New Mexico Film, The Homesman.
New Mexico Film, The Homesman.
Book your room at the famous Murray Hotel in Silver City, NM by Thursday February 13, 2014 for a special Salt of the Earth anniversary release rate!
Call 575-956-9400 now!
Silver City, New Mexico – Women run over, kids hurling stones – in the Mideast? No, Grant Co. NM, 1951 – Fallout of the eventually victorious strike by the Ladies Auxiliary Local 890 which inspired the historic labor film, “Salt of the Earth”.
On Saturday March 15, 2014 The Real Miners of United Steel Workers District 12, “Salt of the Earth” Era Elders, AFSCME, and IATSE Film Workers Union, invite one and all to Silver City, New Mexico for the 60th anniversary of the “Salt of the Earth” film release – in recognition, celebration, and in the name of the continued struggle for justice for the American worker.
“Salt of the Earth” is based on the 1951 strike against the Empire Zinc Mine in New Mexico involving Mexican-American workers, who struck to attain wage equality with Anglo workers in other mines and to be treated with dignity by management. “When an injunction prohibited [the miners] from picketing, the women – wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters – took the workers’ place on the line.”
Blacklisted for many years as being too inflammatory in exposing issues the Federal Government wanted suppressed, “Salt of the Earth” provides a moving example of community solidarity and the pivotal role of women in traditional families as well as their value in the workplace. The film was written, directed and produced by members of the original “Hollywood Ten,” who were blacklisted for refusing to answer Congressional inquiries on First Amendment grounds.
Summary of anniversary events in the birthplace of the actual incidents which spawned film:
9:45AM Bus transportation to EVENTS
Grant Co. Business Conference Center
3031 Hwy 180 E, Silver City, NM
10:00 AM – Coffee Reception, Union Hall in Bayard – light refreshments.
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Tour – Mining/strike & film history tour, includes Bayard & Hurley.
1:30 PM – Lunch (L890) Union Hall in Bayard.
4:00 PM – 7:00 PM WNMU Fine Arts:
Panelists and organizers are available for comment and/or interview.
For scheduling contact:
Miles D Conway, Communication/Mobilization
AFSCME Council 18
FREE tickets are available ALL over Grant County, NM. Click here for pick-up locations.
SANTA FE –The New Mexico Film Foundation, in partnership with the New Mexico Post Alliance, Friends of Film, Video and Arts, and the New Mexico Tourism Department, will seek submissions from the New Mexico public to complete a media project entitled “Life in New Mexico”, beginning Saturday, March 15, 2014.
“The purpose of this project is to bring attention to the Post Production process that is part of the New Mexico film industry,” said Dirk Norris, President of the New Mexico Film Foundation, “and to highlight the New Mexico men and women who work in this area of filmmaking.”
All residents will be invited to submit 3-minute video clips about living in New Mexico from the mundane to the spectacular. All types of video will be accepted but must meet content requirements. Video from people of all walks of life in New Mexico is of interest. The submitted films will be given to professional post production companies in New Mexico for them to compile in order to promote their expertise and abilities in editing. Post-production professionals have the choice to edit any or all footage accepted for the project, and online voting will be conducted to determine audience favorites.
Basic guidelines are as follows:
Check nmfilmfoundation.org for additional details and updates.
For more information about the New Mexico Film Foundation, the New Mexico Post Alliance, Friends of Film, Video and Arts, and the New Mexico Tourism Department, please visit their respective websites at: nmfilmfoundation.org, nmpost.org, filmvideoarts.org, and newmexico.org.
image via instagram
Earlier this week Disney star Bella Thorne arrived in Albuquerque en route the remote New Mexico set of her latest film, co-starring Kyra Sedgwick, Big Sky.
Deadline Hollywood reports that the film is, “the English language debut by Jorge Michel Grau, who helmed the original Spanish language chiller We Are What We Are,” Big Sky “features Thorne as Hazel and the former The Closer star as her protective mother Dee. On their way to a desert facility to help the teen deal with her paralysing agoraphobia, the two find themselves attacked by gunmen and Hazel has to fight her own demons for the duo to survive. Production on the pic, from an original screenplay by Evan M. Wiener, starts this week in [New Mexico]. Frank Grillo, who starred in End of Watch, Zero Dark Thirty and will be in upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier plays the male lead in the film along with Les Miserables’ Aaron Tveit. Randy Manis, Matthew Salloway and Christina Papagjika are producing. Christine Vachon is executive producing for Killer Films with Jeffrey V. Mandel of TBD Syndicate and AKA pictures’ Clayton Young. Ricky Tollman is co-producing. AKA pictures, a subsidiary of Benaroya Pictures, is co-financing Big Sky.”
