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Category: Economy

New Mexico Film Tourism Has Arrived

Posted by on June 25, 2013 | One comment

New Mexico Film Trails New Mexico Tourism

While states with a smattering of recent film successes and some with storied old classics under their belt have taken their turns at film tourism and tale spinning; the desert gem of global film production now comes to the forefront of film fan experiences by unleashing the power partnership of the magical nuances of visiting our great state with an unparallelled production history.

On Monday the New Mexico Tourism Department and the New Mexico Film Office announced the power partnership of two of the state’s most valuable resources – Tourism and Film.

New Mexico “Film Trails” marries the treasure trove of the state’s unique landscapes and experiences with the only place in the world where Walter White meets The Lone Ranger and at any given moment a cavalcade of Oscar winners pepper the state. Although the local film industry has ebbed and flowed with the impact of a seismic BOOM in recent decades, New Mexico isn’t exactly new to this rodeo with a filmography dating back to 1897.

Let the New Mexico “every man’s” economic prosperity boon skyrocket along with the traveling global recognition of New Mexico as America’s ultimate film travel destination!

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House commitee to hear “The Breaking Bad Bill”

Posted by 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”.

Walter White -Kiss

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

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ACTION REQUIRED: HB379

Posted by on February 1, 2013 | 7 comments

ADDENDUM:

“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.”

Film-Slate-Martinez-Legislature

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!

-Jon Hendry
New Mexico Labor Federation President, IATSE Local 480 Business Agent

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Movement Toward Work in NMFilm

Posted by on January 22, 2013 | Comments Off

REEL WORKING AMERICA

What Reel Working America Is:

Working America and IATSE (the film technicians union) have partnered to create a new home for working people in the film industry, Reel Working America.

The film, television and multimedia industries are the future jobs for many Americans in an industry that has a higher percentage of workers represented by Unions and Guilds than any other. Reel Working America gives independent film makers and others aspiring to be in this exciting business a voice and a forum on the broader issues of the day and an opportunity to work collectively to influence the process.

As a member of Reel Working America, you’ll be part of the movement to protect the middle class and worker’s rights across the country.

Together, we’ll fight for…
Ensuring that our families have access to good quality health care
Protect our jobs here at home
Making sure that our retirement will be there for us when we need it
Giving our children the best possible education
Holding corporations accountable

Want to be a part of it? Fill out this form and become a member of Reel Working America.

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New Mexico Film Impact Reports (sort of)

Posted by on January 15, 2013 | 3 comments

NEW MEXICO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT ANNUAL REPORT 2012

Like taxes, completed annual reports from YOUR state government agencies are currently due out to the public. Of utmost interest to this bloggette are where the numbers shake out for New Mexico Film.

If you too want to know what the official reports say regarding the state film industry, click here for the full 2012 “Performance Measures Report & Program Highlights” from the New Mexico Economic Development Department (NMEDD), parent department of the New Mexico State Film Office.

For ease of reference, here are all the points made in the annual review regarding the film industry:

The New Mexico Film Office (NMFO) has completed a successful year working to assist productions with the financial aspects of their projects and guiding them through incentives, such as the Film Production 25 percent Tax Rebate and the Film Investment Loan Program. NMFO worked diligently in FY12 to help connect productions with industry-related organizations, businesses and communities throughout New Mexico. Another measure of success came from the noteworthy development of several new initiatives. What follows are NMFO highlights from FY12:

Production

In the fall of 2011, the New Mexico Film Office Director met with 18 studios and production entities in Los Angeles to review New Mexico’s film incentives. As a result, NMFO saw an increase in inquiries from production entities.

NMFO 2012 Table

In support of additional marketing, the New Mexico Film Office assisted the City of Santa Fe in representing New Mexico at the Sundance and South by SouthWest Film Festivals, by providing information and photographs on New Mexico film locations and other state industry resources. NMFO also attended the Locations Tradeshow in Los Angeles in June, and was successful in marketing New Mexico to Los Angeles producers, generating the submission of over nine scripts to NMFO for location assistance.
* Because the New Mexico 9000 Program was in flux, the goal of 15 was not
reached in FY12.

Workforce Development
The Film Crew Advancement Program (FCAP), available through the Job Training Incentive Program, serves as an incentive for participating companies to provide more job opportunities for New Mexicans in primarily technical film positions.

