The so called “Breaking Bad” bill is on the Governor’s desk. The most up to the minute reports indicate that she has no intention of signing it in to law.
If you or someone you know have a stake in Film jobs, education, tourism, training, and the myriad effects that benefit the state from image to support service and peripheral business funding – CALL NOW!
Read more about the bill and sign the growing petition calling on the Governor to listen to her constituents here.
UPDATE 3/15/12: Newly re-formed House Bill, 641 has emerged at the Legislature in a last ditch effort to salvage the New Mexico Film Industry. Friday evening the House Business and Industry Committee voted to pass the new bill, which mirrors our beloved HB 379 as vetoed by the Governor earlier in the day.
#1174 Albuquerque, NM
A film production bill such as this is a win-win for all involved. New Mexico is in a perfect situation both location, crew and talent wise to allow professional production to continue to grow. This State needs all the advantages it can use to bring more production here. Governor by signing this bill you would put more New Mexicans to work and bring in more revenue for big and small businesses.
#1173 Placitas, NM
Please sign HB379. The film industry is good for New Mexico … good for jobs and all the folks who provide services for the productions. Heaven knows we need the jobs.
#1164 Albuquerque, NM
This is really important for the state. If this goes away, its going to make it harder for everything else. We have something special here in NM that other states don’t. Lets keep it that way. Sign the bill.
#1031 Albuquerque, NM
The Feds will be cutting the military, Los Alamos and Sandia Labs. This is an industry to build upon. Personally, I know of out of towners who to come to Albuquerque because of Breaking Bad and it is not for meth! It’s for the beautiful skies and mountains. Please consider signing this bill. Respectfully…
#1048 Albuquerque, NM
Film work bought my home/vehicles, and paid off my student loans
#1078 Albuquerque, NM
tv film and art endeavors are pollution free revenue and job producers in our state and attract tourism- a clean source of income…. WHATS WRONG WITH YOU??????
#941 Albuquerque, NM
I work in the film industry in NM. Let’s do what we can to keep the work coming.
#940 Albuquerque, NM
Excited for more work to come in! I’m ready!
#937 Albuquerque, NM
Dear Governor Martines I have been working in the film industry for the last 6 years and primarily in the state of New Mexico! I was born here my family lives here I love to work here!!! Please don’t let are great industry with high paying jobs leave here becuase it will cause me and several other people like me to relocate as well!!! Thank you
#931 Santa Fe, NM
I have family members whose jobs are strongly tied to the industry and would face financial hardships if the industry is not able to participate in New Mexico.
#928 Santa Fe, NM
As a Santa Fe gallerist, daily I recognize the positive impact & fiscal contribution of New Mexico film & TV production on our state and local levels. Keep the cameras on NM!
#923 Las Cruces, NM
We need this! Its good for the entire state! Please keep film making in the state!
#763 Tijeras, NM
Please sign this petition. It’s the difference between me having a job and being homeless. It may not matter to you but to thousands of your constituents it’s extremely important.
#759 Albuquerque, NM
I truly believe these productions not only add to the state economy, but also serve to keep New Mexico in the public eye as a diverse and valuable location for attracting other outside business interests.
#696 Santa Fe, NM
Film helps keep this ranch a float as a movie location. Agriculture is tuff, film helps
#925 Albuquerque, NM
I’ve had an opportunity to work and contribute to an industry I thought I’d have to leave home to be a part of. Here’s to it’s continued growth.
#749 Tijeras, NM
Do the right thing this time around!
#684 Keep the film industry and work here in New Mexico. Jemez, NM
#681 Thousands of NM employed through movies and TV! Albuquerque, NM
#676 I support the proposed new tax incentives for film and television. Please stand behind this much needed proposal to create good New Mexico jobs. This is a outstanding industry for our state. Thank you for your time. Algodones, NM
#675 House Bill 379 must pass! New Mexico made a brilliant economic decision bringing the film industry here-lets keep it going strong! Albuquerque, NM
#668 New Mexico is perfect for making movies, we should pull in all the outside money we can, into this state! Ruidoso, NM
#665 this good for new mexico and for people of new mexico ojo caliente, NM
#653 Bring back all the film and TV jobs (and more) that were driven away to other states, and work outsourced to our neighboring countries. How can we help heal our state and the US economy when OUR WORKERS WHO PREVIOUSLY WORKED HERE HAVE MOVED TO OTHER COUNTRIES? THEY’RE NO GOOD TO US OVER THERE. I’m sure that makes THEIR economy good, but we need to worry about OURS! Let’s make this state a great one, because right now all the faith I used to have in it is gone. La Union, NM » Read the full post
UPDATE 3/14/13 NM Film held hostage in compromise debate:
I’m very disappointed in the lack of compromise by the other party, and by the unbalanced approach to our state budget taken by many lawmakers. While the Democrats want me to agree to pay increases for government employees and larger subsidies for Hollywood corporations, they have refused to pass meaningful education reforms to improve student achievement, and they have refused to lower taxes to make New Mexico more competitive to help businesses grow and to create more jobs…They have also refused to pass a bill repealing the law giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, despite my repeated attempts at compromise.
