.
So why do people like to film in Albuquerque? Besides the 310 days of sunshine, no natural disasters, close proximity to Los Angeles, an easy-to-use film tax incentive and a strong film crew base, we have a world-class infrastructure of stages, equipment companies, suppliers and businesses relating to the movie industry.
And Albuquerque can double for many different location looks – we can be Cincinnati (“Wild Hogs”); Munich (“Beer Fest”); Mexico border crossing (“2 Guns”); Los Angeles (“Crash TV”); New York (“The Resident”).
But I think a large part of the reason people like to film in Albuquerque is because of the open reception filmmakers receive from neighborhoods and businesses and the administration.
We offer one-stop film-permitting. We recognize that filming dates may change due to weather or illness or some other factor and are flexible.
Our filming guidelines require production companies to limit the number of large vehicles in a neighborhood and provide notification of filming dates and times. We have a program asking productions to give $100 to the neighborhood association for each day of filming. To date, over $60,000 has been raised.
We respect the production companies and welcome them for bringing in new money and providing well-paying and creative jobs for our citizens.
Production companies respect our highly skilled labor force and willingness to allow filming in the area.
Our reputation is strong. The Film Office is busy reading scripts and leading location scouts for potential future work. We’re issuing permits. Our phones are ringing.
Thank you for keeping Albuquerque film friendly!
COUNTERPOINT via Jon Hendry, President New Mexico Federation of Labor:
Our film liaisons are a hidden treasure.
The hard work of such great people as Ann Lerner in ABQ, Jan Wafful in Alamogordo, and Lisa Van Allen in Santa Fe, along with a dozen others around the state who back up the New Mexico Film Office and do great work in their communities, is a huge part of our industry success. I believe that Ann’s excellent editorial in today’s Journal speaks highly of her office, her pride in the community, and the effect that we in film have had on so many ancillary businesses. Bravo!
However, I respectfully disagree on the state of the NM film business. When 50/1 wraps, there will be slim pickings for NM crews through Breaking Bad‘s final eight episodes. While Lone Survivor is trying hard to employ as many locals as they can, for technical reasons they have to bring in more crew than we would like in fields where we are not strong. Hopefully, that is something we can all address in the future. One film can’t carry more than 1000 qualified technicians plus actors, stunt people, drivers, PA’s, and the host of others who have come to rely on this business. Rumors of an eminent super-hero movie only help a little, since we know that the vast majority of key or best boy positions will not go to locals. While they may fill hotel rooms, rent cars, and buy lumber, these kinds of movies don’t always help the working crew. We can’t expect micro budget pictures to pay comparable rates or the benefits we need; that’s ok, bring them on, we appreciate them, but it’s not the road to full employment.
As well as things are going, the warning lights are also flashing, and I believe we’re reaching that critical area where we need to deal with these situations in the upcoming legislative session. After two years we know what works and what doesn’t. My suggestions follow. On most I think you’ll find general industry consensus and on others some dissension, but I think we’ll find some suggestions that the legislature can agree with and that will allow the taxpayers to feel they are getting a good return on their investment.
1) We need to return to the original legislative intent of $50 million. In order to do that we need a cost of living increase as we’re the only “capped incentive”. That is going to seem extremely moderate now but we need the protection for the hyper inflation that may occur and could basically wipe us out of the business. By doing so we ensure that in real dollars the $50 million stays constant.
2) TV series employ more New Mexicans in all facets of the business than anything else, and we need to give them the certainty they will get their money when they make a commitment to us which could be up to five years. I’m open to suggestions on how we do this but I think the way is to exempt them from the cap.
3) We need to make some technical changes in the language of that rather rushed bill that allows a rollover of unused credits that we can accumulate as we already have a substantial balance from the last few years and a payout of $50 million. There is no reason for it to be staggered if we have the money. Sitting on it doesn’t help anyone, especially the state budget process.
4) We need to set up a system that, when Tax & Rev has approved a rebate, picture companies can monetize this. I believe the private banking system can look at doing this. I also believe some of us in NM might contribute to a fund that would not only give a return but help us get more pictures and, most importantly, ABQ, Bernalillo County, SF city & counties, Alamogordo, and Otero County could look to their bonding capacity to help this occur. It would be very useful if we could put this money in to the project while they are still here shooting and spending money and not two years down the road when they are long gone. Alaska is looking at a cash flow model, private funds can move much quicker than governmental entities, but Tax & Rev would have to come up with a certification program.
