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In This Issue
Production Report
Local Outreach
NM Film History
Quick Links
 January 2013

Happy New Year!
"Whole worlds have been tamed by men who ate biscuits."
- Bad Blake, Crazy Heart, 2009

For previous newsletters click here
Production Report

Legislative Session 2013
The legislative session has begun.  Here are some noteworthy dates: 

  January 15:     Opening Day (noon)
  February 14:    Bill Introduction Deadline (and Valentine's Day)  
  February 22:    Film & Media Day (annual networking event)
  March 16:        Session ends at Noon (later, St. Patty's Day begins)
  April 5:            Legislation not acted upon is Pocket Vetoed
  June 14:          Effective Date of Legislation only for bills carrying

                 an Emergency Clause (or other specified date)


Each year, several bills are filed that relate to the film industry.  The Economic Development Department often receives requests from the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) to analyze these bills and determine their fiscal impact - a consult if you will, aptly named a "FIR" or "Fiscal Impact Report."  However, we may not be the only agencies required to report to the LFC.  This year we anticipate film bills to emerge that will assist in the administration of the Refundable Film Production Tax Credit.  We do not anticipate major changes to the current program but nonetheless, what is considered should be positive.


If you are interested in tracking a bill, visit the New Mexico Legislature website.


Please visit In Production to check if there have been any recent announcements of films. New to the industry? View Crew FAQs.


Reminder: if you are a vendor that has not been paid by a production and you have a purchase order number, please contact us.

Local Outreach
For New Mexico Filmmakers:
New Mexico Filmmakers Program
Look for an exciting re-launch of the NM Filmmakers Program in February. The New Mexico Film Office is partnering with the Santa Fe Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) to bring you a series of panel discussions and screenings each month to explore the "New Mexico Filmmakers Experience."  Screenings will be held the third Sunday of each month at 11AM starting February through June. Admission is free and open to the public. First up, in honor of Black History Month, a panel of local filmmakers will share their cultural perspective and filmmaking experiences as African-Americans.
Also at the CCA, local filmmakers will have the opportunity to chat with other recognized filmmakers from around the country through Skype. See and hear what other filmmakers are doing and how they are doing it.  Look for a full schedule on, Facebook and next month's Newsletter. Also visit the Center for Contemporary Arts website. 


  • The New Mexico Film Office will be one of the many industry groups participating in Film and Media Day at the Roundhouse on February 22. Please stop by our table.
  • Town Hall meetings: we continue to travel around-the-state and meet with local communities. Details to be announced shortly.
  • New Mexico Film Conference: plans are underway to host an industry film conference and networking event towards the end of the fiscal year.  Anticipate great presentations, panel discussions and a variety of vendor booths.

Contact Dirk Norris for questions or comments regarding the NMFO local outreach initiatives.


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New Mexico Film History

The New Mexico Film Office Celebrates its 45th Anniversary!


Sometime in 1967, newspaper columnist Chuck Mittlestadt and Albuquerque businessman Lou Gasparini had an idea that would bring motion picture and television production to New Mexico. The duo took their idea to Governor David Cargo and without skipping a beat, he formed a committee to work out the details. This paved the way for New Mexico to become the first state in the country to establish a state office whose primary purpose was to promote the state as an incentive to lure the film community to the Land of Enchantment. At the time Cargo was the youngest governor in the United States.


The original name of the office was New Mexico Motion Picture Industries Committee. In 1971 the name was changed to Motion Picture Bureau of the New Mexico Department of Commerce, then in 1980, probably because no one could remember the moniker, and much to the delight of the Graphics Arts Division (of Tourism), the name was changed to New Mexico Film Commission, and in the early 1990s it became the New Mexico Film Office.


The film office was originally housed on the fourth floor at the Round House, but it soon proved to be too distracting for anyone to get any work done with filmmakers signing autographs and posing for pictures, so they moved the office to a less hectic location over at 111 Washington. And from there the office moved to 1050 Old Pecos Trail, then to the Joseph Montoya building at the corner of St. Francis Drive and Cordova Road. The film office moved two more times in recent years to return back at the Joseph Montoya building. Whew! It's been a long journey.


