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!”
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 so-called “Defense of Marriage” Act was tabled in committee today, effectively killing it for the remainder of this legislative session. Like or share to thank the committee for standing for love, commitment, and marriage for all New Mexico couples!” -All Families Matter, New Mexico – USA
Senator Linda M. Lopez – (D) email@example.com
Senator Daniel A. Ivey-Soto – (D) firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Jacob R. Candelaria – (D) email@example.com
Senator Stuart Ingle – (R) firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Mark Moores – (R) email@example.com
Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino – (D) firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Cliff R. Pirtle – (R) email@example.com
Senator Clemente Sanchez – (D) firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Michael S. Sanchez – (D) Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4727
Senator Sander Rue – (R) email@example.com
Click here for full contact information and individual representative websites.
UPDATE 3/2/13: the AP reports:
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – School workers made a show of opposition against Public Education Secretary designate Hanna Skandera as lawmakers consider whether to confirm her appointment by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.
But a vote was delayed until sometime next week.
The Senate Rules Committee heard more public testimony on Saturday about Skandera, who’s been in charge of the Public Education Department since Martinez took office in 2011.
Skandera drew opposition from educational unions at Friday’s hearing, and teachers turned out in large numbers Saturday.
Opponents say Skandera doesn’t meet a constitutional requirement for an education secretary to be a “qualified, experienced educator.”
Skandera’s defenders, including some business leaders, say she has broad experience in educational policy although she’s never worked as a public school teacher.
The Senate last rejected a cabinet secretary in 1997, when Republican Gov. Gary Johnson was in office.
The hearing was moved to the Senate gallery to accommodate crowds for the public comment portion. As as a result, the full Senate floor meeting was cancelled.
New Mexico Education Secretary, Hanna Skandera was nominated by Governor Susana Martinez, sans confirmations from the senate, two years ago.
Today the Washington Post has released a scathing story about the secretary’s less than savory dealings with an organization headed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, wherein Bush emails point to “working” with multiple state officials in re-writing education laws to “benefit some of its corporate funders.”
In response, the Democratic Party of New Mexico says, “Susana’s Secretary-designee Skandera is caught in the scandal — students suffer when education goes to the highest bidder.”
Here, in part is what the Post has uncovered:
• FEE provides its donors — including for-profit digital education companies — access to the chiefs. A draft agenda for the Excellence in Action 2011 Summit blocked off two hours for “Chiefs for Change donor meetings.” Another draft agenda for the meeting allocated nearly three hours to “Chiefs for Change donor meetings.” The donors for the summit were the Walton Family Foundation, the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Broad Foundation, the Carnegie Corp., Susan and Bill Oberndorf, GlobalScholar, Target, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Microsoft, State Farm, IQity, McGraw-Hill Education, Doris and Donald Fisher Fund, Intel, Pearson Foundation, Apex Learning, ETS, Electronic Arts, Koret Foundation, SMART Technologies, K12, Morgridge Family Foundation, Charter Schools USA and Connections Academy. Demand for donor time was so high that Patricia Levesque wrote that she had to turn down opportunities for the chiefs to meet other representatives from companies.
[Martinez appointee Skandera] Unconfirmed but still on the job – El Paso Times
• FEE staff served as advisers to acting education commissioner Hanna Skandera. FEE, and, by extension, its donors, had great influence over New Mexico legislation. In a Jan., 2011, e-mail, Skandera directs a staffer from the legislature to forward all education bills to FEE’s Christy Hovanetz for edits: “Can you send all Governor’s office ed bill language to Christy, including social promotion?” Another FEE staffer, Mary Laura Bragg, wrote to Skandera, “I’m at your beck and call.”
• The foundation sought to make connections between Skandera (as well as the other Chiefs for Change) and the Hume Foundation for funds for digital learning projects from Hume that “must flow through the Foundation for Excellence in Education as a project-restricted grant.” The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Oct. 21 that Skandera had indeed applied for such a grant, which ultimately could lead to digital learning legislation favorable to FEE funders Connections Academy and K-12 Inc.
• The e-mails indicate that FEE paid for Skandera’s travel, reimbursing New Mexico $3382.91 for her expenses, including trip to Washington, D.C., to testify before Congress.
Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together. -President Barack Obama in his 2nd Inaugural Address earlier today on this the National Holiday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
IATSE Local 480 and Reel Working America are hosting a Legislative strategy meeting on Jan. 12th to prepare for the upcoming session.
It is important that all parties with an interest in film have a chance to voice their concerns and opinions as we formulate a plan to move ahead.
Please plan to join us and share this notice with your friends, family and neighbors who have an interest in the film business in NM.
WHAT: 2013 Legislative Strategy Session
DATE: Saturday, January 12, 2013
PLACE: Center for Progress & Justice, 1420 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe (next door to the union). Parking is on Taos street behind the building.
New Mexico Film & Media Day is Friday, February 22nd, 2013.
But first, in preparation for this year’s state legislative session, IATSE Local 480 will be hosting a town hall meeting.
This “2013 Legislative Strategy Session” will be held on January 12th, where the objective will be to discuss the upcoming legislative session stance and handling of the New Mexico Film Industry going into the new year and beyond!
Industry enthusiasts are asked to contribute their creative ideas for activities and exhibitions to engage both attendees and elected officials at this year’s Film & Media Day; 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.
Join the conversation regarding the future of your Film Industry in New Mexico!
OPEN TO ALL! Great company, complimentary food, and brainstorming – GET INTO IT!
January 12th at 1 p.m.
Center for Progress and Justice 1420 Cerrillos Rd.
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87121
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.
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.
In 1962 a group of dedicated civil libertarians came together to form the ACLU of New Mexico to defend and extend our most basic freedoms. Much has changed since then, and the ACLU has been such an important part of our state’s progress.
In honor of their fiftieth year defending freedom in New Mexico, the ACLU has produced the above short film, “Fifty Years Defending Freedom”. In this 17 minute film, you will hear from some of the key people from the organization’s past and present speak about the values that drive the important work of the organization and the historic civil liberties victories they have won over the past half century.
With the help of local supporters, the ACLU has grown from a tiny, all-volunteer organization to the largest, hardest-hitting civil liberties organization in the state. Today, the government knows that if they violate people’s rights, the ACLU WILL hold them accountable to the law.
If poll numbers are to follow social network numbers, then this election could be one hard fought online. In the New Mexico Gubernatorial Race of 2010, there was a clear difference between a candidate who interacted with their prospective constituents online and one who didn’t; still social media numbers in that case showed the opposite regarding which candidate was able to rally supporters online and it was those numbers that predicted the victor.
In this race both demographics are stacked to the left. Above from, Alexa, the largest most trusted web traffic ranking site online, is today’s three month look back at where the Presidential candidates rank in world wide web reach.
Though most all numbers, like claims and campaign promises can be altered, these digits do tell a story about each campaign, their approach, their demographics, and perhaps their standing in the race.
Below are the present day (moment) stats of your candidates for President of the United States in a scant 65 days. Check-in with your candidates, your choices on their Twitter and Facebook accounts. Decide what’s worth noting to you as you step into a voting booth on Nov. 6.
Notable to this blogette are not only the level of interactions between the campaigns and online voters but the number of followers and follows on both accounts.
Votes may not translate from “friends” or “like” totals, but should they?
If eligible voter turnout in this election reaches more than the 57.1% the census reported for the 2008 race, and the “legitimate” social network following built on either side of the aisle cast their vote, social media will predict the outcome.
UPDATE 6/6/12: FULL (UNOFFICIAL) PRIMARY RESULTS HERE.
NM Film Workers Union Reaction:
Dodging A Bullet
There were mixed results for progressives last night, but film really dodged a bullet with our #1 “protect” Senator Phil Griego and the surprising but welcome defeat of Rep. Kintigh in Roswell. While we at 480 are not going to take all the credit for this I would say that not only were we one of the biggest contributors in both races we went above and beyond even suspending operations yesterday to work on GOTV for Senator Griego. Some extreme pro film candidates were defeated (Mayor Coss, Rep. Eleanor Chavez) and we will miss them but we have replaced them with Christine Trujillo in the House and Joseph Candelaria in the Senate. We also are happy to see our friends Sheryl Williams Stapleton back and Andrew Barerras win a hard fought primary in Valencia County – we will have to be there to help him win the general election too. Again Local 480’s PAC donated substantial amounts to each of these candidates and worked on their behalf.