5) Perhaps most controversially, I think we need to do much, much more to ensure that the companies generating the rebates for the production entities are NM based and the money stays in the state. It’s almost a game to figure out how to make out of state people and equipment and other purchases rebateable. We shouldn’t be asking Tax & Rev to play “whack a mole”. When we solve one issue another pops up and that’s not good. We thought the bricks and mortar requirement solved this but in some cases it made it worse. I want to be able to say with hand on my heart that we rebate no one from out of state and we keep the money here where it was generated and where it’s needed. Any perception that this is welfare for Hollywood isn’t good. This should be a legislative priority.
I’m open to other suggestions. What I can’t work with is a situation where on the top end we’re being squeezed by the amount of money we can put out and on the bottom end we are squeezed because these companies are employing fewer New Mexicans and spending more money with large chains who don’t pay taxes here or out of state companies are working through facilitators instate that help them get an undeserved rebate. If anyone else feels we’re doing sensationally well I am happy, after ensuring confidentiality, to share payroll figures with you – it’s not great.
Posted by Sindicator
on September 3, 2012 | Comments Off
By Jon Hendry, President NEW MEXICO FEDERATION OF LABOR, AFL-CIO
Labor Day usually conjures images of the end of summer – one last barbecue, a final trip to the Butte or even just a day off of work to spend time with the people we love.
Yet our picnics, road trips and tailgating parties wouldn’t be possible without the contributions of the men and women who do the work that keeps our communities and our country going – the engineers who design our roads, the police officers, firefighters and prison guards who keep us safe and the small-business owners who sell us our hot dog buns and sunscreen.
Labor Day is a reminder that all of us, whether we are employed or looking for work, are the heartbeat of this country. And over the next few months, we will have a choice between protecting America’s greatest strength – each other – or allowing our voices to be silenced by those with more money, power and influence.
America’s prosperity came about because the people who were the pulse of America were recognized, respected and rewarded. Everyone had a fair shot at getting ahead – because everyone played by the same rules. Good jobs and decent wages led to real economic growth, thriving businesses and strong communities, which led in turn to a better future for our children.
Yet many of our leaders have pushed a starkly different vision for our country’s future.
Wall Street-driven elected officials have fought to keep the rules that allow the most privileged Americans to get ahead by gaming the system, regardless of the consequences for the rest of Americans. It’s a strategy that creates millions in corporate profit while leaving behind foreclosed homes and longer unemployment lines.
Not only does our tax code allow wealthy CEOs to claim a tax break for exporting jobs overseas, it allows them to look forward to paying zero U.S. taxes on the jobs and income moved offshore. The richest 2 percent of Americans are allowed to claim larger and larger tax cuts. Meanwhile, less-fortunate Americans are forced to pick up the tab as Congress votes to end Medicare as we know it and cut benefits for Social Security.
In New Mexico we have seen the lowest job growth in the country under Gov. Susana Martinez, yet there are thousands of state jobs funded but not filled and capital money is still piling up that could be used to fix our critical infrastructure needs and create well-paid jobs.
There is no clearer example of this philosophy than Republican vice presidential pick Paul Ryan. According to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, his budget would deliver a hefty tax cut to the wealthiest Americans while stripping $347 million from health care, education and road repairs in New Mexico alone. Under his plan, the real job creators – our workers and our small-business owners – are out of luck.
The Ryan plan is just one example of why we need to stop rewarding politicians who rig the game for their wealthy donors. The flood of money into our election system has made many politicians more interested in helping those who bankroll their campaigns instead of the rest of us.
Yet is the work of a CEO more valuable than that of a nurse hard at work saving lives? Does an investment banker contribute more to our economy than the engineer who builds safe bridges and roads? I believe in the vision of an America that honors and respects all work and the people who do it.
That is why it is so important for all of us to make our voices heard – to insist that all of us play an important role in our communities and our country. We must elect leaders who really will stand on the side of the people they represent and not those with the deepest pockets.
Over the next few months, we will be hammered on every side by slick TV ads and mailers asking and cajoling us with promises of what they will or won’t do for us. Our job is to take a step back and look at the issues. How do our candidates stand on the things that really matter?
Because in the end, we need leaders who will build shared prosperity and create an economy that works for everyone. Most important, we need leaders who give America’s workers what we need to continue being America’s backbone.
That’s how we can really commemorate Labor Day.