-Governor Susana Martinez 3/13/13
See a breakdown of the “Hollywood Bashing” by New Mexico’s premiere Political Blogger Joe Monahan here.
Mary Ann Hughes, vice president for film and television production planning at the Walt Disney Co., which owns and operates several television networks, told the Journal she is watching the legislation closely.
“It’s a game-changer for us,” Hughes said. “It puts New Mexico as among the top leaders in the world regarding locations for a television series.” -Albuquerque Journal 3/13/13
“Big studio execs ready to move production to New Mexico when “Breaking Bad” bill signed by Governor Martinez” -James Hallinan
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.
“I’m still receiving inquiries about my thoughts on studies. As I said in my plan, the problem with studies is that it depends on who performs them. I can give you the results right now. If you believe it’s government’s function to create jobs, then film is one of, if not the, most dynamic programs in the country. If you believe that everything government does must create more tax revenue than it spends, then film doesn’t work. How we go about building roads or educating our kids on the basis of the return to the treasury is a complete mystery to me but that is the argument that is made. While conspiracy theorists believe the Governor’s office want a study released in 2014 when she’s running for reelection, I believe the film office is trying to figure out how to do it as fairly and equitably as possible while satisfying both of these constituencies. I’d be disappointed if politics took precedence over jobs.
We as a business mustn’t fall into the trap of calling these tax credits “subsidies.” We know they are not and if we use that word it becomes common practice. It’s what is happening in the New Mexican, and even fair and unbiased journalists like those at KUNM are using the Republican language. They don’t say oil and gas subsidies, solar subsidies or cheese subsidies; they call them tax credits. If you have the time write, email, or tweet press outlets when you see them use the term “subsidies” and let’s try to reframe the debate.”
This bill [HB379] is our first attempt at something the legislature can pass and the Governor will sign. It will probably not be the final version. There are a couple of amendments and the possibility of a committee sub but at least you can now see the way we are going. The first thing we really need to deal with is the roll over. If we wrote $9 million in checks in a year that we did $225 million in business, there is $30 million missing which we need to recapture. We’re still working on language around the vendor issue to be amended or substituted in. The Film Office has similar issues. We wanted to send a clear signal that we want to increase TV to 30% and give a talking point for conversations that people can pursue with their legislators.
The thinking is this: we have a number of pilots shooting here then returning to California and our big competition (Louisiana and Georgia) are both at 30%. We’d like to get that figure into the discussion for NM. As we all know, nothing provides stable, long term employment like a TV series. We’ve got a pretty good industry consensus and we’re working on the Governor’s office. Here we go!
New Mexico Labor Federation President, IATSE Local 480 Business Agent
In the ongoing vilification of the Film Industry, opponents say, “the state can’t balance the budget if it doesn’t know what it’s going to be paying out to Hollywood.”
So while film is continually labeled as a drain on the state, big corporations pay less in state taxes than the truly oppressed New Mexican Small Business Owner, oil and gas are subsidised without scrutiny, and a little digging into special interest groups (i.e. campaign contributors), may yield some insight into what else gets special attention and consideration.
Having just returned from the LA Locations Expo, I have a few observations on where I believe we are going with our business here in NM. In LA, I also had the chance to talk to various people from around the country to confirm what I believe is happening nationally.
First, congratulations to everyone who attended the show and participated in the many events. Our Shoot Santa Fe partners reached into their own pockets to finance a booth, two parties, and several in-person meetings with possible clients, and they did an excellent job. Nick and Tobi from the NM Film Office along with Ann from ABQ, Jan from Otero County, and Lisa from Santa Fe did a great job at the NMFO booth which as usual looked spectacular. I can’t help but believe we had a large positive impact in allaying the many rumors I heard about NM’s demise. It’s just unfortunate that we only got to talk to the people who attended the show. Thanks to Santa Fe Studios and Santa Fe County for the full page ad in Variety which allowed us to reach a larger audience.
