New Mexico sorted COVID-19 with science, good sense. Come and make movies, y’all!

When the movie industry ramps back up, states will be competing for their business. the COVID-19 pandemic may actually help give New Mexico an edge. That’s largely because of the state’s coronavirus response which has made it one of the safest places for productions to shoot.

From Transformers to the Breaking Bad franchise, New Mexico has served as the backdrop for dozens of major films and TV shows. One local filmmaker believes a lot more are on the way. “It looks favorable to us because we’re going to health wise look like a better place to shoot,” says Film Crew Trainer Grubb Graebner.

The coronavirus outbreak has halted film productions for the past three months. Graebner believes once productions get the green light, many of them will head to New Mexico first because it’s safer. “They have the choice of going to shoot in New York where cases are going up. LA where cases are going up or shooting in New Mexico where cases are going down,”…

Same as it ever was!

16 thoughts on “New Mexico sorted COVID-19 with science, good sense. Come and make movies, y’all!

  1. Old Gaffer says:

    “New Mexico’s film industry in preproduction” (Albuquerque Journal 8/16/20)
    “Despite a monthslong shutdown, the New Mexico film industry brought in nearly $400 million in direct spending to New Mexico in fiscal year 2020.
    According to the New Mexico Film Office, the direct spend of $396.8 million was less than the record, $525.5 million recorded in fiscal 2019, yet still topped three of the past six fiscal years.
    The fiscal year 2020 ran from July 1, 2019, through June 30.
    According to the NM Film Office, there were 80 productions during fiscal year 2020. Of those, 27 projects had a New Mexico budget over $1 million.
    Preproduction on film and TV projects is slowly starting to roll out in New Mexico – all being required to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.”

  2. Norteño says:

    While no film projects are shooting in the state as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose risks, state officials have given the OK for crews to prepare for production — a sign the industry soon could return to business almost as usual.
    Film companies will have to follow specific guidelines created by a New Mexico industry task force and also must adhere to the governor’s public health rules for all businesses in the state, which include a face mask mandate, social distancing and frequent hand-washing.
    Bruce Krasnow, a spokesman for the Economic Development Department, said in an email, “Aspects of the film and television industry are already back to work, including pre-production work, set construction, location scouting, etc., with required COVID-safe practices in place.
    Industry insiders, including film union representatives, launched a task force during the shutdown that drafted a 22-page white paper on how to safely restart productions when the state reopened the industry.
    See also “O’Reilly Auto Parts, 4715 Airport Road, was fined $79,200 for violating the state’s COVID-19 mask requirements, the New Mexico Environment Department announced Wednesday.”

  3. Lee Sholem says:

    Netflix resumes production on ‘The Harder They Fall’ in Santa Fe “…“We are immensely proud to have a Black-led production of this magnitude, on the ground in New Mexico,” said Amber Dodson, NM Film Office director. ” ‘The Harder They Fall’ is a production with a predominately Black cast and lead production team, which signals a move to embrace the call for diversity in America – something we value highly in New Mexico. This production is kicking-off a very busy year ahead as we resume production, and is setting the tone for more inclusive storytelling, filmmaking, and content creation.”
    “Mickey Rourke set to star in ‘The Commando’ : According to Deadline, the motion picture will start shooting in New Mexico next month, and is to be directed by Asif Akbar.”
    NM film productions give $330K to 20 schools

  4. Dream factory says:

    Netflix Commits $1 Billion More In New Mexico Production Funding As It Expands ABQ Studios; ‘Stranger Things’ Joins List Of Albuquerque-Set Shows
    “The Studio expansion will add 300 acres to the company’s existing studios, located in Albuquerque’s Mesa Del Sol area. They said it will make ABQ Studios one of the largest high-tech and sustainable film production facilities in North America. The new investment will create an estimated 1,000 production jobs in New Mexico over the next ten years, along with 1,467 construction jobs to complete the expansion. The ABQ Studios will bring $150 million in capital expenditures as up to 10 stages will be added as well as post-production services, production offices, mills, backlots, and training facilities, wardrobe suites, a commissary to support meals and craft services, and other flex buildings to support productions.”

