Some tips don’t pan out, some leads don’t come to fruition, but we’re happy to report that today’s announcement from the powers that be indicate our cross-sourced, hot topic of late has been deemed official! WOOT!
SANTA FE —New Mexico Film Office director Nick Maniatis announced today that the high-profile action drama JANE GOT A GUN is shooting in New Mexico starring Oscar winner Natalie Portman (Black Swan, V for Vendetta), Australian actor Joel Edgerton (Warrior, the upcoming The Great Gatsby), Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook, The Hangover), Noah Emmerich (The Truman Show, The Americans), and Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro (300: Rise of an Empire, Rio). Production will take place in northern New Mexico through the spring. The production will employ approximately 100 New Mexico crew members, including New Mexico resident and Unit Production Manager Alton Walpole (Crazy Heart, The Book of Eli) and over 400 New Mexico principals and background talent, including James Burnett (The Last Stand, Longmire), Sam Quinn, graduate of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and River Shields (Beyond the Blackboard, Reunion). Gavin O’Connor, who directed Nick Nolte to an Oscar nomination in the action picture Warrior and Janet McTeer to a Golden Globe win in the drama Tumbleweeds, is directing. JANE GOT A GUN is being produced by Scott Pictures’ Scott Steindorff (The Lincoln Lawyer, The Human Stain) along with Portman, through her Handsomecharlie Films, Brillstein Entertainment partner Aleen Keshishian (Our Idiot Brother, Hesher), 1821 Pictures’ Terry Dougas (Swing Vote, The Invention of Lying), and Scott LaStaiti (Love in the Time of Cholera, Turistas). Australian cinematographer Mandy Walker (Australia, Red Riding Hood) is director of photography. Based on a script that was named one of the Black List best unproduced scripts of 2011 and written by Brian Duffield (Monster Problems), JANE GOT A GUN is a Western about a woman who hires her ex-lover to help save her wounded outlaw husband from the gang out to kill him and destroy her. ### Visit the New Mexico Film Office online at nmfilm.com
UPDATE 5/14/13: Congratulations to the New Mexico Film Office on the success of their first Film & Media Conference with over 300 registered attendees and 50 Exhibitors! Plans are already underway for an even BIGGER event next time out!
The New Mexico State Film Office is very excited to present the NM Film & Media Industry Conference on Friday May 10th and Saturday May 11th in Albuquerque at the Embassy Suites Hotel.
This will be an excellent networking opportunity for local professionals, aspiring filmmakers and related industry vendors. Panels (10 in all) will cover everything from filming logistics to financing. Exhibitor tables will be available both days. The event is free and open to the public.
Embassy Suites is offering special room rates of $99. You can book here.
New Mexico Film & Media Industry Conference
May 10-11, 2013
Embassy Suites Hotel
Friday May 10th
10:00–11:30AM Table Set-up
11:30AM – Check-in
12:00PM – Doors Open
1:00PM – Opening Address
Speakers: Nick Maniatis, and special guest to be announced
Film Incentives: A Look at the NM Film Production Refundable Tax Credit
Moderator: Tobi Ives
The New Mexico Film Production Tax Credit is essential to attracting productions to our state. How does the tax credit compare to other states and countries? What are the recent changes to the program? Here is your chance to ask questions to a variety of industry professionals about this important incentive. It’s a must-attend panel for local producers and accountants alike.
3:30PM – 5:15PM
Film Financing: A Wealth of Knowledge
Moderator: Nick Maniatis
From crowd funding to equity and gap financing, hear the experts discuss securing resources to produce a project. How do financiers address mitigating risk? When are you ready to seek financing? How do you factor in incentive programs? Leave with a better understanding of this complex world.
Saturday May 11th
8:45AM – Check-in and Doors Open
9:15AM – 10:30AM
Securing Locations: Get Off My Lawn!
Moderator: Don Gray
Equally important for location managers and property owners alike, this panel will discuss how to broach a location, to negotiate a locations contract, to determine fees and to plan for the unexpected. Know what questions to ask productions and understand why production schedules often change. Hear perspectives from all sides.
9:15AM – 10:30AM
Post Production & Emerging Media in New Mexico
Moderator: Eric Renz-Whitmore
Local professionals in Emerging Media, including representatives from the New Mexico Post Alliance and the New Mexico Technology Council, will lead a discussion on the impact of emerging technologies on education, business, and the entertainment industry. Which skills apply to all these industries? Which skill sets are specific to entertainment? How diverse do post production companies need to be to meet their client’s needs? Learn how these entertainment professionals can segue into this new world of emerging media.
