Film industry

New Mexico film industry brings in record $855.4 million

Eugene Brave Rock, left, and Jeremiah Bitsui shoot on location for “Dark Winds.” (Michael Moriatis/Stalwart Productions/AMC)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

The New Mexico film industry has set another record.

The state announced that the industry generated $855.4 million in direct spending for fiscal year 2022, an increase of $228.9 million from fiscal year 2021.

“Another banner year for film and television industry spending shows more clearly than ever that New Mexico is the place to be for film and television,” Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said.

New Mexico film incentives continue to be the benchmark in the industry.

Tax incentives include a 25% to 35% production tax credit for film, television, commercials, documentaries, music videos, video games, animation, post-production and more.

Rural communities across the state saw a 660% increase in direct industry spending, from $6.5 million in FY21 to nearly $50 million in FY 22.

The game changer in the raise is the Rural Improvement Credit, which gives a production a 5% incentive to film at least 60 miles outside of the Bernalillo and Santa Fe County corridor. came into force in 2019.

Productions such as the television series “Outer Range” and “Dark Winds”, as well as the films “Hot Seat” and “Chupa” are a few that have qualified for rural improvement credit because they were filmed in Las Vegas, New Mexico, the Navajo Nation and Las Cruces, respectively.

Las Cruces saw a major increase in productions due to the Rural Uprising Credit. From July 2021 to May 2022, the region had 23 projects in the Las Cruces area with a direct expenditure of $7.9 million in the local economy. In the previous fiscal year, there were nine productions. The number of productions corresponds to the peak of FY19 for the Las Cruces region.

“The additional 5% increase in Rural Development Credit has been a key part of attracting productions to the Las Cruces area and has become a vital part of our marketing efforts,” said Jonathon Sepp, Film Liaison with Movie Las Cruces. “With the success of the Rural Uprising, Film Las Cruces has been able to attract more productions to our area than ever before.”

“Hot Seat” director James Cullen Bressack said once on board the project, he knew it had to be shot in New Mexico. The production chose Las Cruces to make the film.

“New Mexico was always the plan from the start,” Bressack said. “I was excited to film there because I wanted it to be anywhere in America. New Mexico was perfect for that.

According to the state, the most recent data also shows a record number of hours worked in the industry in New Mexico, a 22% increase from fiscal year 21 and a new record of 109 for the total. productions filmed in the state – 55 films and 54 television.

Left to right, Sam Asghari as Sergeant Tobias,
Eddie Steeples as Jackson and director James
Cullen Bressack behind the scenes of ‘Hot Seat’.
(Courtesy of Lionsgate)

The state released the names of just 55 productions to the Journal on Thursday, saying the rest had not been announced.

For the better part of a decade, Albuquerque and Santa Fe have consistently been voted by MovieMaker as the best cities for movie professionals to live and work in. Albuquerque has held the No. 1 major city ranking for four consecutive years. Santa Fe has been in the top 5 small towns and villages since the list began nearly a decade ago.

“New Mexico is now at the center of film and television production, which means jobs, private sector investment, skills training and economic growth for communities and small businesses across the state,” said said Alicia J. Keyes, secretary of the Department of Economic Development.

In 2019, Lujan Grisham signed Senate Bill 2, which encouraged companies to collaborate with the state through partnership agreements. Currently, Netflix and NBCUniversal are two of the biggest partnerships with a 10-year plan.

Companies work with the state to develop and strengthen workforce development and skills training.

Since the measure was passed, Netflix has announced a 300-acre expansion in the state with a commitment to spend an additional $1 billion over 10 years, doubling the company’s original commitment to the state.

NBCUniversal also opened a production facility in Albuquerque with a commitment of $500 million in direct production spending over the next 10 years and 330 full-time equivalent jobs.

The 2019 bill also raised the 2011 cap on what the state can pay to film and television productions from $50 million to $110 million a year, while also allowing spending of up to $225 million. million dollars to pay off a backlog accumulated in film incentives.