See More . . . 


It's Not CGI

Last April, Shiprock became a hero location for the soon-to-be-released, sci-fi thriller The Host . The film is an adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's novel of the same name, and stars Diane Kruger, Saoirse Ronan and Jake Abel.  


Just this month, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, when asked if there was any CGI used in the film, Jake Abel responded by saying, "Shiprock, where the exterior of our cave is located, is one of the most...we fear that people will think it's CGI because it's so magnificent ... It's a spine of mountains that leads to this giant rock structure, and at one point me, Saoirse, Max and Boyd and a couple of cast members walked up to the top of one of the spines and were just standing high above the earth. The wind was blowing, we were all in our survival gear, and it was one of those moments we had to stop -- and you can see 360 (degrees) of the Navajo land -- and it was one of those moments we had to stop and say, 'Let's remember this for a moment.' It's all real, and it's gonna look fake."


If you have ever been to Shiprock, you know exactly what Abel is talking about. View photos of Shiprock in our location photo database.
The Host also shot in Albuquerque and Laguna Pueblo. 


Search 60,000 photos of 8,000 New Mexico

locations in our online database.

historyNew Mexico Film History cont.

Not long after the legislature made the original committee a statutory commission, under the umbrella of the New Mexico Department of Development (DOD), members of the committee began a series of telephone calls to Hollywood that went ignored. Committee member Max Evan volunteered to fly out to Los Angeles, at his own expense, to follow-up on the leads and with the help of Max's agent, Dick Brand, they began nailing down appointments. 


By the end of 1968, the sales trip to Los Angeles had brought in $40 million dollars in productions and, in 1972, it swelled to $89 million dollars. Not bad for a start-up company staffed by three people. Between 1968 and 1978 a total of 108 film and television productions were produced in New Mexico, and since 1898, the Land of Enchantment has hosted approximately 663 productions.


In 1969, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "Easy Rider," "The Good Guys and the Bad Guys," and "Heaven with a Gun," and "The McMasters" all filmed around the state, as did two Disney features "Hang Your Hat on the Wind," and "Pancho the Fastest Paw in the West."


One of the first films to shoot in the state as a result of the sales trip to Los Angeles was "The Good Guys and the Bad Guys," directed by Burt Kennedy.  In 1998, Kennedy, a good friend of Max Evan, and a great admirer of everything New Mexico flew in to help celebrate New Mexico's 100 Years of Filmmaking. The gala event was held at the Gerald Peters Gallery on Paseo de Peralta. "The Good Guys," cast included Robert Mitchum, George Kennedy, Martin Balsam, David and John Carradine, Tina Louise, Lois Nettleton, and Marie Windsor. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band also appeared in the film. But the real star of the film was the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad. The narrow gauge train had been in moth balls until it was resurrected by the production company to the tune of $150,000, mas o menos. Warner-Seven Arts brought a cast and crew of 150 personnel into Chama and employed a good amount of its 1500 residents, and if they weren't employed as extras they provided services to the production company. It was reported that every motel room in the vicinity was booked solid for six to seven weeks. Even the Tierra Amarilla Escalante High School Band appeared in the picture. The studio was spending $50,000 per week, which included $1,300.00+ a day for housing and $1000+ per day being spent on food and restaurants.


The world premiere of "The Good Guys and the Bad Guys" was a benefit for the Carrie Tingley Hospital for Crippled Children in Truth or Consequences. The premiere was held at the Lensic and El Paseo theaters in Santa Fe. In attendance at both venues were George Kennedy, Tina Louise, and Martin Balsam. La Fonda hotel was also the setting for a pre-screening cocktail party and banquet attended by 120 invited guests. The after party was at the governor's mansion. A repeat world premiere and benefit was held the next day at the Sunshine Theater in Albuquerque.


Questions or comments about New Mexico Film History?

Contact John Raymond Armijo

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