While we cannot overemphasize the huge loss we took with the retirement of Speaker Lujan I think last night can be characterized as a wash and these days that is not bad for us. Now we have the general election coming up and we need to try to win seats there for our solid allied like John Sapien who is in a tough race on the west side and Michael Sanchez who will no doubt be targeted by the Governor in Valencia County. We also can use this as an opportunity to educate new candidates as to the value of film. We will be looking at the elections and coming up with a plan of attack. Some of the material we developed over the last few years documentaries and pieces like “made in New Mexico” will be very useful to help us work with these new faces.
Thank you to those of you who voted and to those who didn’t shame on you. Last night was the opening salvo in what will be a battle to November, let’s get to work.
From The IATSE Local 480 Political Action Committee:
Tomorrow could be one of the most important days in the history of New Mexico’s film business if things don’t go well for us.
It looks like several pro film candidates are in trouble in the primary. This coupled with the retirement of Speaker Lujan and two of the four pro-film Senators puts us in a precarious position. Frankly we had 2 back stops, Speaker Lujan and Senate Corporations Committee Chairman Phil Griego.
Senator Griego has been targeted by conservation groups and one of my fellow unions and is in danger of losing his seat if we don’t get out and vote. Mayor Coss here in Santa Fe is in a tight race for Speaker Lujan’s seat and we need to make sure we get out the vote for him as well. Eleanor Chavez running for Senate and Sheryl Williams Stapleton are both in the fight of their lives yet they were there for us in the Labor Committee taking on Rep. Kintigh.
We need a motivated film community here using social media we know so well to urge our friends, family, and supporters to take this election seriously and get out there and vote. Many of these races will be very tight. Below is the list of candidates that IATSE Local 480 has endorsed.
The IATSE Local 480 Political Action Committee has endorsed the following candidates:
New Mexico House of Representatives
Andrew Barreras House District 7 (Valencia) √
Miguel P. Garcia House District 14 (Bernalillo) √
Antonio Maestas House District 16 (Bernalillo) √
Sheryl Williams-Stapleton House District 19 (Bernalillo) √
Christine Trujillo House District 25 (Bernalillo) √
David Coss House District 46 (Santa Fe) –
Brian Egolf House District 47 (Santa Fe) √
Bob Wooley House District 66 (Chaves/Lea/Roosevelt) √
New Mexico Senate
Richard Martinez Senate District 5 (Los Alamos/Rio Arriba/Sandoval/Santa Fe) √
Eleanor Chavez Senate District 14 (Bernalillo) –
Larry P. Martinez Senate District 35 (Dona Ana/Hidalgo/Luna/Sierra) –
Phil A. Griego Senate District 39 (Bernalillo/Lincoln/San Miguel/Santa Fe/Torrance/
Maggie Hart Stebbins Bernalillo County Commission District 3 √
Kathy Holian Santa Fe County Commission District 3 √
Virginia Vigil Public Regulation Commission District 3 –
Briana Zamora 2nd Judicial District Court √
M. Monica Zamora New Mexico Court of Appeals √
Click here for sample ballots and voting locations.
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.”
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.
Study or 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.
Sen. William Burt of Alamogordo, who’s been a strong and consistent supporter of and advocate for motion picture and television production in New Mexico, is now running unopposed in the June primary.
In other film industry news, there will be a fundraising event on Tuesday, May 1st, for Representative Bob Wooley at the Chama River Brewing Company in ABQ from 5-7pm.
Because of redistricting Rep. Wooley (who supports the Film/TV business in N.M.) is running against Rep. Dennis Kintigh, who for many years has tried to kill the state’s film incentive program. There is no Democrat candidate, so the winner of the primary election will be the representative for district 66.
UPDATE 3/26/12: North Carolina strikes gold with Hunger Games where New Mexico struck-out on film jobs, economy AND tourism…
The impact of the film could be far-reaching. The books, by Suzanne Collins, have sold millions of copies. Syrett said Lionsgate Films has an “incredible” marketing campaign behind the film.
