Sunday, May 20, 2007

NM Media Wrap

I think everyone now knows what was finalized and announced this past week: that Sony Pictures Imageworks will be opening an operation here in New Mexico, within Albuquerque Studios south of Albuquerque. 100 employees are expected to move from Culver City to the new 100,000 sq ft facility, which should open within a year. Between 350-500 total employees are estimated for the space.

Richard Verrier covers the story in the LA Times (New Mexico Lures Jobs from Sony Unit) -- he's been one of the key reporters covering Albuquerque Studio's opening, the potential deal with Imageworks, and what New Mexico's growth means to Los Angeles.

Other local coverage came in the NM Business Weekly: Sony Imageworks makes ABQ Commitment

And the Albuquerque Journal: Animating News from Imageworks

The "Pause and Reflect" blog from laughingwolf offers an tiny peek into the establishment of other satellite facilities in Novato, CA and Chennai, India.

So... this news has been expected from quite some time -- but what does it mean?

Quite a few things, I'm sure, but one thing that's stuck in my mind is that in the space of a week, it's probably much easier now for professionals doing advanced FX work to move here. Last Wednesday and before, the choice to live in New Mexico was far more likely to come from someone who's lived here before, and liked it enough to take the risk. This week? Sure there's always risk, but the prospect of being among the early hires for a group like Imageworks feels much more like an opportunity.

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