• In FY12, eleven companies and twenty-three New Mexicans
participated

The Pre-Employment Workshop Training Program, also available through the Job Training Incentive Program, serves as means to increase qualified manpower for this industry.

• In FY12, eight workshops were conducted and one-hundred
and twenty-two New Mexicans attended

Digital and Emerging Media

A newly developed Pre-Employment Training Program for Emerging Media was approved by the JTIP board. This program will assist New Mexican students in post-production related film programs (available through higher education institutions in New Mexico) to gain experience with emerging media companies while incentivizing these companies to relocate or expand in New Mexico.

NMFO established a contract to research digital and emerging media and the potential benefits to the New Mexico economy. “Emerging media” is having a profound influence on the world’s healthcare delivery system and research laboratories, such as Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratories. In addition, experts predict that the billion dollar industry of digital media game development will be the fastest growing form of media in the next decade. Currently 55 percent of all colleges and universities in the U.S. have instituted mobile applications software as a way to interact with their students.

Local Outreach

Town Halls were coordinated in F12 that provided regional forums, free and open to the public, to discuss industry-related inquiries.
They were held in Gallup, Farmington, Las Cruces, Raton, Roswell and Ruidoso. A casting session was added to Raton’s Town Hall to assist New Mexicans in contacting local casting directors. Town Halls will commence again in FY13 in conjunction with regional liaison meetings.

The New Mexico Film Office continues to support and grow the Statewide Film Liaison Network. Communities and tribes designate individuals to assist and prepare their area for a variety of industry activities. Formal letters that were sent to chambers, local governments and tribal entities helped to continue to increase the number of state film liaisons in rural areas of New Mexico. The annual meeting of liaisons takes place in July of each year. The First Annual Education Summit will be held in September of 2012. New Mexico colleges and universities offering programs in film, digital media or emerging media technologies will have the opportunity to come together to network and share their stories at this Summit.

A newly developed Pre-Employment Training Program for Emerging Media was approved by the JTIP board. This program will assist New Mexican students in post-production related film programs (available through higher education institutions in New Mexico) to gain experience with emerging media companies while incentivizing these companies to relocate or expand in New Mexico. NMFO established a contract to research digital and emerging media and the potential benefits to the New Mexico economy. “Emerging media” is having a profound influence on the world’s healthcare delivery system and research laboratories, such as Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratories. In addition, experts predict that the billion dollar industry of digital media game development will be the fastest growing form of media in the next decade. Currently 55 percent of all colleges and universities in the U.S. have instituted mobile applications software as a way to interact with their students.

Film Tourism

To increase awareness of the success of the film industry in New Mexico, the New Mexico Film Office developed thematic categories and plans for interactive maps of statewide filming locations to be made available for public download. Ultimately, this initiative will provide an economic tracking tool to promote and support film tourism. NMFO has requested collaboration with the Department of Tourism to determine regional touring itineraries. Studio assistance has already been confirmed to market this initiative. A prototype map was completed and plans to further develop this initiative have been scheduled for FY13.

-END-

Additional NMFO numbers and information can be found in these select pages of the New Mexico Economic Development Department’s 2012 Q4, Quarterly Report.

THIS Q4 report includes NMEDD finalized numbers and measures, including the recently publicized $224.6M being reported as direct spending from the industry into the state economy (pg. 18) New Mexico Film performance measures such as; Number of media industry worker days, Economic impact of media industry productions in New Mexico (in millions), Number of films^ media projects principally photographed in New Mexico, Number of major film productions made in New Mexico greater than $1M.

Click here for the full NMEDD quarterly report.

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OPEN CALL: New Mexico Small Businesses

Posted by on November 19, 2012 | Comments Off

Calling all New Mexico small businesses and entrepreneurs:

Just in time for the holidays, OHI is once again offering some FREE advertising and social network promotions to state shops, restaurants, retailers and manufacturers!

If you are or have a locally owned and operated business, email: info@oneheadlightink.com for details on how to get featured in our upcoming #BUYNM listings!

Our “2012 Shop Local” page will be regularly updated to our subscribers and social network of friends and fans through New Year’s Day!

PLEASE be sure to include any special offers you may be able to extend to our readers, tie-ins you have with area charities, web links, pictures and any special New Mexico story you might have to share about your small business!!!

Facebook | Twitter | Email | 2011 Sample

Terms & conditions**

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Point Counterpoint: NMFilm Style

Posted by 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.

