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Category: Follow-up

The “Manhattan” Television Project a go in New Mexico

Posted by on September 18, 2013 | 3 comments

UPDATE 1/13/14: Stay tuned here for extras casting info. on this project, set to begin production in New Mexico in February.

NMFilm Manhattan

A world at war, faceless dangers half the globe away, and threats of universal dominance by an alliance of untold magnitude, are what teams of top physicists, mathematicians, and engineers faced in defending allies from tyrannical rule in the 1940s.

As we told you here WGN America is taking that tumultuous time in real world history and scripting it into a new drama series. Now HOT off the wire this week is the news that the 13 series order will go forward with production right here in New Mexico in the upcoming winter months, as expected.

Created by Sam Shaw (Masters of Sex), “Manhattan” is set against the backdrop of the clandestine mission of the same name to build the world’s first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The storyline follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families as they attempt to co-exist in a world where secrets and lies infiltrate every aspect of their lives.

Shaw will write and executive produce with David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross. Emmy-winning director Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing) will direct and executive produce the production.

“Sam and Tommy’s (Schlamme) passion for the world of Los Alamos, the Manhattan Project, and the characters who populate it came through from the moment we all sat down to discuss the project, and we couldn’t be more excited to support them as they bring their vision to life,” WGN America president Matt Cherniss told Deadline Hollywood adding, “We feel Manhattan has all of the elements to make for a provocative and memorable series…”

Stay tuned…

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Geek’s Paradise: New Mexico, USA

Posted by on September 17, 2013 | 18 comments

UPDATE 09/26/2013: Conflicting reports are still streaming into our inbox and tip line. Some continue to say “it is”, some say “probably not”, while others say, “HACK, you don’t know anything!” We do know that nothing is official until someone yells, THAT’S A WRAP! Unofficially, our most trusted sources say…

Related: ABQ Journal | NewsCastic

Star Wars Ep 7 to film in New MexicoImage via Inhabitants of Burque

As we’ve been covering for you here, here and here…Lucas Film’s out of this worldly, epic saga sequel, Star Wars Episode VII IS INDEED HEADED TO NM – via Disney!

Like Marvel’s record breaking mega flick The Avengers, and the return of The Lone Ranger (more importantly a flood of global journalists, media outlets and film dollars), Disney returns to the desert and to New Mexico’s class A-1 studio facilities and crew base to shoot the first of THREE pending sequels to add to the mega-galactic franchise.

New Mexico will share production duties with Los Angeles and London when filming gets underway in 2014. Original cast members scheduled to return include Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill…all of whom are slated to somehow reprise their roles from the original 1977 film.

BRING IT fanbois and girls! Keep it HERE for up to date details on local casting and info.

Revised 9.17.13 5:33 p.m.

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The Ugly Truths Behind “THE END”: One New Mexico Writer’s Story

Posted by on January 9, 2013 | One comment

Diary of New Mexico Author Alisa Valdes copy

In part, in response to some rather scathing reviews (Slate, The New York Post) of her latest novel, “The Feminist and The Cowboy: An Unlikely Love Story” (originally titled, “Learning to Submit”), bestselling New Mexico author Alisa Valdes has blogged a shocking and disturbing sequel to the book which has just recently hit retail shelves.

Today on her official blog titled, “The Diary of Author Alisa Valdes”, she writes in horrific detail just some of the heinous events she said she suffered through at the hands of her once revered “Cowboy”, post completion of the manuscript that he inspired as it was submitted for publication. The lengthy account is a drama of its own, which chronicles not only the lifeline of the novel itself, but provides an inside look at the journey to publication to where it stands today, being sold and promoted, or a lack thereof.

There are so many sad accounts in this real-life saga, from the artist’s struggle in creating an honest to herself account as a memoir for her fans, to the truths of the levels of abuse men and women will suffer at the hands of those they love and profess to love, to the scrutiny and judgment bandied-about when any aspect of one’s life is put forth for public consumption.