Tweet some New Mexico love to the starlet, as she’s having a bit of trouble adjusting to our sometimes severe weather conditions, tweeting, “My lips are wind burned… Thanks New Mexico for the windy, cold nights.”
Pre Walter White, pre billboards and bus benches, Saul Goodman was a wee McGill, and hopefully the television watching world is just dying to know how he came to be the guy who knows a guy, “who knows a guy…”
The many open ended backstory possibilities for everyone’s favorite criminal lawyer are set to be showcased in the new AMC show dubbed “Better Call Saul”. All summer long Bad fans had been watching and waiting for word from show creator Vince Gillagan and AMC Television for the verdict on the prospective spin-off.
That word came last month, as Baddies were bracing to say goodbye to the series that spawned the Peter Gould created character. Recent reports from the top point to a dark toned series replete with that twisted Saul Goodman humor and wit.
Many of us New Mexicans have been on the edge of our seat, waiting and wondering when the thumbs up, or down would finally pop-out, indicating whether or not the production would take root here where Breaking Bad called home.
Of course we could be wrong, our Star Wars reports have come under fire, but then again so did our Avengers and Lone Ranger suppositions…
What we do know for sure it that things are really hopping down at the largest studios in the city. Before you know it everyone from A to N BC will be airing a New Mexico production!
THE NIGHT SHIFT TV SERIES:
White Turtle Casting is looking for new born babies, 15 days old – 30 days old. This is paid background work.
Email picture, parent’s name, and contact number to: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABC SERIES CASTING CALL:
UPDATE 9/26/13: 16 women 40 to 50 years old to be Funeral Guests. Also 3 males and 1 female 20 to 40 years old for a reoccurring role as Texas Ranger Office Staff and 4 Males 30 to 50 years old for a reoccurring role as Texas Rangers.
If this is you and you are available please send a recent picture and phone number to: email@example.com
Robert Baxter Casting is in need of several Salsa, Latin, Flamingo Dancers on Wednesday Sept 25th for “KILLER WOMEN” 25 to 50 years old.
LOW BUDGET FEATURE CASTING STAND-INS AND FEATURED BACKGROUND:
These are paid positions depending on role. Shooting days are October 14th to the 31st.
Email headshot and resume to: DWBackground@gmail.com
Title your email with the name of the following role(s) for which you are submitting.
STAND-IN: Stand-ins preferably need to be available all weekdays from Oct. 14th thru the 31st Must be ok with 11-12 hour days.
WHITE MALE: preferably with dark brown hair, Needs to be around 5’8” and 150 lbs. Please email multiple headshots (if you have multiple), resume, measurements, and availability.
WHITE FEMALE: preferably with blonde hair. Needs to be around 5’6” with an hour-glass shape and close to 115lbs. Please email multiple headshots (if you have multiple), resume, measurements, and availability
“Make-out girl”- age 25-35 she needs to be alright with on screen kissing and possibly over-the-clothes touching with another female. Needs to have dark hair, preferably Latina, tattoos are a plus. MUST be available on Monday Oct. 28th and possibly the following Tuesday and Wednesday.
Click through for more » Read the full post
Albuquerque director Michael Perez has just completed production on his first feature film, a gritty crime drama titled “Big Mistake”.
The desert-noir movie, scripted by Nu City publications film editor and critic extraordinaire, Devin O’Leary is about a young bounty hunter who falls for a troublesome socialite who he is supposed to bring in and soon finds she is more then he can handle.
Actress/Producer Sylvia Adelina Padilla (Blue Aria, Paul) stars as the handful of a socialite to Samson Snell’s (Blue Aria, Prompt Critical) taxed bounty hunter.
Check out the production stills here and watch for it in 2014!
While states with a smattering of recent film successes and some with storied old classics under their belt have taken their turns at film tourism and tale spinning; the desert gem of global film production now comes to the forefront of film fan experiences by unleashing the power partnership of the magical nuances of visiting our great state with an unparallelled production history.
On Monday the New Mexico Tourism Department and the New Mexico Film Office announced the power partnership of two of the state’s most valuable resources – Tourism and Film.
New Mexico “Film Trails” marries the treasure trove of the state’s unique landscapes and experiences with the only place in the world where Walter White meets The Lone Ranger and at any given moment a cavalcade of Oscar winners pepper the state. Although the local film industry has ebbed and flowed with the impact of a seismic BOOM in recent decades, New Mexico isn’t exactly new to this rodeo with a filmography dating back to 1897.