10:45AM – 12PM
Let’s Talk Distribution
Distribution is a part of a project’s development plan and being objective isn’t always easy. Who do you talk to? Who is going to buy it From film festivals to the internet, learn what the options are and how to broach marketing your masterpiece. Hear experts discuss where distributor’s go and what they are looking for when acquiring rights. Gain the insights on how best to proceed.
10:45AM – 12PM
Presentation: Emerging Media Startups
Presenter: Armando Kirwin
New technology companies are reimagining every part of the film industry, including: concept development, screenwriting, funding, distribution, exhibition and marketing. Who are these companies and how should a filmmaker work with them? More importantly, how does being on the cutting-edge of technology impact the filmmaking process? Stay up-to-date with this current information.
1PM – 2:30PM
Productions and Vendors Working Together
Moderator: Dirk Norris
Are productions from Mars and are vendors from Venus? It doesn’t have to be that way. This panel will prove these relationships are much more compatible. Learn how productions determine with whom they work and discuss maintaining your business when productions come to town. Understand what it takes to be a vendor in the film industry. You will also hear from local city representatives and a major studio representative.
1PM – 2:30PM
Post Production Tips &Techniques: Finishing Film for Digital Cinema Projection (DCP)
Learn how to prepare and convert your film files for theater projection. Hosted by the New Mexico Post Alliance, postproduction professionals will explore the process of finishing a film for delivery to DCP. This presentation will also include a software demonstration as well as a discussion of industry standards and of the various delivery platforms.
2:45PM – 4:30PM
Logistics for Creative Filmmaking
It’s your one shot so you want to gain from others’ experiences. Discuss ways to maintain the quality of your project during physical production. Hear what you need to know about working effectively with your crew to avoid mistakes that affect your creative vision. Seasoned professionals will review the must-dos for sound, camera and all the other vital elements that will be pieced together for your ultimate masterpiece.
2:45PM – 4:30PM
A Thing or Two about Collective Bargaining
Moderator by: Tobi Ives
New Mexico is an employment-at-will state. And although both union and non-union projects may apply for the NM Film Production Tax Credit, the majority of the shows in New Mexico tend to have contractual obligations with them. This panel is an overview of the various collective bargaining agreements often utilized by productions. When should you consider a contract and with which unions? What is the standard protocol when working with unions and guilds? For all budget sizes and project types, here is a chance to speak directly with union representatives whose jurisdiction covers New Mexico.
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.
SANTA FE—The New Mexico State Film Office announced Thursday that two (2) Town Hall meetings are scheduled to take place in Carlsbad, NM on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 and in Clovis, NM on Thursday, October 25, 2012. These Town Halls continue the series of meetings that took place in Las Cruces, Ruidoso, Roswell, Raton, Gallup and Farmington earlier this year. The NM Film Office anticipates holding other town hall meetings in Silver City and Taos.
The Town Halls are intended to provide an open forum for each community to share information about their educational programs, film related businesses, and issues of concern. Attending from the NM Film Office are Director Nick Maniatis; Outreach Programs Manager Dirk Norris and contract Locations Coordinator Don Gray.
Prior to each Town Hall meeting, participants will have an opportunity to have their head shot (photograph) taken which will be given to casting agents in New Mexico. Those who already have a headshot are encouraged to bring them to the Town Hall meeting and fill out the casting call registration form.
The Town Halls are free and open to all, including students, local filmmakers, businesses, and the public. The NM Film Office is collaborating with local film liaisons, schools, and chambers of commerce in conducting these events. The schedule is as follows:
CARLSBAD TOWN HALL
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Location: NMSU Carlsbad Campus Auditorium (room 153) – 1500 University Drive,
Carlsbad, NM 88220
Contact: Shaye Coats, Carlsbad Department of Development (575) 887-6562
6:00 pm – Submit your headshot & resume for disto. to local casting directors
7:00 pm – Welcome and Introductions
7:15 pm – State of the NM Film Industry
7:30 pm – Question and Answer session
CLOVIS TOWN HALL
Thursday, October 25, 2012 Location: Clovis Civic Center,
801 Schepps Boulevard, Clovis, NM 88101
Contact: Nick Mondragon, Clovis/Curry Chamber of Commerce (575) 763-3435
5:00 pm – Submit your headshot & resume for disto. to local casting directors
6:00 pm – Welcome and Introductions
6:15 pm – State of the NM Film Industry
6:30 pm – Question and Answer session
There is no RSVP necessary and surrounding communities are encouraged to participate in the discussion. The expected time frame for each town hall is approximately two (2) hours. For more information on the 2012 Film Industry Town Hall meetings and other NM Film Office announcements, please visit www.nmfilm.com or call (505) 476-5600.