Valdes never fails to provide the cold hard details for her fans, whether it be after the fact or against the wishes of her publishers, her truths are on display, often in gut wrenching detail:

“There was the night we argued at my house, and he was going to leave, as he always did, stonewalling and locking me out being his favorite weapons, his silent treatments going on sometimes for weeks on end, the emails finally coming in which he said he was willing to come back as long as I changed a long list of things about myself, and me always caving in…but that night, he was brutal again, when I tried to say I was sorry, when I tried to stop the inevitable stonewalling, he glared, called me a mouthy cunt, told me to get to my side of the bed and not touch him, told me that he couldn’t stand the sight of me, told me that if I really wanted to impress him then I’d be a good girl and just shut the fuck up, and his finger poking me in the chest, and then wagged in my face, telling me that my biggest problem, the reason he would never marry me after all, was that I was a woman who just didn’t know when to shut the fuck up, shut the fuck up, and me saying I would, that I would be quiet, and turning my back to him so he wouldn’t hear me cry, and him feeling the bed shake anyway and yelling at me that I was pathetic, that if I wanted him to stay then I better stop fucking crying, and me running into my closet with my phone to fall in a heap on the floor and text myself so that in the morning I’d remember that this was NOT okay, that this was NOT love, and him pretending the next morning that nothing had happened.”

Not okay, indeed. Valdes goes on to provide a likely sought after look at the “Cowboy” himself, and even includes a brief video of what looks to be an interview she may have conducted with him herself.

Read the full blog entry here.

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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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Hobbs Jobs – Smart City, New Mexico, USA

Posted by on May 10, 2012 | Comments Off

As we’ve been following for you here, the AP now reports:

HOBBS, NM – A scientific ghost town in the heart of southeastern New Mexico oil and gas country will hum with the latest next-generation technology _ but no people.

A $1 billion city without residents will be developed in Lea County near Hobbs, officials said Tuesday, to help researchers test everything from intelligent traffic systems and next-generation wireless networks to automated washing machines and self-flushing toilets.

Hobbs Mayor Sam Cobb said the unique research facility that looks like an empty city will be a key for diversifying the economy of the nearby community, which after the oil bust of the 1980s saw bumper stickers asking the last person to leave to turn out the lights.

“It brings so many great opportunities and puts us on a world stage,” Cobb told The Associated Press before the announcement.

Pegasus Holdings and its New Mexico subsidiary, CITE Development, said Hobbs and Lea County beat out Las Cruces, for the Center for Innovation, Technology and Testing.

The CITE project is being billed as a first-of-its kind smart city, or ghost town of sorts, that will be developed on about 15 square miles west of Hobbs.

Bob Brumley, senior managing director of Pegasus Holdings, said the town will be modeled after the real city of Rock Hill, S.C., complete with highways, houses and commercial buildings, old and new. No one will live there, although they could as houses will include all the necessities, like appliances and plumbing.

The point of the town is to enable researchers to test new technologies on existing infrastructure without interfering in everyday life. For instance, while some researchers will be testing smart technologies on old grids, others might be using the streets to test self-driving cars.

“The only thing we won’t be doing is destructive testing, blowing things up _ I hope,” said Brumley.

Not far from the Texas border, Hobbs has seen new growth in recent years but local leaders have been pushing to expand the area’s reputation to include economic development ventures beyond the staple of oil and gas.

The investors developing CITE were looking for open spaces. Brumley said his group scoured the country for potential sites, “but we kept coming back to New Mexico. New Mexico is unique in so many ways.”

One big plus for New Mexico was its federal research facilities like White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico and Los Alamos and Sandia national labs.

Gov. Susana Martinez joined officials in announcing final site selection for the project, which she hailed as “one of the most unique and innovative” economic development projects the state has seen. She noted that no tax breaks were given for the development. “The only thing they have asked for is guidance,” she said.

Brumley said plans are to break ground on the town by June 30. The initial development cost is estimated at $400 million, although Brumley estimates the overall investment in the project to top $1 billion.

The project is expected to create 350 permanent jobs and about 3,500 indirect jobs in its design, development, construction and ongoing operational phases.

Hobbs, a community of about 43,000 people, currently has two non-stop flights from Houston each day and is working on getting daily service to Albuquerque and Denver.

The mayor said discussions for the new flights have just started but having the research center may bolster efforts to connect Hobbs to more cities.

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Friend to NM: Robert Redford on the record re. gov. dealings and reports

Posted by on May 9, 2012 | One comment


May 9, 2012
By Robert Redford
Actor, Director, Producer

The Albuquerque Journal published a prominently placed editorial on May 1 that was based on a recent story written by a reporter who, in fairness, requested an interview, on a short deadline, which I was unable to meet as I was out of the country. This editorial portrayed me as an unethical Hollywood interloper who, by inference, had made great personal gain from taxpayer money.

Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s time to set the record straight.

In February 2008, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs announced that it was purchasing the Los Luceros property. I was not even in the picture. Over some years prior, we had put time into requests from the Richardson administration on how our Sundance programs were conceived and run. That was the extent of it.