I had a frank discussion with a senior representative for a major studio and a production entity as well as a representative from one of our facilities about their belief that we need to rebate out-of-state crew members (particularly above the line) in order to remain competitive. It may surprise some to know that we have already done this on a couple of occasions for a limited amount of crew on major motion pictures. There is a provision whereby this can occur, but of course the taxes have to be paid and the circumstances have to be extraordinary. (On that note congratulations to NM Taxation & Revenue for auditing actors and loan-out companies to ensure they have paid their entire NM tax liabilities. It’s important that those of us who pay NM taxes know that everyone is being treated equally.)
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…
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.
LIVE from NM Film & Media Day 2012 here at the Roundhouse where SB0168 goes to the floor today at 2 p.m.
If you feel passionately about what New Mexico Film lends to our great state, please visit YOUR Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee here, and contact your committee members to ask them to support SB0168, to REPEAL FILM PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT CAP.
Predictably sour on film, Governor Susana Martinez tells lawmakers at this year’s legislative session that it would be “a waste of time,” to pass a bill along to her proposing lifting the $50M cap on New Mexico Film Incentives, which she worked to impose during the last session.
Martinez says, “I want predictability for the film industry and they have received predictability and I think they really appreciate the fact that there is predictability. It allows us to formulate a budget and balance the budget.”
In the last year alone this now “predictable” stance has led untold numbers of productions, including the likes of Iron Man III – starring Robert Downey Jr., Oblivion – starring Tom Cruise, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and television series The Lying Game to quit New Mexico for more “receptive” states.
While Alasaka and Colorado shoot to redouble their efforts in bolstering their existing incentive programs, states like North Carolina, New Orleans and Texas nab big budget films, local jobs and the media attention that follows them away from New Mexico.
Perhaps bringing to fruition what was forewarned back in November 2011, when representatives of the Governor’s cabinet appeared at an industry event, tasked with proclaiming the Governor’s support for New Mexico Film. At the NMedia State of Film event the Governor’s Cheif of Staff Keith Garnder stated in his address to the crowed that the Governor, “vows to wield a veto pen” on any proposed changes to the current Film Program.
Representative Al Park (D) of Albuquerque disagrees with Martinez’ decision.
“We don’t have a cap on a single incentive in any other industry. We plant incentives all across the board for things all across New Mexico…this is an industry that we know right now is generating a billion dollars in economic activity,”
- Rep. Al Park to KOB-TV
While New Mexico sends millions of dollars out of state to improve create our image around the world, and this ongoing targeting of the Film Industry is racking up losses in jobs and notoriety for the state, neighboring states stand at the ready to take over.
Right next door Texas is wrangling for the top spot in video game production by extending credits akin to their film tax incentives. After handily procuring the production away from New Mexico, North Carolina rides away with thousands of paid extras casting, crew jobs and the influx of income that the blockbuster Iron Man III will bring to their state.
Given the current administration’s stance on film, and the losses that follow, being the resonating image New Mexico puts forth as a still high profile option for production, industry activists and advocates are set to convene at the Roundhouse to lobby state legislators on February 1st for New Mexico Film & Media Day 2012.
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.
IN A WORLD where independent art struggles to see the light of day and the plight of many oft goes unheard, until the twain meet…comes the short film, YELLOW
Set and filmed in New Mexico last summer, Albuquerque actress Andrea B. Good stepped into the role of producing to help bring this important true-life story to the screen.
Written and directed by Emmy Pickett, Yellow “is about the beginnings and the transition from poverty to greater prosperity to ease their struggles and earn for themselves and their families”.
Recently featured in *The Santa Fe Reporter Pickett explains “I really see a huge call for Native American stories that are realistic and not stereotyped”.
Good, herself Native American adds, “It brings so much opportunity for the people of New Mexico and the Native American
For its strength of story and the importance of making that story heard, the filmmakers are actively seeking to make the short drama into a full length feature.
Stay tuned for the upcoming short film trailer and share this story with film enthusiasts to help pump that life’s blood of independent film, that all important “light of day”.
From the Producer, on how important NM’s economic incentives for filmmakers are in motivating filmmakers to work here:
I have a passion for Acting and for film! I have been Acting since I was 8 yrs old when I did my first school play, from that point on I knew [it was] what I loved and what I wanted to do. Film was to became my Dream. When I was in High School I was asked by my teacher, “By the time you are 30 yrs old what will you have wanted to have done in life?” I said my dream was to be in couple of big movies and i want to have produced or directed a short or a feature film.
