Hawaii Film Blog

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

New Mexico + Hollywood = "Tamalewood"

One of the 6 climate zones that New Mexico boasts (Photo: nmfilm.com)

The Hollywood Reporter published a "Location Report" today on New Mexico, the latest Hollywood darling among U.S. production locations. NM is so popular among the film set now that a local NM reporter dubbed it "Tamalewood" (badump-bump).

The state's film-friendly Governor Bill Richardson has, for the past 4 years, enacted a series of film tax incentives, each one doing the previous one better. In 2002, NM established a 15% refundable production tax credit with resident hire restrictions. In 2005, that credit was upped to 20% without the resident hire restrictions. As of Jan. 1, 2006, a 25% credit has been in effect, along with a generous and active Film Investment Loan Program, which provides 0% interest loans of up to $15M to qualified film productions in exchange for equity participation.

To date, the Loan Program has doled out a whopping $140 million-plus in financing to films shot in NM, including "Suspect Zero" starring Ben Kingsley, "Employee of the Month" starring Jessica Simpson, and upcoming films "The Flock" starring Claire Danes and horror spoof "Wanted: Undead or Alive."

What has all this celluloid fervor done for New Mexico?

  • Annual production expenditures have grown 40-fold, from $3M in 2002 to a projected $117M in 2006
  • New Mexico's crew base has grown from 100 in 2002 to 1,200 today
  • Construction has begun on Albuquerque Studios, a $74M 28-acre production facility with 8 soundstages slated to open in early 2007

Random musing: NM claims it has 6 of the 7 climate zones and we here in Hawaii have always said we have 11 of the 13 climate zones. So if any climate/weather junkies are reading this, please clarify: just how many climate zones are there in the world--7 or 13? If it's the former, then I guess we can say we have all of them!

>> Location report: New Mexico [THR, 9/20/06]
New Mexico Banks on the Box Office [Business Week, 9/18/06]
NM Film Investment Program Report as of 5/31/06 (.pdf)

Everyone Else Is Doing It...
States Cannibalizing States
Film Incentives That Aren't Tax Credits
Hawaii Ranks #5 in Top 10 Places to Shoot in the US
>> Come on Down! (You Know You Want To)

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