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More NM Dollars hit the trail

Posted by on June 6, 2012 | One comment

Is there a wager somewhere within the sitting administration, or a race between gov. agencies on how fast New Mexico dollars can be sent out of state?

Unfortunately, as we’ve already told you here, here, and here…Indigenous services from Film Production to Web Design and all those creative links inbetween continue to receive the proverbial SMACK DOWN from government agencies sending New Mexico Monies anywhere but here!

This time, your tax dollars are being outsourced to the far Northeast all the way to the land of the Cunucks, for the production of state anti-smoking ads. Fed-up filmmakers say:

“They’re at it Again…Much to our exasperation the State is again spending money on out of state production companies.

I don’t get it, wasn’t a front page story in the ABQ Journal enough to get them to spend our money locally? There is an anti-smoking commercial for the Depart of Health being shot this weekend with a minimal crew because they “can’t afford” to hire people on their budget. Really? They can afford to use a NY/Canadian production company. There is no reason why this money is not being spent locally.

We’re perfectly capable of doing our own spots. What’s it going to take before the Martinez administration stops shipping our money out of state?
-BA480″

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Missouri – “Show Me” 180,000 NM Dollars

Posted by on May 20, 2012 | Comments Off

To quote myself just a few moments ago when a fellow New Mexican sent over the news that a whopping $180,000 New Mexico Tax dollar payment has been APPROVED to go out of state, “ARE YOU FK’N KIDDING ME!?!”

From the state department who brought you a whites/light skinned casting call for a New Mexico commercial shoot, helmed by a Texas firm, produced by a California company for a $2M NM price tag comes the latest development to further New Mexico Tourism.

KRQE reports that the state Tourism department is again citing their own arbitrary ratings system to award our tax dollars elsewhere – this time to Missouri, the “show me state”.

“The department paid $180,000 to a Missouri-based company, MMGY, to redesign its decade-old website.”

Perhaps the underlying goal of this administration’s Tourism Department is to send as much New Mexico money out of state, employing hundreds of people anywhere but here…to encourage them to visit?

Thanks Alan

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Video of the day: Cranston at bat edition

Posted by on May 10, 2012 | Comments Off

Jump to 1:20 for the flag that New Mexico state government is flying to say, “GO AWAY” to film jobs.

In a poor state whose leader endorses corporate loopholes over local business, whose political action committee is funded primarily by another state’s special interests, the vilification of one of the most hopeful, vibrant and sustainable industries ever built here, rolls on.

It’s become standard practice for this administration to spit balk in the face of local film talent and support businesses, and now the slow bloodletting has a new face and a name.


Flying in the face of the world is, in a name, “a New Mexico film study“. A better face for the promotion and growth of the state’s economy is and always has been Mr. Bryan Cranston.

The majority of the WORLD is unaware of New Mexico and those who have heard of us think we’re part of South America; except for the several MILLION who have been exposed to our previously top ranked spot in the good ol’ U.S-of-A for film production.

Talking directly to the point of what brought just one, globally acclaimed, beloved television production into our midst and our small business, tourism, talent, education and charitable organization bank accounts is the one and only Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad.

So while our government shells out some absurd amount of time and money on a tailored hex upon our film industry, productions will continue to go away and the obvious will be stated elsewhere.

UNLESS YOU SPEAK-UP and SPEAK OUT New Mexico! Cranston & Co. can’t do it all…

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New Mexico Film & Media Day 2012

Posted by 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: ba480@hotmail.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 ba480@hotmail.com, title your message “Film & Media Day Ideas”.

ALSO: Get your gear AND support the cause here now!

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NM Slipping in Film Production Ranks

Posted by on December 22, 2011 | 3 comments

As New Mexico barely lands on this summer’s top 10 ranking of United States of film production, North Carolina gets to work, while top ranked NOLA capitalizes.

Hollywood’s P3 Update published their list in July which ranked states on an “attractive combination of tax incentives, crew base, talent pool, infrastructure, accessibility, significant production revenue and overall popularity among filmmakers.”

Still no direct word or public appearances from your Governor in support of her purported turnaround in stance, now in favor of the New Mexico Film Industry.

The expected and admitted “hit” NM productions have suffered over the past year at the hands of political targeting by the sitting administration, during the Legislative session in January 2011, has been well in focus around the rest of the country, with even Variety spotlighting the downturn here as recently as October.