READ MORE FROM CARLSBAD CURRENT-ARGUS – HERE
The New Mexico Film Office will host a Film and Media Education Summit on September 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. University administrators, educators and guidance counselors from schools that offer film and media programs have been invited. Their students are also welcome to attend. The summit is an opportunity to discover the numerous programs available in New Mexico that are preparing students to work in this industry.
This networking event will include panels and breakout sessions with seasoned industry professionals and educators. Discussions will focus on the successes and challenges of post-secondary programs that concentrate in production. Other topics that will be touched upon are business course requirements and utilizing emerging media as an educational tool. Guest speakers include New Mexico Public Education Department Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera, and New Mexico Higher Education Secretary Dr. Jose Garcia in addition to Talia Kosh a “fair use acts” attorney, and Dr. Rod Sanchez, an expert in the field of emerging media technologies.
“There are so many industry-related programs here in New Mexico doing great things,” said New Mexico State Film Office Director Nick Maniatis. “We saw this as an opportunity to create relationships through an open forum with educators to network and share ideas. We plan to host a summit on industry topics that relate to secondary schools in 2013.”
For questions, please contact Dirk Norris at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-476-5671.
UPDATE 8/27/2012:A (*240 SEAT CAPACITY) New Mexico Premiere has been scheduled for Oct. 17 at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, details here.
After a dust-up surrounding the fully booked El Paso, TX world premiere of the New Mexico inspired, shot and beloved film, Bless Me Ultima, local industry insiders are talking.
Albuquerque Film Office Director, Ann Lerner says, “I believe they (the producers) were looking for an unbiased audience reaction to their movie – with an audience that was probably not so familiar with the story of Bless Me Ultima as all of us New Mexicans are. The story is quite dear to our hearts after all!”
Local crew and actors who worked on the production have been widely disappointed along with rabid fans of the literary work (by Albuquerque resident and iconic author Rudolfo Anaya), on which the movie is based, to learn that there is no local screening currently scheduled.
A rep for one of the production companies behind the movie, Monkey Tree Films, has assured locals that a New Mexico premiere is in the works.
State Film Office Director Nick Manianatis confirms to OHI, “We’ve been working with the producers in planning a cast and crew screening in NM – more to come.”
While local talent awaits their time to screen this passion project, Anaya himself has had a private viewing the film. The author had this to say to La Bloga:
The movie is excellent, it captures the story and characters. Every single person attending the screening gave it fantastic, positive reviews.
I am positive la gente is going to love the movie. Like my friend John Nichols said, a novel becomes a short story when turned into a movie. Don’t expect to see the full novel on screen. Everyone knows that.
Carl Franklin did a great job with the story and bringing characters together as familia. Except for Miriam Colón, the cast are actors that don’t have big celebrity names. I hope they do after their roles in the movie. Everyone did excellent work.
Carl Franklin, the director, did talk to me and asked me questions, but the screenplay is his work. I approved his work. Some themes in the novel are left out, but the story works.
I met the director several times here at our home. I was invited to play a role in the movie and attend all shooting events, but I stayed home. My feeling was to let them do their work. I don’t make movies.
I met all the actors at the cast party. They had only positive things to say of the process. Miriam Colón visited me here at our home. She is lovely, a perfect Ultima. Her face shines in the movie, so does Luke (Ganalon) who plays Antonio.
…the people will love it. Will there be critics? Of course. All art is criticized if only by responding to it. Let the people enjoy and judge. I feel confident the movie will be around in 50 years.
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.)
“I am very honored to be working with these great people, and excited to know that I will be helping people to tell their stories through film and digital media.”
Lately Dirk has been crisscrossing New Mexico participating in NMFilm “Town Hall” meetings, soon he’ll be heading to his new home base in Santa Fe, NM. Catch him on NMFilm Works radio show with host Tobi Ives, here.
