UPDATE 7/21/12: via Manny Baca – Follow-up story about how the Premiere of Bless Me Ultima was fully booked up before anyone in New Mexico even knew about it, thus excluding New Mexico Cast members from the premiere. Tune in to KOAT 7 at 10PM tonight..
There seemed to be some promising developments between one big government office and our own International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees after the dust-up in March, wherein the NM Dept. of Tourism and New Mexico dollars went virtually ALL OUT OF STATE (save for approx. 6 actors and 2 crew members, and a 4 day local shoot).
Then IATSE 480 business agent Jon Hendry released this statement regarding the possible mends in going forward with the current administration giving NMFilm a fair shake, however…
A new row is brewing as another branch of our government too appears set to utilize out of state film resources and is requesting non-union talent to shoot state PSAs.
The latest word from Jon Hendry on the matter:
So the DOT are shooting a spot as they do regularly ( or it could be the MVD but whomever it’s your tax dollars) and from what I’m being told they’re bringing in an out-of-state Director and possibly a DP. They’re also casting only non-union actors. Now I’m finding this all a little hard to believe, as I sat in the Govenor’s office and i was personally assured, by the Deputy Chief of Staff, that every effort would be made to ensure this didn’t happen again, so for now I’m assuming it’s all a rumor.
There are some fine commercial directors here, as good as anyone that could be brought in. Even if there wasn’t, how would our people ever get better without the opportunities that in-State Government commercials allow ? I actually know of what I speak. In a previous life, when I was the Director of Marketing for then Gov. Richardson, we shot dozens of spots without ever bringing in anyone from out of State including the Directors and we somehow made the spots on budget and Union. Including the iconic ” You drink,you drive, you lose ” and the national award-winning ” You’re in the right state of mind, just the wrong State “
We viewed commercials as training grounds and showcase opportunities for New Mexico talent both in front and behind the camera. After all, if the State won’t help who will ?
Rather than just complain here’s a couple of concrete suggestions ; first here’s what I will be told ” Why do you care.? They are using your guys ? ” I care because I’m a New Mexican. Bringing in ATL is just wrong. Putting BTL locals on doesn’t make this right. As I’ve said, I will be an advocate, but the real key here is the film office. If they ask through the Governor that all departments send there RFP’s over so they can be emailed to interested New Mexicans who register with them, then at least the production community will have an opportunity to bid. They could also put on a job fair for State agencies which brings together possible clients and vendors. I used to bring in all the PIO’s from the State for a monthly meet and show them examples of New Mexican work, took them to sets, introduced them to our peeps. It worked.
Regardless if New Mexicans are not getting hired, we-the production community- need to fix this. I need to fix this. Because frankly I’m a big fan. I have had the privilege of working with many of you and with many outsiders. We take a back seat to no one.
In the meanwhile, today the Albuquerque Journal reports, “Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration is laying the groundwork for a wide-ranging study of New Mexico’s film rebates that it hopes will put to rest the debate over the program’s effectiveness.”
We have to wonder if the study will aim for a balanced look or simply take further aim at dismantling the industry which this administration has been so notorious for. Albuquerque has fallen from NUMBER ONE in the nation for film production to third and the state as a whole has fallen from third to NINTH under Martinez’s relatively short rule.
Study or target no study the numbers of productions which are fleeting and fleeing continue to mount, from Django Unchained in Louisiana, to Iron Man and Hunger Games in North Carolina, where Government offices actively work for film jobs and notoriety for their state residents.
New Mexico presently sits on the bench with infighting while neighboring states, previously daunted by the New Mexico’s top ranking in film were falling away, others are ramping-up as our reign is loosening and slipping away.
As we told you here, the next biggest upcoming movie saga spawned from Twilight author Stephenie Meyer, is New Mexico bound.
“The Host” follows Melanie Stryder in a post-apocalyptic world in which aliens called Souls have body-snatched and are occupying the majority of the human population. Melanie herself is taken over by a Soul named Wanderer. However, Melanie’s strong will to survive have the two consciousnesses fighting for domination and eventually becoming allies as they set out to find Jared, the man Melanie loves, and their small colony of human resistance. When they get there, Melanie meets Ian who forms a connection with Wanderer, and a love quadrangle in three bodies gets underway.
Just named as leading man Jared is Max Irons (Red Riding Hood, currently set to star opposite Neve Campbell in Vivaldi as Antonio himself). Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, The Lovely Bones) takes up the role of occupied Melanie Stryder and Jake Abel (Percy Jackson & the Olympians, I Am Number Four) rounds out the love quadrangle.
Shooting is set to begin next February in New Mexico and Louisiana, scheduled for a March 2013 release.
TNT shot into NM in late 2010 with a high voltage pilot for The Rabbit Factory…unfortunately the series did not get the green light.
But the TNT television network is headed BACK!
This time with the saucy Cam Gigandet (Burlesque, Easy A) in the lead.
Gateway aka Tin Star is the story of three brothers who step in to save their town when their sheriff father is murdered, pitting them against a corrupt cattle baron determined to make the town his own.
My lady friends (not me & not Bridgette) might be interested in a little google search of his name, as it is quickly fills itself in as “Cam Gigandet shirtless”…(I’m looking at you Andrea, Lisa, Mykel)
Anyhoo…the pilot, set in 1880’s Colorado, is slated to roll film right here in NM within the next few months!
Coveted Dexter, The Big Bang Theory, and Deadwood guest star Keith Carradine is also on tap to star in a sexy brothers three surrogate-dad type role.
Local principals are quietly being screened…UPDATES TO FOLLOW
That Two and a Half Men mess on CBS isn’t the only XY drama in town.
In fact the reigning #1 Drama on television is maddeningly squashing the Gs out of our own beloved home grown production, Breaking Bad.
A busy bee buzz around Hollywoo is that AMC, the network for both Breaking Bad and Mad Men, is breaking the bank with the sleek, stylized, period piece dramz eating into the budget of the picturesque, perfectly scripted, expertly acted NM series.
The L.A. Times is reporting that Breaking Bad and other top show The Walking Dead are being asked to ax digits from their bottom line and the speculation is that those numbers will be used to line the pockets of Mad creator Matt Weiner.
First the scheduling melee that swept the Lead Actor Emmy right out of Cranston’s hands and undoubtedly into those of Mad’s leading man to this!
A fifth season of NM’s Own Breaking Bad is a go for the time being but the quantity, network and location may be up in the air.
For all we’ve ever had to say about the coveted New Mexico series click here and for a personal convo w/the stars pick-up the latest Weekly Alibi on stands now – featuring some riveting words from NM’s Own Br Ba star Steven Michael Quezada!
Season four of Breaking Bad airs Sunday nights on AMC and the high rollers of Mad Men will return in 2012 with their platinum plated season five (it is a pretty bad a** show, but come on New Mexico get on AMC about this sh*t – we can’t afford to lose the best show on television & we can’t even blame this mess on Susana).