So as North Carolina Governor, Beverly Perdue took an active role in wrangling Iron Man 3 away from New Mexico, New Orleans builds tours around its premiere movie making prowess, Colorado is set to re-double efforts and incentives to keep film alive in their state, what say you New Mexico? Governor Susana Martinez remains mum, save her famous epistle to Hollywood and the voices of her cabinet.

The second most responsible Government Office in charge of the standings of our great state in relation to the rest of the nation, nay the world, is the State Tourism Department, which recently laid claims to a $4-5 million “direct overall impact” for their $640,000 spent on a recent campaign built around the long dead and once vilified lore of Billy the Kid – without question.

???
“the multi-media campaign was pumped right back into the economy and was spent at local hotels, businesses and restaurants”
???

While New Mexico presently sits on Breaking Bad, one of the most acclaimed and rabidly favored, globally followed, hit scripted television shows ever. The AMC production along with multimillion dollar films, other television productions, a continuous flow of incoming and homegrown independents generate worldwide interest and YES tourism above and beyond the work for local trades, talent and actual boost to multi-county economies.

The very perception of New Mexico to the rest of the world stands to benefit from the cinema scope maintaining a name for the state as a leader in production lends. Still New Mexico Film is given little recognition in that regard and remains in fact the proverbial “bird on a wire”. Subject to a bill calling for an unbiased study to measure the state’s film program’s economic impact – which can either be a blessing or a continued curse. In either case perhaps the standard of intense study should too be imposed on our 36th ranked tourism standing.

Given that the Governor’s chief of staff guarantees there will be no legislation “with an executive message” in the next session come January to alter the existing incentives, which with strong pro-film organization lobbying were left at 25% – however capped at $50M, perhaps an executive message to lift the cap or at least invest even more tangible support in the industry and its thousands of invested New Mexican talent, crews, businesses, support services and students is in order.

Go New Mexico! Get into it!

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OPEN CALL: New Mexico Small Businesses

Posted by on November 28, 2011 | One comment

SHOPNM

Calling all New Mexico small businesses and entrepreneurs:

In time for the holidays OHI is offering some FREE advertising and social network promotions to state shops, restaurants, retailers and manufacturers!

If you are or have a locally owned and operated business email: info@oneheadlightink.com for details on how to get featured in our upcoming BUYNM listings, which will be regularly updated to our subscribers and social network of friends and fans through New Year’s Day!

PLEASE be sure to include any special offers you may be able to extend to our readers, tie-ins you have with area charities, web links, pictures and any special New Mexico story you might have to share about your small business!!!

terms & conditions

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New Mexico on the Outs with Film & TV Productions

Posted by on October 30, 2011 | 5 comments
EconomyFilmGovernmentJobsNMYouYour Momma

UPDATE 11/7/11 QOTD:

Iron Man 3 will use about 1,000 extras during the film and there will be over 550 crew jobs and will be shooting from May 2012 until January 2013 with a Memorial Day weekend release in 2013.
- Premiere Casting, on the Cast & Crew Call for the NORTH CAROLINA production

Despite “The Letter” circulating among film and television execs as drafted from the office of your Governor, New Mexico is watching a short list of productions dwindle as industry insiders name names in this losing game.

Within the last few days everywhere from mainstream media to a palpable buzz on the social net is touting the big win over New Mexico North Carolina scored in landing the third installment of the Iron Man franchise.

“My top priority is creating jobs, and this film production will mean high-quality, well-paying jobs for North Carolinians…I pushed hard to get the revamped film incentive passed, with the help of a number of lawmakers, and now we see that initiative doing exactly what it was designed to do. 2011 has been North Carolina’s busiest year in the film industry with productions having a direct spend of over $200 million. Iron Man 3 will add to this record breaking year and carry over into 2012.” – NC Governor, Beverly Perdue

Tough to win it when you’re not in it. While our vibrant local film community claws and scratches to stay alive and active with a few independent films coming down the pike, original homegrown productions, work on and in government and non-prof. projects, big names name New Mexico as the filming location they will or are looking to pass over (Quentin Tarantino, Jerry Bruckheimer) for more hospitable pastures.

Just as recently as the broadcast of the Iron Man loss, industry bible Variety lists New Mexico as one of the states suffering production losses at the hands of Government unrest.