Call for Casting Directors, Extras Casting Directors and Talent Agencies
Dear Casting Directors, Extras Casting Directors and Talent Agencies, the New Mexico State Film Office invites you to participate in a “Casting/Extra’s Casting Directors and Talent Agency gathering” with locals in the Gallup and Farmington areas. This meet and greet is scheduled before the NM Film Office Gallup and Farmington Town Hall meetings.
For more information and to RSVP – please call Rochelle Bussey at (505) 476-5604 or email@example.com.
When: Monday, April 23, 2012
Time: 4:30pm – 5:30pm – Casting and Extra’s Casting Directors and Talent Agency gathering
Iron Man 3 will use about 1,000 extras during the film and there will be over 550 crew jobs and will be shooting from May 2012 until January 2013 with a Memorial Day weekend release in 2013.
- Premiere Casting, on the Cast & Crew Call for the NORTH CAROLINA production
Despite “The Letter” circulating among film and television execs as drafted from the office of your Governor, New Mexico is watching a short list of productions dwindle as industry insiders name names in this losing game.
Within the last few days everywhere from mainstream media to a palpable buzz on the social net is touting the big win over New Mexico North Carolina scored in landing the third installment of the Iron Man franchise.
“My top priority is creating jobs, and this film production will mean high-quality, well-paying jobs for North Carolinians…I pushed hard to get the revamped film incentive passed, with the help of a number of lawmakers, and now we see that initiative doing exactly what it was designed to do. 2011 has been North Carolina’s busiest year in the film industry with productions having a direct spend of over $200 million. Iron Man 3 will add to this record breaking year and carry over into 2012.” – NC Governor, Beverly Perdue
Just as recently as the broadcast of the Iron Man loss, industry bible Variety lists New Mexico as one of the states suffering production losses at the hands of Government unrest.
ABC Family ramps up production on The Lying Game this week after shooting its pilot right here in New Mexico back in 2010. The show was picked-up just as our legislature, under new leadership was batting down about our film incentive program. The show’s regular series production has since moved to Austin, TX.
We were also home to the Longmire television pilot shoot this Spring. Production on that series is eminent, where is the question. OHI’s late August inquiry into that yielded a lengthy “no comment” regarding the filming location for the 10 episode pick-up from an A&E rep.
While we still have Arnie, yet another pilot and the fifth & final seasons of Breaking Bad and In Plain Sight respectively on the horizon, there needs to be more fuel under this fire. ¿Qué no?
You can take the Native American out of Tonto, but can you take the West out of this western?
The Lone Ranger project has been all but laid to rest once already, to that end producers are now addressing ongoing budgetary concerns. Specifically, Jerry Bruckheimer deconstructs the approximate $10M price slash for The Hollywood Reporter, including the back-and-forth possibility of breaking-up the NM portion of the shoot, hauling it out of the West and into Louisiana where incentives are higher.
“We redid the production plan. We originally laid it out to avoid winter. Every single location we had, there was winter — 30s at night, 50s during the day, best-case scenario. We were jumping around. California, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah. If we had a big crowd scene and then the next day we were shooting just Tonto and the Lone Ranger, we still had the crew “on” because you have them weekly. So we bunched the sequences that were big together, and for the smaller scenes [we] laid off the extras, the effects people, the makeup people. It costs an enormous amount with 150 extras on the set. It’s not the extras, it’s the people that support the extras. You’re still carrying all the wardrobe, makeup and hair people. We bunched together scenes with Tonto and the Lone Ranger, so we had a much smaller crew. We saved about $10 million just by doing that.
Then we looked for the best break in tax incentives. We found that Louisiana gave us a better tax incentive than New Mexico — that was another $8 million. We’re still shooting in New Mexico, and we might [also] go to Louisiana. We’re asking New Mexico to come closer to the Louisiana incentive.
We dropped our California location not because they didn’t offer a tax break but because it was another production office that we had to open. Every time you have a new location, you have to use crew time setting it up for you. There are a lot of expenses.”
Bring it all the way home New Mexico, get a piece of this epic Disney Western with some back-end action or something in exchange for meeting the request…Keep our hotels loaded, tourists coming and our cast & crews employed…and maybe a little global PR to follow, so maybe the rest of the country learns in this century that NM is part of the continental UNITED STATES AND that we have better skiing than AZ.