Let the New Mexico “every man’s” economic prosperity boon skyrocket along with the traveling global recognition of New Mexico as America’s ultimate film travel destination!
UPDATE 7/30/13: EG Casting is looking for a 5-year-old Caucasian boy to work on “A Million Ways To Die in the West” tomorrow, Wednesday July 31, late afternoon. Please email a photo with a phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Mexico’s favorite son, Neil Patrick Harris is a man who’s typically hard at work, so it’s no surprise to find him on a unique new film project. This time out the Albuquerque native is taking a turn in a comedy western right here in his homeland!
The “How I Met Your Mother” star recently tweeted an inspiring revelation about Santa Fe, where he’s currently filming with the all star cast of Seth MacFarlane’s “A Million Ways to Die in the West”.
This #NM flick is destined to become a comedy classic, scheduled for release on Memorial Day Weekend 2014!
The film also stars Amanda Seyfried, Charlize Theron, Giovanni Ribisi, Liam Neeson, Sarah Silverman, and Seth MacFarlane himself!
UPDATE 7/2/2013: Breaking Bad creator, Vince Gillagan says Saul Goodman Spinoff Moving ‘Full Speed Ahead’ -The Wrap TV
As the world anxiously awaits the final eight episodes of the “best show on television”, Breaking Bad fans are equally curious for the verdict on what comes next for cast & crew.
Even before we learn the fate of Walter White & Co. Br Ba devotees look forward to the most likely spin-off in which the best, slimiest, lawless lawyer around, Saul Goodman will once again ease all with, “Better Call Saul”.
Best news for New Mexico is that if a deal is indeed inked for the series, the most likely place for the Saul Goodman led series to take place would be original series home, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Last fall NBC shot the gritty drama pilot “After Hours” across the interstate, as a prospect for last season’s television schedule. After not making the first cut, then being volleyed back and forth from the pick-up list to the tentative list, an off-cycle short order has been placed for at least four episodes of the show.
And as we’ve previously reported, up north some very special goings-on are going on around the return of the A&E hit series, Longmire and the highly anticipated Seth MacFarlane adaptation of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey for Fox television.
#NMFilm Get into it!
A certain New Mexico film which has been described as possibly being “cursed” should really be categorized as, “blessed”. Movies can sustain a delayed start, a hard stop, losses and adds and come back like gangbusters!
More important is to take a step back and take a pause when 9 months or so warrant gestation. With all the delays and change-ups on this New Mexico film, it’s unclear exactly how a “blessed event” may affect the film.
Local casting director Elizabeth Gabel is looking for a jug player, washboard player and a wash tub bass player. Email email@example.com with a photo and a phone number.
Robert Baxter is now casting for the second season of Longmire filming in Northern New Mexico.
A few very pretty 30 to 40 year old women, country girl types for the Red Pony saloon, which reoccurs weekly and requires use of the same people weekly (Cheers like). If you are interested Send a recent picture and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org
Baxter is also currently seeking Police Officers or Police officer types. If this is you and can spend all day on set April 5th please send a pic and contact number to email@example.com.
On Location Casting is currently filling roles for the feature film, Things People Do. Shooting will take place 4/3/13 – 5/4/13 in the Albuquerque area. Male, female, all ethnicities, all ages background talent are encouraged to apply for the following types:
Detectives (with own suits), Coffee Shop Patrons, Bowling Alley Patrons (make sure you have bowling listed as a special skill in your OLC profile), Gang types, Bartenders (with experience), Uniform Police (prefer previous military or law enforcement experience), Little League Players and more! Visit the OLC Facebook page here for full details.
HOW TO SIGN UP: (*If you are already in the OLC database, DO NOT create new profile -just make sure your current profile is up to date!
Submissions to our website ASAP at: www.onlocationcasting.net. Enter on Talent, Click Register and Talent Application. Complete application and upload 1-2 photos. It is FREE to register so you should NOT pay for the suggested ‘active’ account upgrades that will be offered twice a month. There is NO charge and you can be booked for work with the basic ‘not-active’ profile. DO NOT PAY FOR AN ‘active’ ACCOUNT!!!
-Recent photos of yourself should be taken within the past (6) months. Please submit one head/face shot and one full body shot if possible.
-**PHOTOS should be of clear good quality, facing forward to camera, NO sunglasses, NO hats, NO silly gestures or faces, and should include ONLY those being submitted for the project.