ABC Family ramps up production on The Lying Game this week after shooting its pilot right here in New Mexico back in 2010. The show was picked-up just as our legislature, under new leadership was batting down about our film incentive program. The show’s regular series production has since moved to Austin, TX.

We were also home to the Longmire television pilot shoot this Spring. Production on that series is eminent, where is the question. OHI’s late August inquiry into that yielded a lengthy “no comment” regarding the filming location for the 10 episode pick-up from an A&E rep.

While we still have Arnie, yet another pilot and the fifth & final seasons of Breaking Bad and In Plain Sight respectively on the horizon, there needs to be more fuel under this fire. ¿Qué no?

Make some noise New Mexico!

New Mexico Film Office | Office of New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez

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New Mexico Film – Word From Your Governor

Posted by on October 12, 2011 | 2 comments

TMZ OHI has obtained a copy of the letter drafted straight from the top of New Mexico State Government, inviting film and television productions to bring their projects here.

Being the fount of useless opinion that I am, I have to interject that film like enchiladas, New Mexico simply does better, and supplemental to this letter, maybe a NM goods gift bag, and demo reel would better serve this campaign.

But I defer to more intelligent, actual journalists who have pointed out here that most importantly omitted from this letter is an explanation or breakdown of the new, “bewildering” film incentive rebate structure (maybe it’s in an attachment).

Perhaps better than any paper attachment, armed with the letter NM’s Own Film Office Director, Nick Maniatis did recently trek to Los Angeles to meet with top film and television studio execs (next time also take chile).

We are assured that YOUR New Mexico Film Office Director and his team, under New Mexico’s Economic Development Department, are working for you in capably and fully representing the state’s best interests to bring film jobs and revenue home. Here in a clip from the NM Film Works radio program are Maniatis and NM Filmmakers Program Director, Trish Lopez explaining in detail the changes to the New Mexico Film Incentive Program.

With other states (NC, LA, TX, UT, GA) clamoring for and hammering out deals to the North, South, left and right of us, we better have barrels loaded and be at the ready to bring it full board to ensure we back our leadership in achieving “ongoing success” in New Mexico Film.

As evidenced by continual coverage in the national and international media, the world is watching New Mexico as a strong presence and contender in film production.

Pictured and transcribed here for all the world to see is the Governor’s letter to “Hollywood”. Below see the recent story featured in industry “bible”, Variety on top New Mexico studios.

The three-point punch here is that leadership is backing the industry, our top state film representative has put out the open call and YOU (statewide studios, talent, crews, youth & workforce training, local businesses, et al) are poised to put an everlasting shine on New Mexico Film. Get into it!

Dear Production Executives,

New Mexico like many states has been tasked with bringing certainty and predictability to its budgetary process under difficult economic time. New Mexico’s film incentive program was recently re- with great effort to maintain its success while balancing the needs of our state. I am happy with the compromise made during this past legislative session and I support the continued growth of the industry and the creation of more job opportunities for New Mexicans.

We continue to offer one of the most competitive industry incentive packages in the United States.In addition to the film incentives our job training program and low interest film loans are available for productions shooting in our state.

Our exceptional and experienced crew base is the largest between coasts. New Mexico currently has five studios containing 14 sound stages and over 200 film-related businesses including post production facilities. Direct flights from Santa Fe and Albuquerque to Los Angeles are just another convenience for studio productions.

With over 300 days of sunshine annually, New Mexico [insures] some of the most [awe]-inspiring and diverse landscapes in the world. We have a film-friendly community [network] throughout the state and a dedicated film office whose staff will assist your production through its [entirety].

This industry is a very important sector of our state and I am committed to its ongoing success. I look forward to working together in bringing your next production to New Mexico.

Sincerely,

Susana Martinez
Governor

By Kathy A. McDonald from the cyber pages of Variety:

Santa Fe Studios
Built by producers for producers. That’s how CEO Lance Hool describes the [now] completed Santa Fe Studios. Two 18,000-square-foot adjoining soundstages are the principal elements of phase one of the project that also includes 26,000 square-foot of adjacent office and support space. Located on a 65-acre campus 15 minutes from central Santa Fe, the facilities boast state-of-the-art specs.

Tech highlights include 40-foot ceilings and acoustic design by Bastien and Associates Architecture, which lists Manhattan Beach Studios and Los Angeles Center Studios are among its credits. Hool expects Santa Fe Studios to open in the fall; negotiations are ongoing for the inaugural pic, as well as a camera house and grip and electric tenants.