N. Mex has already lost Quentin Tarantino’s Spaghetti Western Django Unchained starring Leonardo DiCaprio, NM Fave Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz, which starts shooting this November in NOLA.
TMZ OHI has obtained a copy of the letter drafted straight from the top of New Mexico State Government, inviting film and television productions to bring their projects here.
Being the fount of useless opinion that I am, I have to interject that film like enchiladas, New Mexico simply does better, and supplemental to this letter, maybe a NM goods gift bag, and demo reel would better serve this campaign.
But I defer to more intelligent, actual journalists who have pointed out here that most importantly omitted from this letter is an explanation or breakdown of the new, “bewildering” film incentive rebate structure (maybe it’s in an attachment).
Perhaps better than any paper attachment, armed with the letter NM’s Own Film Office Director, Nick Maniatis did recently trek to Los Angeles to meet with top film and television studio execs (next time also take chile).
We are assured that YOUR New Mexico Film Office Director and his team, under New Mexico’s Economic Development Department, are working for you in capably and fully representing the state’s best interests to bring film jobs and revenue home. Here in a clip from the NM Film Works radio program are Maniatis and NM Filmmakers Program Director, Trish Lopez explaining in detail the changes to the New Mexico Film Incentive Program.
With other states (NC, LA, TX, UT, GA) clamoring for and hammering out deals to the North, South, left and right of us, we better have barrels loaded and be at the ready to bring it full board to ensure we back our leadership in achieving “ongoing success” in New Mexico Film.
As evidenced by continual coverage in the national and international media, the world is watching New Mexico as a strong presence and contender in film production.
Pictured and transcribed here for all the world to see is the Governor’s letter to “Hollywood”. Below see the recent story featured in industry “bible”, Variety on top New Mexico studios.
The three-point punch here is that leadership is backing the industry, our top state film representative has put out the open call and YOU (statewide studios, talent, crews, youth & workforce training, local businesses, et al) are poised to put an everlasting shine on New Mexico Film. Get into it!
Dear Production Executives,
New Mexico like many states has been tasked with bringing certainty and predictability to its budgetary process under difficult economic time. New Mexico’s film incentive program was recently re- with great effort to maintain its success while balancing the needs of our state. I am happy with the compromise made during this past legislative session and I support the continued growth of the industry and the creation of more job opportunities for New Mexicans.
We continue to offer one of the most competitive industry incentive packages in the United States.In addition to the film incentives our job training program and low interest film loans are available for productions shooting in our state.
Our exceptional and experienced crew base is the largest between coasts. New Mexico currently has five studios containing 14 sound stages and over 200 film-related businesses including post production facilities. Direct flights from Santa Fe and Albuquerque to Los Angeles are just another convenience for studio productions.
With over 300 days of sunshine annually, New Mexico [insures] some of the most [awe]-inspiring and diverse landscapes in the world. We have a film-friendly community [network] throughout the state and a dedicated film office whose staff will assist your production through its [entirety].
This industry is a very important sector of our state and I am committed to its ongoing success. I look forward to working together in bringing your next production to New Mexico.
By Kathy A. McDonald from the cyber pages of Variety:
Santa Fe Studios
Built by producers for producers. That’s how CEO Lance Hool describes the [now] completed Santa Fe Studios. Two 18,000-square-foot adjoining soundstages are the principal elements of phase one of the project that also includes 26,000 square-foot of adjacent office and support space. Located on a 65-acre campus 15 minutes from central Santa Fe, the facilities boast state-of-the-art specs.
Tech highlights include 40-foot ceilings and acoustic design by Bastien and Associates Architecture, which lists Manhattan Beach Studios and Los Angeles Center Studios are among its credits. Hool expects Santa Fe Studios to open in the fall; negotiations are ongoing for the inaugural pic, as well as a camera house and grip and electric tenants.
Since Santa Fe Studios’ inception five years ago, much has improved in the area, says Hool: the local crew base has expanded significantly, and daily flights are available directly into Santa Fe from Los Angeles. Shuttling of above-the-line talent is kept to a minimum as most opt for digs in Santa Fe.
Other notable features: Pueblo-style architecture that echoes Santa Fe’s Native American heritage as well as eco-efforts, including a water catchment system and native plant/drought tolerant landscaping.