A year after the purchase the state requested that we explore whether or not there may be a collaborative model involving the property, which would result in providing programming with a focus on Native American and Hispanic populations in preparing them for careers in film and other aspects of the entertainment industry, which had been growing fast in New Mexico. It seemed a worthy goal, so we began meetings with the state.

Out of these meetings came a Memo of Understanding between Redford Enterprises, Cultural Affairs and the New Mexico Film Office. In May 2009, Gov. Richardson announced the collaboration.

The intent of this relationship was to create and expand training programs in film, arts and the environment at Los Luceros. This, he said, would enable Cultural Affairs to fulfill its dual mission of protecting the state’s cultural heritage, while supplying educational programs to benefit the people of New Mexico.

We began providing and collaborating on programs immediately, with most taking place at Los Luceros — writing and audition workshops, actors labs, directing, cinematography, production and economic development workshops. The highly regarded Sundance Native Program continued its labs and workshops, in New Mexico.

All of this education, job training and career building have been provided free, at no cost to any of the New Mexican participants.

These programs, agreed to in the MOU signed in February 2010, were the operating framework for the state-funded master plan and federally funded architectural designs, building renovations and new construction. The MOU provided for us a priority reservation use of Los Luceros via the Department of Cultural Affairs, and participation in a job-training program funded by the New Mexico Department of Economic Development and the New Mexico Film Office.

In late 2010, as state budget cuts appeared necessary, we were asked to amend the MOU in order to reduce the state financial commitment. We readily agreed. The use of state training dollars was dropped from the revised MOU that we, and the state, signed in December 2010.

This revised MOU became an issue when Gov. Susana Martinez took office. Mind you, it’s the MOU that drops a state funding requirement. We remained in limbo on many aspects of the relationship, and yet, we continued to provide programs at Los Luceros and at other locations.

As of today, Cultural Affairs hasn’t unequivocally said the department will honor either MOU. We were asked to obtain liability insurance, which was in process when they closed Los Luceros.

We continue offering programs in other locations and are exploring alternatives should collaborating with the state prove too political or impossible. I have a long history with the state of New Mexico and I love it here. I try to make a contribution as both a taxpayer and a citizen and will continue down that path with or without the blessing or cooperation of Martinez and her administration.

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Guest Post: So Long Sony, Adios Imageworks

Posted by on March 7, 2012 | Comments Off

Guest Post
by Captain G

Re: Sony Imageworks Pulls the Plug on Albuquerque
What to make of the recent blow to the digital special effects effort here in New Mexico? The state had put a lot of effort and money into creating a good environment for them. This includes a multimillion dollar UNM studio and program to train professionals.

The local news feeds were just not satisfying and had mixed reasons for the move. I wanted to find out more. So I did some digging and found a website for digital special effects people (VFX). This is new site to me but from a scanning of the site it looks legit. You can read their take and I think Sony comes off looking like the bad guy here. It has to do with studio greed and just going where they can get the biggest discount (read Vancouver 46%) regardless of the consequences. The company will take the profit for a few years, shut it down and then find some swamp to settle down in for the next one. Vancouver is a beautiful city but one of the most expensive places to live in the world (yes WORLD). So the professionals are faced with either no job or go live in Vancouver.

“We offer the company 25 percent film incentives, while Vancouver is going to offer them 46 percent. It just makes sense for them.”
– NM Film Office Director, Nick Maniatis

“At least New Mexico was marketable for its lower cost of living.”
– VFX Sodier

VFX also points to the 24 minute documentary, called “Albuquerque the Unknown“, made by around 40 of the actual people who came from Culver City to work in Albuquerque. Most of the comments start out as “I thought it would really suck to move to Albuquerque but then…”. It comes off as a nice tribute to the city and illustrates what these people found here to love. Note the digital rain as one of them is talking during the video. Sadly, some of these same people are probably out of jobs unless they want to move to Vancouver.

– Captain G

Links: Vizworld | Vfxsoldier

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New Mexico Tourism Sec’s Spouse Lands State Finance Policy Job

Posted by on March 2, 2012 | Comments Off

UPDATE 03/28/12: The Santa Fe New Mexican has picked-up on our story about the very fiscally secure Mr. & Mrs. Jacobson.

While the average annual household income in NM is $43,000, the Governor Martinez Administration appointed Jacobson household weighs in at a hefty $204,000.