If you have additional questions about this project or On Location Casting – please feel free to email us at: onlocationcastingNM@yahoo.com with subject line “Things People Do”
Joe Edna Boldin – Looking for CHINESE (only CHINESE) actors (male & female) between the ages of 20 & 50 to play scientists in a major feature film shooting in NM. Actors MUST be NM locals and must be CHINESE. If (and only IF) you fit the above description, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with CHINESE in the subject line. Please do NOT send messages to facebook with your information, email only.
EG Casting – Looking for newborn babies. please email me at email@example.com.
***UPDATE*** We are unable to divulge whether tribal, public or private property, locations or facilities are in talks to host this project, but multiple local area sources have confirmed to us the film’s likelihood of shooting in New Mexico.
In a far out blind item, we were recently hinting at rumblings that the biggest of biggies by way of global superstars, was possibly en route BACK to New Mexico!
Now that reports are rolling into the blogosphere that Johnny Depp’s next feature film is in fact on the rails, rapidly headed toward meeting production dates for a Spring 2014 release date, we ~can tell you – DEPP IS HEADED BACK TO NEW MEXICO!
Transcendence (which I will now learn how to spell) is set to co-star NMFilmer Paul Bettany, who starred in the 2009 New Mexico film Legion. Dark Knight cinematographer Wally Pfister will make his directorial debut with the film, which Collider reports to be about “a scientist whose brain gets uploaded into a supercomputer with the aim of creating the world’s first machine that can think for itself”.
Female leads currently being bandied about include NMFilm star Emily Blunt (Sunshine Cleaning), Rooney Mara, and Rebecca Hall.
Stay tuned…Local casting deets to follow!
Is this iconic face set to grace the directors chair, writers seat and starring role in “The Homesman”, New Mexico style?
As Variety reported last spring:
EXCLUSIVE: …Tommy Lee Jones has lined up his next directing vehicle, as he’s set to write and direct THE HOMESMAN, a period pic he’ll also produce and topline. Story follows a pioneer woman and a claim-jumping rascal of a man (Jones) who usher three insane women on an odyssey from Nebraska to Iowa. Jones made his directorial debut with the 1995 TNT telepic THE GOOD OLD BOYS, which starred Jones and his fellow Oscar winners Sissy Spacek and Frances McDormand, as well as an up-and-coming thesp named Matt Damon.
Whispers in the wind say that this Tommy Lee Jones helmed project is tentatively scheduled to shoot in New Mexico for three months starting this March!
Complimenting Jones’s writing, producing and directing it is exclusively being reported that acclaimed cinematographer/writer/director, Rodrigo Prieto (Argo, Brokeback Mountain, Babel, 21 Grams) has signed on as Director of Production.
AND if The Wrap’s exclusive report holds true, none other than Oscar winners, Meryl Streep and Hilary Swank will co-star!
Fingers crossed! We loves us some Tommy Lee Jones ACTION!
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.
Click here for the full NMEDD quarterly report.
POINT via Ann Lerner, City of Albuquerque Film Liaison:
The film industry is alive and well in Albuquerque.
We’ve seen a variety of film activity in the area this year. “In Plain Sight” finished Season 5, filming out at I-25 Studios and on location around town. “Breaking Bad” shot eight episodes of Season 5, and will be back in December for eight more episodes. “The Last Stand,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, filmed in Downtown Albuquerque in January. (Watch the trailer to see an impressive stunt across the intersection of Fifth and Marquette.)
And, oh yes, the largest movie being made in the world this year, “The Lone Ranger,” chose Albuquerque Studios as its home for offices and sets and built two western towns out by the Rio Puerco, filming here for months.
“2 Guns” just wrapped, “Lone Survivor” starts filming in October for nine weeks. Two other films will be shooting this fall as well.
Numerous independent filmmakers are making low-budget projects – from features, to shorts, to webisodes.
So why do people like to film in Albuquerque? Besides the 310 days of sunshine, no natural disasters, close proximity to Los Angeles, an easy-to-use film tax incentive and a strong film crew base, we have a world-class infrastructure of stages, equipment companies, suppliers and businesses relating to the movie industry.
And Albuquerque can double for many different location looks – we can be Cincinnati (“Wild Hogs”); Munich (“Beer Fest”); Mexico border crossing (“2 Guns”); Los Angeles (“Crash TV”); New York (“The Resident”).
But I think a large part of the reason people like to film in Albuquerque is because of the open reception filmmakers receive from neighborhoods and businesses and the administration.
We offer one-stop film-permitting. We recognize that filming dates may change due to weather or illness or some other factor and are flexible.
Our filming guidelines require production companies to limit the number of large vehicles in a neighborhood and provide notification of filming dates and times. We have a program asking productions to give $100 to the neighborhood association for each day of filming. To date, over $60,000 has been raised.