A stone’s throw from the airport, Albuquerque Studios is the state’s major purpose-built facility with eight full-service soundstages; the largest four are 24,000 square-foot each with heights up to 55 feet. Adjacent stages can be combined for more space as needed. A one-stop shop offering everything from grip and lighting to production trailer rentals to camera packages, the facility currently houses “The Avengers” and “Breaking Bad.”
Located on the Santa Fe U. of Art and Design’s campus, Garson Studios (founded by thesp Greer Garson) recently made major upgrades including new HVAC. Stage A is 14,000 square-foot with a permanent greenscreen cyc. Smaller Stage B (7,500 sq. ft.) is used for both production and prep. Production office space is adjacent. More than 30 films in 20 years have used facility, most recently “Bless Me, Ultima,” “Cowboys & Aliens” and “Paul.”
Fulcrum Building (Rio Rancho, New Mexico)
Seeing potential in the defunct manufacturing plant, Lionsgate took over the converted facility for both its “Wildfire” and “Crash” skeins. Two soundstage-type spaces (50,400 and 63,000 square-foot) with 30-foot ceilings are the draw, plus 25,000 sq. ft. of adjacent office space. Colin Firth starrer “Gambit” recently booked it for greenscreen work.
Contact info: Brian Anderson, Roger Cox & Assoc., 505-379-6030
A former microchip processing plant, I-25 Studios consists of 505,000 sq. ft. on 60 acres. The largest soundstage is 29,000 square-foot with a 21-foot height. Utilized as home base for USA’s “In Plain Sight” for four seasons, the location has since hosted an unnamed TNT pilot, “Breaking Bad” and a Dolce & Gabbana spot featuring Scarlett Johansson. In October, three new soundstages and additional base camp space will double production capacity.
As promised the first of several Town Hall Meetings by The New Mexico Film Office, headed by Nick Maniatis are set to start next month!
Appropriately “Hollywood, NM” will serve as host to one of these upcoming meetings:
SANTA FE—The New Mexico Film Office today announced a series of Town Hall meetings scheduled to take place across the state, beginning with Southern New Mexico in October. Director Nick Maniatis will discuss the state of the New Mexico film industry – including an update about the 2011 legislation, the outlook going forward, and opportunities and training available to New Mexicans. The meetings are also intended to provide an open forum for the new Director to learn about educational programs, film related businesses, and issues of concern for each community. The Town Halls are free and open to all, including students, local filmmakers, businesses and the general public.
The first three Town Hall meetings will take place October 17, 18 and 19 in Las Cruces, Ruidoso and Roswell, respectively. The NM Film Office will take questions from the audience and will collaborate with local chambers of commerce and schools in conducting these events.
“We are working to make sure that New Mexicans across the state have a chance to be a part of this exciting and growing industry,” said Nick Maniatis, Director of the New Mexico Film Office. “Through these town halls, we are reaching out to residents around New Mexico to create a dialogue about how we can help each other in representing our communities.”
The first series of these meetings will take place as follows:
LAS CRUCES: Monday, October 17th – 6:30pm
Doña Ana Community College Auditorium
2800 N. Sonoma Ranch Blvd
Las Cruces, NM 880012
Contact: Matthew Byrnes at firstname.lastname@example.org
From the NM Film Office:
Casting Call from Split Vision Films, LLC
Sheryl Roberts is casting a SPLIT VISION FILMS, LLC music video and film. We are looking for two strong principal actors, one male and one female.
Male actor should be early 20′s to mid-30′s.
Character Name: “Miles”
Description: An aspiring painter and busboy, Miles meets the girl of his dreams and learns the old sage advice to “be himself”. Looking for: Slim to medium/muscular build, h/w proportionate, average height to tall. Any hair type, any eye color, any ethnicity.
Female actor should be early-20′s to mid-30′s. Character Name: “Tangerine”
Description: Beautiful and unattainable, Tangerine hits the town with her girlfriends and meets someone special. Looking for: Model-type. Slim to medium build, h/w proportionate. Any hair type, any eye color, any ethnicity.
Qualifications: Attitude, hidden innocence, ability to act with eyes. MUST BE A STRONG ACTOR.
Pay rate is $300 for the project.
Currently non-union status. SAG Ultra Low contract pending.
Please send your picture and resume, with phone number, to:
We will schedule appointments for auditions via phone. We will not contact you if we do not have a phone number, so PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR PHONE NUMBER.