Nice work if you can get it. Especially for two young people whose combined work experience equals just over 12 years…most especially convenient for Mr. Jacobson who, according to his Linkedin resume hadn’t worked in five years prior to landing the original, “highly complex” political appointment last July.

Welcome to your government funded high-life of civil servitude.

For the love of Government Transparency…

According to the Albuquerque Journal, the spouse of Governor Susana Martinez’s Cabinet Secretary, Monique Jacobson had procured a temporary government job in the middle of 2011.

UPDATE to the story as run in the Albuquerque Journal on Fri, Oct 7, 2011, titled “Cabinet Spouse Gets State Temp Job“:

It seems that Cabinet Secretary Jacobson’s husband’s glass slipper has turned to brass (a brass ring that is), as he has landed the position of Director of Finance Policy in the New Mexico Department of Finance & Administration.

Though not yet listed on the department website directory of the board, the Office of the Governor’s 2012 Financial Disclosure documents and The Sunshine Portal NM both show a hire date of December 2011 for Andrew Jacobson, just about the time Mr. Jacobson’s plum “Temp Job” was to wrap-up.

For the full article click through here, where you’ll come to find the following gems:

“His wife’s Cabinet position didn’t and shouldn’t have any bearing on his being hired,” said Finance and Administration Secretary Tom Clifford.

Andrew was the only qualified applicant for a highly complex position and thus the only person interviewed,” he said. “He agreed to take the job knowing it didn’t include benefits and that it would expire by the end of the year.”

The budget division that employs Jacobson is tasked with preparing the governor’s annual budget recommendation to the Legislature. Specifically, Jacobson’s job duties include analyzing state projects and other components of the $5.6 billion budget, Clifford said.

— As appeared on page C2 of the Albuquerque Journal on Fri, Oct 7, 2011

Also see KRQE

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NM Job Creation via Tourism

Posted by 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

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#NM The Lone Ranger Cast Takes Shape & the Plot Thickens

Posted by on December 8, 2011 | Comments Off

Pictured left to right, actors James Badge Dale, Barry Pepper, Ruth Wilson (confirmed female lead), Tom Wilkinson (confirmed villian) and Helena Bonham Carter are set or in talks to round out the lead cast, under Johnny Depp’s Tonto and Armie Hammer in the title role for the confirmed New Mexico shoot of Disney’s “The Lone Ranger”.

With recent and upcoming casting calls for “Silver Bullet” being held in New Mexico, neither Disney or the local casting director have confirmed or denied any association between the two titles – however Disney has released the following preliminary synopsis for the NM shoot…

“Left for dead in an ambush with five other Texas Rangers, lawman John Reid (Armie Hammer) survives and is nursed back to health by an Indian scout named Tonto (Johnny Depp). He then dons a mask to avenge the murders of his comrades and to foil evil doers, never accepting payment for his services. His gratis vigilantism is made possible by the silver mine he inherits from one of his slain brothers – the same mine that affords him an endless supply of his trademark silver bullets.”

Per the popular, Farmington New Mexico edition of The Daily-Times, Silver Bullet casting director Elizabeth Gabel says, “besides the large numbers, we are also looking for some very specific roles, like a trapeze artist and circus performers.”

Furthermore Gabel tells the publication that she is “looking for both males and females with American Indian heritage, men with lots of facial hair and people that could be of Irish descent” adding that casting will go on over the entire production process which is slated through August 2012.

With that we say, “Hi-yo, Silver! Away!”

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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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The Ipecac of our Generation

Posted by on August 21, 2011 | 2 comments

Just as a follow-up post we felt compelled to share the details of what a fame-whore celebrity can earn turning the trick called her wedding.

Here, ad nauseam are the figures for what a “reality star” earns for such a spectacle:

Well over $17 MILLION!

$2.5 million for People Magazine photo exclusive, $15+ million for the forthcoming four-hour, two-part wedding special on E! Entertainment Television.

These numbers don’t include the comped if not paid endorsements for the promotion of venues, merchants and product placements.

Ahh, holy matrimony.

We’ll try to refrain from Kardashian posts in the future unless and until prenuptial agreement details become pertinent, you know as a follow-up. Or…in the unlikely event that these millions of dollars find themselves being used in a philanthropic or even remotely useful turn back to society.

ICYDK: Syrup of ipecac (play /ˈɪpɨkæk/), commonly referred to as ipecac, is derived from the dried rhizome and roots of the ipecacuanha plant, and is a well known emetic (substance used to induce vomiting).

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