Since Santa Fe Studios’ inception five years ago, much has improved in the area, says Hool: the local crew base has expanded significantly, and daily flights are available directly into Santa Fe from Los Angeles. Shuttling of above-the-line talent is kept to a minimum as most opt for digs in Santa Fe.

Other notable features: Pueblo-style architecture that echoes Santa Fe’s Native American heritage as well as eco-efforts, including a water catchment system and native plant/drought tolerant landscaping.

Albuquerque Studios
A stone’s throw from the airport, Albuquerque Studios is the state’s major purpose-built facility with eight full-service soundstages; the largest four are 24,000 square-foot each with heights up to 55 feet. Adjacent stages can be combined for more space as needed. A one-stop shop offering everything from grip and lighting to production trailer rentals to camera packages, the facility currently houses “The Avengers” and “Breaking Bad.”

Garson Studios
Located on the Santa Fe U. of Art and Design’s campus, Garson Studios (founded by thesp Greer Garson) recently made major upgrades including new HVAC. Stage A is 14,000 square-foot with a permanent greenscreen cyc. Smaller Stage B (7,500 sq. ft.) is used for both production and prep. Production office space is adjacent. More than 30 films in 20 years have used facility, most recently “Bless Me, Ultima,” “Cowboys & Aliens” and “Paul.”

Fulcrum Building (Rio Rancho, New Mexico)
Seeing potential in the defunct manufacturing plant, Lionsgate took over the converted facility for both its “Wildfire” and “Crash” skeins. Two soundstage-type spaces (50,400 and 63,000 square-foot) with 30-foot ceilings are the draw, plus 25,000 sq. ft. of adjacent office space. Colin Firth starrer “Gambit” recently booked it for greenscreen work.
Contact info: Brian Anderson, Roger Cox & Assoc., 505-379-6030

I-25 Studios
A former microchip processing plant, I-25 Studios consists of 505,000 sq. ft. on 60 acres. The largest soundstage is 29,000 square-foot with a 21-foot height. Utilized as home base for USA’s “In Plain Sight” for four seasons, the location has since hosted an unnamed TNT pilot, “Breaking Bad” and a Dolce & Gabbana spot featuring Scarlett Johansson. In October, three new soundstages and additional base camp space will double production capacity.

(source)

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The Ways of the R̶i̶c̶h̶ Wall

Posted by on October 1, 2011 | Comments Off

UPDATE 10/02/11: Join the “Virtual March on Wall Street” here.

“Join us on Wednesday to create a huge show of support for anti-Wall Street actions nationwide. Together, we’ll add hundreds of thousands of voices expressing our solidarity with the protests at Occupy Wall Street and across the country targeting the bankers who wrecked our economy.”
- MoveOn.org


Photo by Michael Palombo

In 17th century “New York” settlers built a wall to protect themselves from Indians, pirates, and other dangers…the poor, the sick…

Daily Mail UK, Occupy Wall St. Org., New York Daily News, Hollywood Reporter, We Are the 99 Percent, Occupy Together, WBUR Boston, KOAT, KOB-TV, KRQE

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Smart City, NM

Posted by on September 7, 2011 | One comment

UPDATE 4/9/12: Pegasus Global Holdings has narrowed its choices for building a “virtual” test city in New Mexico to Dona Ana County or Lea County.

Adam Camp Reports from Hobbs for KOB4:

Hobbs is already a national leader in energy production, from oil and gas to nuclear and biofuels.

The city has averaged over 200 jobs per year for the last four years, totaling 850 industrial jobs in the last four years.

City leadership believes that economic precedent will convince Pegasus Global Holdings to bring a 20-square-mile “fake” city to Lea County, bringing with it over 3,500 direct and indirect jobs. -Full story here.

http://magic-fox.deviantart.com/3D concept art by Andrea, Italy

Eighteen months into negotiations with the state, Pegasus Global Holdings. has announced plans to build a “smart city” in the far recesses of New Mexico.

“The Center,” as the project is titled, will amount to a small model city that will be used to test advanced technologies including renewable energy solutions, so-called “intelligent” traffic systems, prototype wireless networks and smart-grid security systems.

“The idea for The Center was born out of our own company’s challenges in trying to test new and emerging technologies beyond the confines of a sterile lab environment,” said Robert H. Brumley, CEO of Pegasus Global.