All shoot dates are scheduled between late-September to mid-October of 2011.
In case you missed it our relatively new New Mexico Film Office Director, Nick Maniatis guested with host and colleague NM Filmmakers Program Director, Trish Lopez on Saturday’s NM Film Works broadcast.
Along with valuable information such as a crash course on the true, current incentive breakdown here, Maniatis promises his “cheer leading” services, statewide canvassing, an “education summit” and more support of independents.
Recognizing the losses the past legislative handling and perception has dealt the state film program Maniatis and Lopez seem optimistic and extremely supportive of growing the industry from within while at the ready to take the message that, “we’re here, we’re ready to do business” to the nation to continue bringing productions home.
Maniatis heads to L.A. this week to meet with “basically all,” the major studios on both the film and television sides to encourage more productions to head our way.
Listen to the full broadcast including what a late 2011-Q1 2012 NM Film/Edu. Summit would entail and exactly how many ways Maniatis encourages NM “entrepreneurship” here.
Go further into getting involved with YOUR NM Film Office by contacting them here and check cast, crew and other employment opportunities – including two current openings with the office for internships and a VP Marketing position now open with Reelz Channel NM.
ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – An Albuquerque man who has been involved in the TV and film industry since the 1990s will take over as director of the New Mexico film office this week.
The New Mexican reports Nick Maniatis, a longtime member of the New Mexico Film and Media Advisory Board, takes the job Thursday. He replaces Lisa Strout, who left the director’s just before Gov. Susana Martinez took office.
Maniatis takes over as many are questioning the state’s commitment to the industry.
Lawmakers — at the request of Martinez — this year imposed a $50 million cap on tax credits for TV and film productions in the state.
In 2003 and 2004, Maniatis was executive producer of a film that got a zero-percent interest loan through a program the state recently cut.
Read more juicy detailed info. on our incoming State Film Office Director from NM Business Weekly here.
“Reconstruction,” a television pilot produced by Universal Media Studios for NBC Entertainment, began filming in New Mexico Monday, March 21. Locations in and around the state are being used to represent post Civil War Missouri including Sena, Buena Vista, La Cienega, Galisteo, Chama and an area near Espanola.
“Reconstruction” takes place during the aftermath of the Civil War and revolves around a soldier that crosses the country and settles into a complicated Missouri border town where he is welcomed as its savior – whether he likes it or not. The show stars Martin Henderson (Off The Map), Rachelle Lefevre (Twilight, Off The Map), Claire Wellin (Detroit 1-8-7), Bill Sage (Precious, Nurse Jackie), Emma Bell (The Walking Dead), Coburn Goss (The Chicago Code), Robert Knepper (Prison Break) and Billy Brown (Lights Out). The production is executive produced and directed by Peter Horton (Grey’s Anatomy) along with writer and executive producer Joshua Brand (Northern Exposure) and executive producer Aaron Kaplan.
Local casting director Elizabeth Gabel posted this update on her blog Friday March 25, regarding the production :
“We are deep in the midst of casting “Reconstruction” formerly “The Crossing” a great NBC TV pilot about the aftermath of the Civil War. It is a wonderful script and we always love doing westerns because of the great extras that come out to these amazing western sets. We have lots of good riders, and for those of you riders we didn’t get to, perhaps when if the series gets picked up we can bring more of you for testing.”
Harry Winston Brooks is open to suggestion to save the terminal congestion that is the underfunded, over administrated, blood red APS ~budget. Tonight’s scheduled town hall meeting for the communal grasping of proverbial straws for ideas on how to fix the school district’s money woes, affecting thousands of students and educators has been canceled. Brooks is asking the community he works for to touch-type their ideas on the APS website, just in case some/one of us might bring more than a bandaid or a sweeping chopping block to the tableau.
The Duke too is announcing his economic recovery plans for the city, and is on record asking that us pilgrims, “come to the table“.
Good thing El Majico has worked so hard to put New Hollywood New Mexico on the entertainment map, so much so that the Duke has inherited the #1 city in the country for television and film production. The entertainment industry is one of the few industries that is in the black and in fact reporting profits in these here, “tough economic times.”
Maybe a good screenwriter can pen a solid, state economic recovery plan set in the school district – Hey, the Emmy winning series Breaking Bad has wrapped season three. Get them there cast & crew on the task, pilgrim.