“You can’t buy a billboard this large,” Syrett said Wednesday. “It will have a tremendous tourism impact for years to come.”
Having a film shoot in your area is certainly a profitable venture. The North Carolina film commission has revealed that preliminary figures show that The Hunger Games brought nearly $62 million into the local economy.
The following Charlotte Observer story extracts that scenery among other accolades N.C. has to offer are what landed the state this and more upcoming major productions, including Iron Man 3, which also considered New Mexico during the particularly embattled period of time when our own state film futures were highly contested by the then incoming administration.
“…When “The Hunger Games” was scouting locations, Canada and New Mexico were also considered, Jacobson says. But, in addition to the tax-incentive program, “North Carolina really had it all visually for us.
…The Hunger Games” is the biggest film project to land in North Carolina, which has seen increased interest from filmmakers and TV producers thanks to one of the most robust tax-incentive programs in the country: Filmmakers can get a refund on 25 percent of salaries and money they spend on taxable items in North Carolina, worth up to $20 million per project.
…Currently, the state is hosting 10 productions (feature films including Marvel Studios’ “Iron Man 3” and TV series including Cinemax’s “Banshee”).
From a state whose Governor embraces and works to build film as a job creating priority, Theoden Janes of the Charlotte Observer reports from Los Angeles with the kind of journalistic prose that paints a romantic and beautiful picture of the film making, destined to cast a flattering spotlight on North Carolina for the rest of the world to see.
LOS ANGELES – The five-star Four Seasons Hotel seems to have everything a movie star could desire, but Lenny Kravitz is fantasizing about something that’s 2,400 miles away: Price’s Chicken Coop.
Charlotte’s renowned fried-chicken joint is one of the things the rocker-actor misses most about North Carolina, where “The Hunger Games” was shot over four months last year.
“That’s my joint,” says Kravitz, as he sinks into a sofa in a suite. “Normally, I eat very healthy and organic, so people are probably saying, ‘He eats that?’ But I gotta get country every now and again.”
Kravitz, several other “Hunger Games” cast members, and filmmakers jumped at the chance to talk about the Tar Heel State, toward the end of a recent weekend they spent fielding many of the same questions over and over again from journalists about the $90 million production, which was filmed between May and September 2011.
“It’ll be nice to talk about Charlotte, which I loved,” says director Gary Ross as he greets a visitor to another Four Seasons suite.
The release of the film is a huge deal to Ross and Kravitz and the fellow cast and crew. It’s an equally big deal for North Carolina.
‘N.C. really had it all visually’
“Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” from 2006 is the highest-grossing film shot in the state; the NASCAR sendup topped out at $148 million. “The Hunger Games” – in theaters on Friday – could surpass that in two weekends.
Analysts believe it could become one of the biggest blockbusters ever, with good reason: It is based on a 2008 young-adult novel by Suzanne Collins that has sold 23.5 million copies; it stars a Hollywood It Girl-slash-Oscar-nominated actress (Jennifer Lawrence); and unlike “Twilight,” boys and men freely admit they like it.
The story is set in a bleak, dystopian future in which a postwar North America has been renamed Panem and divided into 12 districts, which surround a wealthy seat of government known as the Capitol. As punishment for a decades-ago rebellion, the Capitol annually selects one boy and one girl from each district to compete in a televised battle to the death.
Nina Jacobson, the film’s primary producer, says North Carolina provided ideal locations for each of the tale’s main settings – District 12 (home of Lawrence’s character, Katniss Everdeen), the Capitol, and the Arena (where the Games take place).
Remote portions of DuPont State Forest near Asheville were perfect for the artificial landscape the Capitol creates for the Arena; the insides of newer, clean-line uptown Charlotte buildings stood in nicely for the Capitol.
Multiple shooting locations were convenient because of economic struggles in North Carolina. An abandoned mill village outside of Hildebran (Henry River) and an old warehouse in Shelby (Royster P&M) were used to bring to life District 12, a poverty-stricken, rural Appalachia. The former Philip Morris cigarette manufacturing plant in Concord also got plenty of use.