Posted by Sindicator
on June 20, 2012 | Comments Off
Images via New Mexico Film Office / Montana Film Office
A message from New Mexico IATSE Local 480 Business Agent, Jon Hendry:
Having just returned from the LA Locations Expo, I have a few observations on where I believe we are going with our business here in NM. In LA, I also had the chance to talk to various people from around the country to confirm what I believe is happening nationally.
First, congratulations to everyone who attended the show and participated in the many events. Our Shoot Santa Fe partners reached into their own pockets to finance a booth, two parties, and several in-person meetings with possible clients, and they did an excellent job. Nick and Tobi from the NM Film Office along with Ann from ABQ, Jan from Otero County, and Lisa from Santa Fe did a great job at the NMFO booth which as usual looked spectacular. I can’t help but believe we had a large positive impact in allaying the many rumors I heard about NM’s demise. It’s just unfortunate that we only got to talk to the people who attended the show. Thanks to Santa Fe Studios and Santa Fe County for the full page ad in Variety which allowed us to reach a larger audience.
I had a frank discussion with a senior representative for a major studio and a production entity as well as a representative from one of our facilities about their belief that we need to rebate out-of-state crew members (particularly above the line) in order to remain competitive. It may surprise some to know that we have already done this on a couple of occasions for a limited amount of crew on major motion pictures. There is a provision whereby this can occur, but of course the taxes have to be paid and the circumstances have to be extraordinary. (On that note congratulations to NM Taxation & Revenue for auditing actors and loan-out companies to ensure they have paid their entire NM tax liabilities. It’s important that those of us who pay NM taxes know that everyone is being treated equally.)
If we were to expand our definitions… » Read the full post
Posted by Sindicator
on May 9, 2012 | 4 comments
There seemed to be some promising developments between one big government office and our own International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees after the dust-up in March, wherein the NM Dept. of Tourism and New Mexico dollars went virtually ALL OUT OF STATE (save for approx. 6 actors and 2 crew members, and a 4 day local shoot).
Then IATSE 480 business agent Jon Hendry released this statement regarding the possible mends in going forward with the current administration giving NMFilm a fair shake, however…
A new row is brewing as another branch of our government too appears set to utilize out of state film resources and is requesting non-union talent to shoot state PSAs.
The latest word from Jon Hendry on the matter:
So the DOT are shooting a spot as they do regularly ( or it could be the MVD but whomever it’s your tax dollars) and from what I’m being told they’re bringing in an out-of-state Director and possibly a DP. They’re also casting only non-union actors. Now I’m finding this all a little hard to believe, as I sat in the Govenor’s office and i was personally assured, by the Deputy Chief of Staff, that every effort would be made to ensure this didn’t happen again, so for now I’m assuming it’s all a rumor.
There are some fine commercial directors here, as good as anyone that could be brought in. Even if there wasn’t, how would our people ever get better without the opportunities that in-State Government commercials allow ? I actually know of what I speak. In a previous life, when I was the Director of Marketing for then Gov. Richardson, we shot dozens of spots without ever bringing in anyone from out of State including the Directors and we somehow made the spots on budget and Union. Including the iconic ” You drink,you drive, you lose ” and the national award-winning ” You’re in the right state of mind, just the wrong State “
We viewed commercials as training grounds and showcase opportunities for New Mexico talent both in front and behind the camera. After all, if the State won’t help who will ?
Rather than just complain here’s a couple of concrete suggestions ; first here’s what I will be told ” Why do you care.? They are using your guys ? ” I care because I’m a New Mexican. Bringing in ATL is just wrong. Putting BTL locals on doesn’t make this right. As I’ve said, I will be an advocate, but the real key here is the film office. If they ask through the Governor that all departments send there RFP’s over so they can be emailed to interested New Mexicans who register with them, then at least the production community will have an opportunity to bid. They could also put on a job fair for State agencies which brings together possible clients and vendors. I used to bring in all the PIO’s from the State for a monthly meet and show them examples of New Mexican work, took them to sets, introduced them to our peeps. It worked.
Regardless if New Mexicans are not getting hired, we-the production community- need to fix this. I need to fix this. Because frankly I’m a big fan. I have had the privilege of working with many of you and with many outsiders. We take a back seat to no one.
In the meanwhile, today the Albuquerque Journal reports, “Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration is laying the groundwork for a wide-ranging study of New Mexico’s film rebates that it hopes will put to rest the debate over the program’s effectiveness.”
Full story here.