  5. Studio rat says:

    There are currently nine projects registered with the New Mexico Film Office that are in production, and since 2002, the industry has contributed approximately $3.5 Billion in direct spending to the local economy.
    New Mexico Film Office Director Amber Dodson Speaks To Local Rotarians (4//10/21)

  6. p/s says:

    NBCUniversal Officially Opens its New Mexico Production Facility The new NBC Universal Studios near Downtown Albuquerque
    In June of 2019, NBCUniversal signed a 10-year lease with Garcia Realty and Development for production space in Albuquerque. The deal turned the empty Martineztown warehouse into a state-of-the-art television and film studio with two sound stages, offices, and a mill. The company also committed to $500 million in direct production spend over the next 10 years and 330 full-time equivalent jobs, a total economic impact of $1.1 billion over 10 years. The total number of jobs, direct and indirect, should exceed 800 jobs annually, according to an economic analysis by the state.
    As part of its commitment to New Mexico, NBCUniversal is contributing $55,000 annually to workforce development program​s. In 2020, it was announced that NBCUniversal will be deploying its signature Directors Shadowing Program that provides mentoring to local up-and coming film and television professionals. The first New Mexico resident to participate in the program has been selected. The filmmaker will begin work on the MacGruber series this summer, more details to be announced soon.

  7. Bilagáana says:

    ‘Dark Winds’ Review: Murder Most Foul in the Navajo Nation : A six-episode adaptation of Tony Hillerman’s tribal-police mysteries finally puts the invaluable actor Zahn McClarnon at the top of the cast list. (Mike Hale NYT)
    “The natural way to lead a review of “Dark Winds,” which premieres Sunday on AMC, would be to note that it is a series written, directed and performed largely by Native Americans; set in the Navajo Nation and filmed on location in New Mexico; and bringing to screen the tribal police officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee from Tony Hillerman’s best-selling mystery novels.
    Or you could cut to the chase and just say: Oh thank God, someone finally gave Zahn McClarnon his own television show.”

    • eideard says:

      Oh, man. I love Tony Hillerman. Started reading his tribal police mysteries back when I started walking through nations and states as my base for exercise…and study. I walked through Europe this way. Walked across a lot of the USA, parts of Canada familiar to my family history. Then, a few decades later, ended up in the Southwest via the Navajo Nation.

  8. Poco a poco says:

    “In addition to New Mexico being a serious place for filmmaking and TV series –the state reaping a record $855.4M from Hollywood’s motion picture & TV industry’s spending– Santa Fe itself counts a fervent moviegoing community, especially for arthouse and experimental product.
    Audiences packed venues around town for the Santa Fe International Film Festival from Oct. 19-23 for films of all shapes and sizes at such venues as the George R.R. Martin owned Jean Cocteau Cinema; the Moorish, Spanish Renaissance 1931 built Lensic Theater; and the two-story, bistro cinema the Violet Crown in the swanky railroad district among others. In regards to the moviegoing spirit, think Toronto, but on a much smaller scale.”

  9. Update says:

    The film and TV tax credit that put New Mexico on the map is now nearly two decades old. Launched in 2003, it didn’t just transform the production landscape in the Land of Enchantment, along with a new tax credit in Louisiana, the state also kicked off a domestic incentives arms race that created vibrant industry hubs across the country and changed how projects are financed.
    Today, New Mexico offers a base 25% refundable tax credit that can go as high as 35% when other uplifts are factored in. For instance, productions can earn an additional 5% by shooting in one of the state’s 15 qualified production facilities, an offer the state would’ve been unable to make in the early days of the incentive, when productions searching for soundstages usually had to settle for an abandoned warehouse or factory.
    Direct production spend in New Mexico hit a record $855.4 million in fiscal year 2022, up 36% year-over-year from 2021. The state has also been benefiting from the trickle-down effects of film and TV tourism. (Variety)

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