“For District 12, when we found the areas around Shelby and in Henry River, we were blown away by how much that felt like we were reading the book and imagining it in our mind’s eye,” Jacobson says. “Having such great specificity to the Appalachian roots of Katniss’s character felt really right to us.
“Asheville and the woods had a sense of a wilderness so beautiful it could feel artificial. And Charlotte is an incredibly modern city. We were able to take advantage of some of your local architecture. Then we also had Philip Morris, which was this ominous concrete compound that worked great for the Capitol interiors.”
When “The Hunger Games” was scouting locations, Canada and New Mexico were also considered, Jacobson says. But, in addition to the tax-incentive program, “North Carolina really had it all visually for us.”
Where they lived, hung out
Because the shoot lasted all summer, the cast and crew became well-acquainted with the area.
Lawrence, the star, rented a house in the NoDa area of Charlotte. Ross, the director, rented one in Myers Park. The adult cast members took up residence at the Ritz-Carlton in uptown. Kravitz, who plays Katniss’s stylist in the film, rented out Bojangles’ Coliseum for a month to rehearse for his “Black and White America” world tour (currently making the rounds in Australia).
And they didn’t hide from view. Male lead Josh Hutcherson – who plays Katniss’s fellow District 12 tribute, Peeta Mellark – enjoyed a zipline tour in Asheville so much, he went back two more times. Ross was a repeat diner at the Customshop restaurant on Elizabeth Avenue. (“I ordered the pork belly a lot and I garnered that nickname.”)
Many cast members went to see Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow perform at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in late August, says actress Elizabeth Banks, who plays Effie Trinket, escort for the District 12 tributes.
“I thought Charlotte was beautiful. It’s so clean. Really walkable,” says Banks, who has another trilogy on her resume – “Spider-Man” 1, 2 and 3 – and has been featured as a frequent guest on the NBC sitcom “30 Rock.” “I had my son there, so it was nice to be able to go out every day and just kind of walk around, and I thought the downtown was really cool.”
Asheville was even more popular, though. The production was based there for almost two months, while the actors and filmmakers shot the Arena scenes in the DuPont forest, the Coleman Boundary in Barnardsville and the North Fork Reservoir in Black Mountain.
“Asheville’s one of the greatest places you can spend a summer, it really is,” says Ross, who has received Oscar nominations for writing “Seabiscuit,” “Dave” and “Big.” “It’s very transforming in a lot of ways. It’s this little jewel of a city off in the mountains.”
Among the favorite hangouts? The Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar. “The stacks go on and on and on and on,” Ross says, “and it just became a wonderful environment where you would wander by the Book Exchange and find a bunch of crew or people from the movie sitting there and reading and having a coffee during the day.”
Says Hutcherson, who is also currently starring in “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: “Shooting in Asheville was incredible. It was cool to go somewhere and get away from it all and shoot this movie. Especially with all the hype surrounding it, it was nice to be where there weren’t cameras and there weren’t people getting in your head.”
‘It was just so hot’ on the set
The production didn’t go off without a hitch, though.
One of the first segments filmed was the Reaping Ceremony, when Banks’ character selects the names of the two teenagers who will represent District 12 in the Games. These scenes were shot outside an old warehouse in Shelby in May – as the area was going through a heat wave.
Throughout the film, Banks appears in a costume that took half an hour to put on and in makeup that took 21/2 hours to apply. With temperatures soaring into the triple digits, the get-up became unbearable.
“I got heat exhaustion for the first time in my life while I was there. It was crazy,” she says. “The only thing that was keeping me going was the adrenaline of shooting, because the minute they called wrap, I literally collapsed. I could barely form words.”
After that, producers gave her a personal air-conditioner. “It was blowing directly on me. It (showed) the temperature on it, and it never got below 87. So even with a full air-conditioning unit blowing on me, it still was almost 90 degrees the entire time we were there.”
The Reaping scenes involved scores of extras, many of whom were children; Banks and Lawrence both say they saw girls who had fainted due to the heat. They helped distribute water and tried to keep the extras’ spirits up.