We have to wonder if the study will aim for a balanced look or simply take further aim at dismantling the industry which this administration has been so notorious for. Albuquerque has fallen from NUMBER ONE in the nation for film production to third and the state as a whole has fallen from third to NINTH under Martinez’s relatively short rule.
target no study the numbers of productions which are fleeting and fleeing continue to mount, from Django Unchained in Louisiana, to Iron Man and Hunger Games in North Carolina, where Government offices actively work for film jobs and notoriety for their state residents.
New Mexico presently sits on the bench with infighting while neighboring states, previously daunted by the New Mexico’s top ranking in film were falling away, others are ramping-up as our reign is loosening and slipping away.
Posted by Sindicator
on March 27, 2012 | 9 comments
We are honored to have been asked to recognize the passing of a beloved member of the close-knit New Mexico Film family.
In this great industry of passion, pride and inspiration, brothers and sisters in film are sharing sad goodbyes and fond memories of a great spirit among them who has departed to the other side.
Today New Mexico and this world say, rest in peace to a true comrade and friend to all, Frank Tapia.
Frank Tapia passed peacefully and painlessly at 8:30 last night. He was surrounded by his family, union brothers and friends. Words cannot describe my appreciation for the huge response by this Local. Literally minutes after my email his union family started to show up and by 6:30 there was a line waiting to say goodbye, the dirt of Lone Ranger mixing with the sawdust from Breaking Bad. I know that Frank and his family appreciated it and I believe it let him go in peace. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all.
-Jon Hendry, New Mexico International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Business Agent
Sincerest condolences to those of you who know him, love him and will always carry his memory with you.
Please feel free to leave your respects and remembrances as comments here.
Posted by Sindicator
on March 22, 2012 | 2 comments
On the long and winding road of missteps, wherein New Mexico industries and the very fiber of our cultural make-up as New Mexicans had first been underutilized then flatly insulted, a path to amends is taking shape.
This week New Mexico Film workers business agent, Jon Hendry had a successful meeting with the Governor’s cabinet members in regards to their handling and handing out of the state’s multi-million dollar ad campaign, which has recently grabbed some unflattering national and international attention due to the Tourism Department’s casting gaffe.
Tops in priority to many are bridging the gap between the high dollar, high visibility contract utilizing local trades, businesses and people, for this all important media package set to launch beginning next month with the goal of showcasing New Mexico to the world.
As forwarded to OHI from the office of IATSE 480 Business Agent, Jon Hendry to locals in film; the status of New Mexico Film, New Mexico Tourism, and New Mexicans going forward together stands as follows:
I just met with Cabinet Secretary of Tourism Monique Jacobsen, the Director of Tourism Development, and the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff on the outsourcing of crew on the recent tourism commercial.
I feel we had a frank and open discussion of our positions. I believe the Department and the Governor’s office now know that this is something that should not have occurred. I also believe that they are willing to make every effort to prevent this from occurring in the future.
We discussed three things which I think will be positive steps forward.
1. We will work together to ensure that as many New Mexicans as possible work on these projects in the future.
2. We will work to form an advisory group of people from around the state to assist in achieving that goal.
3. We will jointly create a promotion to showcase New Mexicans’ own stories.
I strongly believe this meeting was a positive first step. Everyone in attendance took this matter seriously. I’m making a commitment to the NM production community that I will do everything that I can to make sure it doesn’t happen again. The Governor’s office and the Tourism Department will work with us all to make sure as well.
Having said that, the recent commercial is in the can; continuing to gripe and complain about it, while therapeutic, does not help. We’re all New Mexicans here regardless of what side of the fence we sit on, where we originally came from, or what we look like. Our goal should be to promote jobs through sustainable and respectful tourism. I know a number of you told me earlier you’re willing to work with me on this and I will hold you to it.
IATSE Local 480
UPDATES TO FOLLOW
Posted by Sindicator
on March 12, 2012 | 4 comments
UPDATE 3/15/12: NOW ON KRQE | Santa Fe New Mexican | ABQ Journal
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.
Related: Vendor Inc. | State Tourism RFP | Commercial Casting Call
Posted by Sindicator
on February 29, 2012 | 5 comments
UPDATE 3/2/12: OHI has just obtained the following document, as sent out last month, requesting that state leaders consider utilizing local resources to produce the upcoming NM State Tourism multi-media campaign.
GUILTY – We’re all guilty of corporate chain store shopping and franchise restaurant dinning over the local mom & pop businesses who are struggling to survive in our community.