Brumley goes on to say, “We were drawn to New Mexico by [Gov. Susana Martinez] and her administration’s encouragement of private-sector led, technology-based projects,”

The 20 sq. mi., $200M, privately funded project will be the first of its kind in the U.S. and could create a Silicon Valley of sorts in New Mexico.

“The Center” is expected to create about 350 jobs initially and could ultimately create about 3,500 support service jobs for the futuristic model city of 35,000 virtual residents.

[Source]

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QOTD: “We’re here, we’re ready to business.”

Posted by on August 21, 2011 | 2 comments
EconomyEducationFilmGovernmentJobsNMNM's Own

Image via NM Biz Journals

 

 

 

 

 

In case you missed it our relatively new New Mexico Film Office Director, Nick Maniatis guested with host and colleague NM Filmmakers Program Director, Trish Lopez on Saturday’s NM Film Works broadcast.

Along with valuable information such as a crash course on the true, current incentive breakdown here, Maniatis promises his “cheer leading” services, statewide canvassing, an “education summit” and more support of independents.

Recognizing the losses the past legislative handling and perception has dealt the state film program Maniatis and Lopez seem optimistic and extremely supportive of growing the industry from within while at the ready to take the message that, “we’re here, we’re ready to do business” to the nation to continue bringing productions home.

Maniatis heads to L.A. this week to meet with “basically all,” the major studios on both the film and television sides to encourage more productions to head our way.

Listen to the full broadcast including what a late 2011-Q1 2012 NM Film/Edu. Summit would entail and exactly how many ways Maniatis encourages NM “entrepreneurship” here.

Go further into getting involved with YOUR NM Film Office by contacting them here and check cast, crew and other employment opportunities – including two current openings with the office for internships and a VP Marketing position now open with Reelz Channel NM.

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Imminently Yours NM

Posted by on August 20, 2011 | Comments Off

As we told you here back in May the “Governator” had his acting comeback sights set on us, the state where he made Twins in our capital city and surrounding back in the 1980s (a simpler, less scandalous time).

First on the itinerary for Schwarzenegger’s return to film was a movie titled Cry Macho, a drama with a plot eerily similar to the escándalo recently surrounding the actor turned politician, turned paternally-outed philanderer, scheduled to shoot here before a big fat pause was put on any thespian ambitions the retiring Governor had his eyes on.

Well from married to divorced and from drama to western, it turns out Schwarzenegger WILL BE BACK in front of the camera here in NM. Production on The Last Stand is scheduled to begin as early as next month. This time out Arnold will take the reins of his movie comeback down Valencia County way!

A studio executive says of the film, “It’s an old-fashioned Western specifically designed for a 63-year-old broken-down guy with a moral decision whether Arnold decides to stand up for his town.” via WMAL

All the world is a forgiving stage and as sure as life does go on, film will continue to ROLL. So by all means roll on into NM!

The Valencia County News-Bulletin today released their full report on the production including more plot details and most importantly the fiscal impact the production can lend to the shooting locale – read their full story here.

Any cast/crew info. on this project will be posted as soon as it becomes available.

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$2.5M NM Contract AVAILABLE

Posted by on August 18, 2011 | 5 comments
EconomyMoneyNMTourismYou

My friends {sarcasm} at The New Mexico Department of Tourism say nay to the re-upping of contracts with advertising co. M&C Saatchi of Los Angeles and PR firm Development Counsellors International of New York to rep. NM.

State Tourism Secretary Monique Jacobson has announced that a NATIONAL search will get underway next week for the state’s approx. $2.5M annual contract to sell NM to the world!

“The ad contract will be for about $2.5 million a year, and the public relations contract will be for about $120,000, both of which are roughly in line with what the department pays now for the services…Because of our limited budget, ideas matter most. We are looking for folks who really get the essence of what we believe is New Mexico.” – Jacobson to the AP

Of course we have to ask – Who knows New Mexico like New Mexico? The request for proposals (RFPs) for these two hot tickets is expect
to go out next week with the full campaign slated for debut early next year!

We will update you here with where and how to apply – if you’re New Mexico and you want to toss your 2 cents into this multi-million dollar decision CONTACT the department and ask them to keep this J-O-B local!

Previous campaigns have left NM languishing at the #38 spot in the country as a tourist destination – we can do better. Just say Middle Mexico, USA no more.

Business Week

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