We respect the production companies and welcome them for bringing in new money and providing well-paying and creative jobs for our citizens.
Production companies respect our highly skilled labor force and willingness to allow filming in the area.
Our reputation is strong. The Film Office is busy reading scripts and leading location scouts for potential future work. We’re issuing permits. Our phones are ringing.
Thank you for keeping Albuquerque film friendly!
COUNTERPOINT via Jon Hendry, President New Mexico Federation of Labor:
Our film liaisons are a hidden treasure.
The hard work of such great people as Ann Lerner in ABQ, Jan Wafful in Alamogordo, and Lisa Van Allen in Santa Fe, along with a dozen others around the state who back up the New Mexico Film Office and do great work in their communities, is a huge part of our industry success. I believe that Ann’s excellent editorial in today’s Journal speaks highly of her office, her pride in the community, and the effect that we in film have had on so many ancillary businesses. Bravo!
However, I respectfully disagree on the state of the NM film business. When 50/1 wraps, there will be slim pickings for NM crews through Breaking Bad‘s final eight episodes. While Lone Survivor is trying hard to employ as many locals as they can, for technical reasons they have to bring in more crew than we would like in fields where we are not strong. Hopefully, that is something we can all address in the future. One film can’t carry more than 1000 qualified technicians plus actors, stunt people, drivers, PA’s, and the host of others who have come to rely on this business. Rumors of an eminent super-hero movie only help a little, since we know that the vast majority of key or best boy positions will not go to locals. While they may fill hotel rooms, rent cars, and buy lumber, these kinds of movies don’t always help the working crew. We can’t expect micro budget pictures to pay comparable rates or the benefits we need; that’s ok, bring them on, we appreciate them, but it’s not the road to full employment.
As well as things are going, the warning lights are also flashing, and I believe we’re reaching that critical area where we need to deal with these situations in the upcoming legislative session. After two years we know what works and what doesn’t. My suggestions follow. On most I think you’ll find general industry consensus and on others some dissension, but I think we’ll find some suggestions that the legislature can agree with and that will allow the taxpayers to feel they are getting a good return on their investment.
1) We need to return to the original legislative intent of $50 million. In order to do that we need a cost of living increase as we’re the only “capped incentive”. That is going to seem extremely moderate now but we need the protection for the hyper inflation that may occur and could basically wipe us out of the business. By doing so we ensure that in real dollars the $50 million stays constant.
2) TV series employ more New Mexicans in all facets of the business than anything else, and we need to give them the certainty they will get their money when they make a commitment to us which could be up to five years. I’m open to suggestions on how we do this but I think the way is to exempt them from the cap.
3) We need to make some technical changes in the language of that rather rushed bill that allows a rollover of unused credits that we can accumulate as we already have a substantial balance from the last few years and a payout of $50 million. There is no reason for it to be staggered if we have the money. Sitting on it doesn’t help anyone, especially the state budget process.
4) We need to set up a system that, when Tax & Rev has approved a rebate, picture companies can monetize this. I believe the private banking system can look at doing this. I also believe some of us in NM might contribute to a fund that would not only give a return but help us get more pictures and, most importantly, ABQ, Bernalillo County, SF city & counties, Alamogordo, and Otero County could look to their bonding capacity to help this occur. It would be very useful if we could put this money in to the project while they are still here shooting and spending money and not two years down the road when they are long gone. Alaska is looking at a cash flow model, private funds can move much quicker than governmental entities, but Tax & Rev would have to come up with a certification program.
5) Perhaps most controversially, I think we need to do much, much more to ensure that the companies generating the rebates for the production entities are NM based and the money stays in the state. It’s almost a game to figure out how to make out of state people and equipment and other purchases rebateable. We shouldn’t be asking Tax & Rev to play “whack a mole”. When we solve one issue another pops up and that’s not good. We thought the bricks and mortar requirement solved this but in some cases it made it worse. I want to be able to say with hand on my heart that we rebate no one from out of state and we keep the money here where it was generated and where it’s needed. Any perception that this is welfare for Hollywood isn’t good. This should be a legislative priority.
I’m open to other suggestions. What I can’t work with is a situation where on the top end we’re being squeezed by the amount of money we can put out and on the bottom end we are squeezed because these companies are employing fewer New Mexicans and spending more money with large chains who don’t pay taxes here or out of state companies are working through facilitators instate that help them get an undeserved rebate. If anyone else feels we’re doing sensationally well I am happy, after ensuring confidentiality, to share payroll figures with you – it’s not great.