Does this mean we shall all remain passive in allowing our state funds, though humble by national standards, to follow the same path on a still multimillion dollar scale, by way of whatever cryptic and elusive measures may or may not be ordained?
In what looks a lot like an ever increasing tally of slights to the local film & media industry by the Roundhouse, this particular money train (aka NM State Tourism contract) starts in New Mexico, runs through Texas (to drop off the cash) and only creates local work or pays back to New Mexico what is allocated by the out of state firm.
You don’t get to be the 498,660 ranked website in America (1,411,247 worldwide, insert “lol” here) without recognizing that there IS as much passion and interest as there is talent in this great state and its epic film industry that thousands have worked and lived to embolden over lo these many years.
From those of us who watch and report, to those in the trenches who literally implore the powers that be to lend their support to growing the industry, we all want to know – If we’re truly working to bring productions home, why wouldn’t we produce a production set to represent and draw the world’s attention to us with ample local talent?
IATSE Local 480 Business Agent, Jon Hendry proactively set out to offer his industry know-how and resources to the state’s Governor, Susana Martinez and her applicable cabinet members in the above letter dated Feb. 14, 2012 – which all but begs the root question here: If the industry has the support of the current administration why isn’t it being utilized by it?
YOUR “meager” 2M State Tourism dollars are at work on Job Creation, for out of state companies.
The decision to go with the small and relatively new Texas firm, Vendor Inc., may already be generating some tourism revenue, by way of maybe filling some hotel rooms and buying local meals for the out of state advertising firm and their crew*, when they visit NM to execute our new multimillion dollar marketing campaign.
Too bad factoring small business and peripheral spending locally is not taken into any meaningful account by the current administration (oh wait, that’s only when asserted by the evil film industry – Tourism gets carte blanche on claims of grandeur and bloated assertions of ROI – see Catch the Kid). And ~again, in this case, any dollars the Texas firm spends were already New Mexico dollars to begin with.
Though beloved by many (including yours truly), even the casting co. hired by the firm to fill roles for the multi-media ad campaign being shot locally, is not New Mexico based.
At least the gig pays ~well, and so long as they pass the “bag test”, it seems a few New Mexicans will be getting paid as a part of this whole shebang right out of the shoot.
*Unconfirmed – duh, this is a blog not the NY Times
Posted by Sindicator
on January 16, 2012 | Comments Off
UPDATE 1/25/12: Due to high interest, the event has been moved to the State Land Office on the corner of Alameda and Old Santa Fe Trail. Please RSVP if you can to:
NMWIF – a 501c3 organization, a New Mexico-based outreach network committed to the professional development and achievement of women in film and television through mentorship, networking, education and community. For more information about NMWIF or this event, please contact Lora Cunningham, NMWIF Board Member and Press Chair, at (323)630-3133 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Mexico Women in Film presents, Funding Our Own Films- Finally!!!
Rio Chama in the Historic Baca House
414 Old Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
From your host, Actress & NMIF Media Committee Chair Lora Cunningham:
NMWIF presents an impressive panel of New Mexico Legislators and top industry producers who will address an issue that concerns us all- FUNDING OUR PROJECTS!
So many of us simply don’t know where or how to find financing. To this point, we’ve been frustrated with elusive and inaccessible funding- having to turn to friends, family and even our own pockets for help!
Our guest producers will give insight into how they’ve successfully managed to finance their films!
Our guest legislators will address the The New Mexico Filmmakers’ Bill, which creates accessible money for all of us to use, whether you’re making a feature, short, TV show or Web Series.
Join us as Jon Hendry invites us to his private VIP Legislators’ Lounge at the Rio Chama for a night of education and empowerment.
This piece of legislation was created specifically for us, New Mexico filmmakers, to fund our dreams.
Come be a part of its success, so it can be a part of yours.
Esteemed Panelists Include:
Senator Tim Keller
Representative Brian Egoff
Representative Al Park
Representative Sue Wilson Beffort
Alicia J. Keyes, Producer “Blaze You Out”
…with more to be added!!!
6:00PM-6:30PM Mix and mingle
6:45PM-8:30PM Panel presentation with Q & A
8:30PM- 9:00PM Wrap-up and more mingling!
Event is free to NMWIF members- $15 for non-members.
Delicious food and refreshing beverages provided.