“There was nothing we could really do, because we were outside – there was really nowhere people could go to cool down,” says Lawrence, an Academy Award nominee for 2010’s “Winter’s Bone.” “We tried to make as much shade as possible … making everybody drink a lot of water, but it was just so hot.”
“Currently, our tax credit is not on par with those of New York, Georgia, North Carolina and New Mexico, among others.”
-Gale Anne Hurd, co-founder of the Producers Guild of America
LOS ANGELES – Gale Anne Hurd is one of Hollywood’s top filmmakers, having been a producer on such big hit action movies as “The Terminator” and “Aliens” and now AMC’s successful zombie drama series “The Walking Dead.” But Hurd hasn’t worked in California for nearly a decade, largely because of more favorable film tax credits and rebates offered in other locales.
A fourth-generation Los Angeles native, Hurd would like to see that change. She’s among many high-profile film and television producers who are hoping that California will extend and expand its tax credit to make it more competitive with the likes of Georgia, New York and Illinois. Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes, D-Sylmar, recently introduced a bill that would extend the program, which launched in 2009 and is set to expire next year, through 2018.
Hurd, co-founder of the Producers Guild of America’s annual Produced By Conference, spoke about her views on the state credit and what Sacramento could do to strengthen it.
Q. You live in L.A. but rarely shoot here. Why not?
A. I film my TV series (“The Walking Dead”) out of state and have not filmed in California since I produced “The Hulk” in 2003. As much as I would like to sleep in my own bed at night and employ many of the incredibly talented California-based crew members, I have filmed instead in Georgia, Toronto and Detroit and many other (places) with much higher incentives. I have a project that’s about to shoot in New York that’s called “Very Good Girls” (a feature starring Elizabeth Olsen and Dakota Fanning).
Q. So is California’s film tax credit not effective?
A. It’s fantastic that we have a program, but it can’t be viewed in a vacuum because producers and financiers look at all of the available options and the pros and the cons and you want to limit the number of cons that you have.
Q. If you had a message to send to California lawmakers, what would it be?
A. The film and television industry is one of the most productive businesses in California, and employs thousands of residents as crew, cast and in executive positions. We pay taxes, we shop locally, send our children to school here and keep allied businesses (restaurants, dry cleaners, retail stores, car dealerships) in profit. The impact from lost production to other states and countries amounts to billions of dollars. With a competitive tax credit, California can reclaim its position as the entertainment capital of the world. Currently, our tax credit is not on par with those of New York, Georgia, North Carolina and New Mexico, among others.
Q. In what way?
A. There are so many restrictions. The tax credit is not a transferable credit (except for independent projects with budgets under $10 million). You can’t sell it like you can in other states like Georgia. You have to apply by June 1, and even if you are awarded the credit you have to start rolling your cameras 180 days after you’re notified (of an approval). But if your cast member isn’t available until January or February, then it doesn’t work.
As a producer, you have to go with a known commodity. That means shooting where you know you will be qualified so you can keep very precious finance, cast and budget schedules intact. To me, the tax credit should be a rolling situation like it is in most states, so that when you have your project together, you can submit it and be considered. That would be a first step.
Q. What else would you like to see changed?
A. Raising the limit (on the annual tax credit allocation) from $100 million to $200 million a year is a minimum when you consider New York has $420 million a year. When you think about the number of people working in the industry, there are far more people based in California than in New York, but New York right now has more than four times the incentive.
Q. Skeptics would say California can’t afford such an expansion. What do you say to that?
A. If you look at the impact that the industry has on the state in terms of taxes paid, in terms of the multiplier effect for each dollar that’s spent, I think it’s ridiculous. … Part of what they’re saying is that projects will shoot here anyway, but that’s simply not true. (“The Incredible Hulk,” the 2008 Marvel reboot of the big green guy’s franchise that Hurd also produced, was filmed mainly in Canada.)
Q. Why did you select Georgia as the location for shooting “The Walking Dead”?
A. The series is based on a comic book that is set in the South. Georgia (also) has a 30 percent tax credit. It was absolutely essential. For many independent financiers, their financing is incumbent upon tax credits or rebates. It’s part of their business plan. Those financing entities cannot shoot where they cannot be guaranteed a tax credit.
While the average annual household income in NM is $43,000, the 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.
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.