So here I am, I’m 38 and I have done a lot. It is really hard when you first start out, because you see I am full Blooded Native American, I am Navajo, Apache and Zia and there [are] lots of sacrifices, when you go on every audition you’re thinking positive, this is the one it well make me. So when Hollywood started coming here it was a blessing for many many many people just like me who can’t move away to Hollywood or New York. It opened the doors wide open for so many people like me who have a real talent and passion for Film.
Having the New Mexico Film incentive is very important it has brought a lot of business to New Mexico. I can’t even count how many different business get used for the films that come here to New Mexico, from clothing stores to trading posts, schools to food stores to people’s homes. It all brings money to my home town. But the best part is that it makes the Dream of a person like me come true.
It brings so much opportunity for the people of New Mexico and the Native American Community . And working on this project with Emmy is one I will hold dear to my heart. This is why I love film because you can create something so beautiful, and you meet and work with wonderful people like Emmy Pickett. – Andrea B Good
*The lead actress named in the SFR article has been replaced.
Listening to Susana Martinez on 94 Rock yesterday was like getting back together with an ex. You open your mind, decide that what’s done is done and just try to move forward on as positive a note as possible…but then you remember that she’s a lying, controlling maniacal b*tch bully!
My stomach literally turns at the thought of trying to re-listen to her propaganda in order to properly relay the precise points of scathing hot mis-truths and rhetoric surrounding the most vitriol laden, vengefully targeted topic of the recently wrapped 2011 Legislative Session – that is of course that business we call “Show”, or as Susana loathfully dubs it “Hollywood”.
So please take a listen for yourself here and definitely do pick-up (as you always do right) this week’s copy of YOUR weekly Alibi – on stands NOW! Inside the pages of this ever so artfully covered issue is a great synopsis of several of the most impassioned issues of the session. I thought it ever so poetic that our particular issue had some pink ink print leaks that look not unlike blood spatter on the “Making Sausage” news page – reminiscent of the blood letting that took place of our particular industry in the long hard fought battle for New Mexico Film.
Here’s where the New Mexico Film Tax Incentives stand (on the bias):
The Bill that caps Incentives at $50M passed the Senate and only has be signed-off by the Governess’s spiteful pen – this means that if and when films are due more than that in tax credits in a single year, the filmmakers could stand to collect the balance over subsequent years, which could create a bubble of overdue credits in years to come that could eventually leave a zero budget for Film Incentives.
New Mexico retains the original 25% Incentive rate – equal to or lesser than approx. 20 other states in the country. Alaska, Michigan, Texas, Louisiana, Utah and Californ-i-a itself among other states are still vying hard to take over where New Mexico has come to reign.
Senate Bill 44 – Film Production Tax Credit Tracking and Review which would stand to make good on the begrudgingly made campaign ~promise by Martinez to prompt a comprehensive study and reporting of the NM Film Program BEFORE making any changes also passed the Senate…but oops changes are already being made…
“Her attack on the film industry has already caused some companies to reconsider their investment decisions here,” – Senator Eric Griego
And the propaganda of pinning shortfalls in healthcare, education and the very safety of our public is being broadcast as the sole result of the evils of “Hollywood” on New Mexico by the Governess and her spin doctors while pet industries get away with raping our economy and lining the pockets of nationally politically ambitious officials.
Click here for our openly bias coverage of this unwarranted attack on the industry…
Ironically many New Mexicans in Film, Entertainment, Trades and Local Business are working and can’t up the head-count to take a stand FOR NM FILM over at the Roundhouse.
But, we know plenty of y’all could & would haul your bodies up there and put your best act on if it were for a part in The Avengers or the like. Well this call to action may be one of the most important try-outs of your professional life.
Without a show of force NM Film remains in peril and efforts to keep cast, crews, support services and our kids in training for all of the above gainfully employed are shaky – we need a full cast & crew present to keep our top spot in global film production. If you would make the trek to audition or tryout for a role to further your career make this trip to capital city within the next few days.
Today we were able to chat briefly with IATSE Local 480 Business Manager and Film lobbyist, Jon Hendry. He’s quite literally been making the rounds, up at the Big House in Santa Fe and tells us we can take head that there is time left and negotiations open that we can still impact – the calls and emails are going through but NM Film needs your body.
Click here to listen to Hendry give us a little what’s-up with that industry we hold so dear…including who’s still trying to pull what and what our best bets are moving forward.