Posted by Sindicator
on January 6, 2012 | Comments Off
It’s that time of year again…
A word from IATSE 480 Business Agent Jon Hendry:
“Yes, Film & Media Day will be Wednesday Feb. 1st.
This is not going to be the big extravaganza [surrounding the Roundhouse] that it was last year with a cast of thousands. In fact, given the Governor’s recent strong indication of support this will be more like a traditional lobby day. That does not mean that you all shouldn’t come – we don’t want to give the impression that we have lost interest as that may cause several initiatives important to us to die along with a presumed lack of interest. We need a big presence informing our legislators and asking for their support and encouraging ways to continue to expand our business and job prospects.
Here is the plan, On Jan. 31st New Mexico Women In Film (WIF) will host a panel and open forum discussing our legislative initiatives
especially around financing for NM independent film makers. More details from WIF to follow.
IATSE Local 480 has booked 20 tables spaces (currently available) in the Roundhouse for the day as well as the Rotunda at noon for speeches. Preference will be given for tables to educational institutions, non profits, industry associations, and trade groups but since we’ve all learned to share we should be able to get everyone a spot including your business if you want to be there.
We will honor a “mover and shaker” from the business for the speech time as that will normally attracted media attention so if you are one or know one please contact us directly.
The evening of the 1st there will be a reception at the Pink Adobe hosted by IATSE Local 480 and Santa Fe Studios where legislators and the industry can get together, meet, and mingle.
Table spaces cost $50 which includes the actual table set up and tear down, and 2 tickets to the reception. Reception tickets alone are $40 each so this is an excellent deal. IATSE is willing to pick up the cost for any educational program associated with us who cannot afford a table. We also understand that times are tight especially for secondary schools and we are willing to reimburse train fare or diesel for buses within reason for schools as we feel it is important that the future of the industry are front and center on that day. If you’re traveling a distance (and please, please, please do so as we need statewide participation) we can help arrange for low cost hotel rooms and buy breakfast (burritos) for those who show up to set up early.
As usual this is being put on by IATSE Local 480 because we have the resources to do so but this is not a Union or governmental deal it is the industry’s lobby day and we welcome full participation. It’s important that we’re all there. Let’s make it a respectful celebration.” – Jon
Those interested in a table space please send an email directly to: email@example.com
(no phone calls please)
IATSE is also seeking creative ideas for activities and exhibitions to engage both attendees and elected officials. Suggestions and submissions that would involve the general public, legislators and their staffs, highlighting film trades, education, hardware/software, gizmos and events are encouraged and appreciated. Again, submit to firstname.lastname@example.org, title your message “Film & Media Day Ideas”.
ALSO: Get your gear AND support the cause here now!
Posted by Sindicator
on March 14, 2011 | One comment
Ironically many New Mexicans in Film, Entertainment, Trades and Local Business are working and can’t up the head-count to take a stand FOR NM FILM over at the Roundhouse.
But, we know plenty of y’all could & would haul your bodies up there and put your best act on if it were for a part in The Avengers or the like. Well this call to action may be one of the most important try-outs of your professional life.
Without a show of force NM Film remains in peril and efforts to keep cast, crews, support services and our kids in training for all of the above gainfully employed are shaky – we need a full cast & crew present to keep our top spot in global film production. If you would make the trek to audition or tryout for a role to further your career make this trip to capital city within the next few days.
Today we were able to chat briefly with IATSE Local 480 Business Manager and Film lobbyist, Jon Hendry. He’s quite literally been making the rounds, up at the Big House in Santa Fe and tells us we can take head that there is time left and negotiations open that we can still impact – the calls and emails are going through but NM Film needs your body.
Click here to listen to Hendry give us a little what’s-up with that industry we hold so dear…including who’s still trying to pull what and what our best bets are moving forward.
Posted by Sindicator
on February 28, 2011 | No comments
3/14/11 Interview with IATSE Local 480 Business Manager, Jon Hendry Re: the 2011 NM Legislature impacts and status of New Mexico Film
2/28/11 Interview with actress Diana Gaitirira on her new and upcoming projects.
2/25/11 The Q to You
Links: KPEK Radiothon, ABQ Kings, KRQE – Chupacabra Report, KOAT – Beat the Traffic, 2011 Legislature v. NM Film
12/29/10 Interview with Albuquerque Comic Con mastermind, Jim Burleson
12/00/10 Interview with Actor/Director/Comedian & Talk Show Host Steven Michael Quezada Re: The After After Party
KIOT 102.5 Q-Spot reports May-Nov. 2010