Friday, March 28, 2008

Sweetie keeps winning admirers

From the NM Business Weekly:

A film made that won the top award in the 48 Hour Film Project/New Mexico competition will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival

"Sweetie" is just seven minutes long and is a suspenseful story with a gripping ending. It features Albuquerque actors Chad Brummett of the Tricklock Co. and Emily Villela. It was produced by Trifecta+Entertainment.

The film will screen at Cannes during the 48 Hour Film Project's "Short Film Corner" on May 20.

Since winning the top prize at the New Mexico festival, the film has been screened at the Leeds International Film Festival in England; the Vine Shorts Fest in Santa Monica, Calif.; and the Boston Underground Film Festival. It was also second runner-up at the 48 Hour Film Project's annual Filmapalooza competition at Cinequest in San Jose, Calif., beating out 60 other city winners and more than 2,200 total films.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Terminator Update!

I definitely believe that big movies -- and Oscars -- make a difference; that New Mexico's combination of incentives (that have made us so attractive for mid-budget films), facilities (that now make productions like Game and Terminator 4 possible) and an active indie scene represented by the Duke City Shootout, 48 Hour Film Project and Troma Dance crowds have pushed New Mexico firmly into the top five production locations in the US.

But regardless of all that... I'm really looking forward to Terminator 4 -- and the addition of rising star Anton Yelchin is good news too:

Anton Yelchin Cast as Kyle Reese in Terminator 4

We all thought Shia LaBeouf was going to be the next big young male star after he was taken under Spielberg's wing and cast in Disturbia, Transformers, and Indiana Jones IV. But Anton Yelchin may instead beat Shia to the punch in the next few years. After making one hell of a mainstream intro in Alpha Dog and Charlie Bartlett, Anton was cast in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek as a young Chekov. Now he joins McG's upcoming Terminator 4, which is currently gearing up to go into production, as a young Kyle Reese.

Yelchin joins the already cast Christian Bale as John Connor and Sam Worthington as Marcus. In the film, which takes place after the apocalypse at the end of Terminator 3, Reese (Yelchin) is one of the children who has survived the nuclear holocaust and befriends Marcus (Worthington), an early edition of the Terminator cyborg played in previous films by Schwarzenegger. John Connor (Bale), who was the lead character in Terminator 3, now leads the fight to save a decimated civilization against the machines. The character Kyle Reese also showed up in the very first Terminator, being played by Michael Biehn, as the man who was sent back in time in order to impregnate Sarah Connor and thus father John Connor.

Production is scheduled to start in May in Albuquerque, New Mexico and in Los Angeles. Although a screenplay was initially penned by John D. Brancato, Michael Ferris, and David C. Wilson, Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis has also been in talks to join in order to polish the script before shooting begins. This may be one of the best moves the producers will ever make - Haggis could rework what might have been a awful script into something quite worthy of being remembered in comparison to the other great Terminator films of the past.

So far this revamp definitely sounds like its heading in the right direction. Despite my concerns with McG as director, the casting choices have all been phenomenal. First Bale, then Worthington, and now Yelchin. I just hope this still turns as good as I'm expecting. The original title, Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins, was recently dropped and a new title is currently being sought. Terminator 4 is set for release next summer on May 22nd, 2009.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


BOOM—Your Magazine for generating new business with New Mexico’s fastest growing industry.

Miscellaneous Publications in conjunction with the City of Albuquerque Film Office, Albuquerque Studios and the Bernalillo Office of Economic Development present BOOM, the official resource guide for film industry professionals who are living, working and making movies in Albuquerque.

Imagine this: You live in L.A. and you arrive in Albuquerque, New Mexico with plans to create a cinematic landmark, or at least make a movie or hit television series. In addition to this task, which has its own inherent production needs that must be met, you must also set up your entire network for daily living and lifestyle activities. Your time to do this is compressed, so what you need is an accurate, up-to-date, one-stop tidy little book that will introduce you to the real Albuquerque in record time. BOOM is that book!

What is BOOM? BOOM will offer insider interviews with actors, directors and producers who are making movies and a life in Albuquerque for at least six months, profiles of costume designers, special effects personnel, camera operators, production coordinators and crew, plus highlights on vendor services—unique local businesses that have captured a special niche in the industry with progressive thinking and business savvy. Lifestyle departments detailing the essentials from drinking and dining to outdoor activities, style options and needs for the little ones in tow will offer a locals view of hidden gems.

BOOM will have a big-time impact on industry professionals and advertisers who see the growing economic power of the film industry in New Mexico. Join the enthusiastic, innovative film community today and advertise in BOOM.

To purchase paid listings, please contact Katixa M Mercier at 505-924-1111, ext. 107, or by email at

To inquire about a display ad, please contact Publisher, Missy Penor at 505-924-1111, ext. 102, or by email at

NM Media Scene

One of the cooler sites in New Mexico's music scene (covering arts and culture, but technology friendly) is... NM Scene, which brings us this:

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Alternate Reality Game

Posted by: admin in Culture, Cool Shit, WTF

This was a compilation video that gets into the ARG surrounding the new Terminator series, which had the pilot shot here in Albuquerque both at what looks like west mesa high school and at the double eagle air port. Video from the future is being recorded via a camera that can record faster than light Tachyon’s. Nicely done ARG video if you’re into the expanded mythology of movies like i am. There’s quite a bit more video on the ARG website below.

Via Boing Boing and ARG website, Enitech Labs

Friday, March 7, 2008

Governor's Cup Short Animation Competition

Send us your treatments, scripts and storyboards
and make your short animation idea become a reality

Two winning shorts will be produced in
New Mexico in 2008

The Governor’s Cup Short Animation Competition recognizes local New Mexico talent and encourages and supports our filmmakers of the future. This competition will provide an avenue for up-and-coming, as well as seasoned, New Mexico filmmakers to compete for the opportunity to create a short (less than 10 minute) animated film. With support from the National Geographic All Roads Film Project and Pangea, the Competition is soliciting entries from all corners of the state of New Mexico.

Two winning ideas will be produced with the assistance of mentors from the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, Pangea Pictures, and IATSE 480. Software and computer workstations will also be available.

Short animation (less than 10 minutes) – one winner
A selection team of professional animators will choose one winning short animation idea. The selected project will be provided a budget of $10,000 toward production costs.

National Geographic All Roads Film Project:
Indigenous or Minority Culture short animation (less than 10 minutes) – one winner

This category is open to indigenous and under-represented minority filmmakers, as well as filmmakers who can demonstrate that they have been designated by indigenous or minority communities to tell their story. National Geographic will provide a budget of $10,000 toward production costs.

Materials to be submitted include:

  • General Synopsis – Limited to 3 pages, the synopsis should describe the story, stylistic approach, the animation technique (3D or 2D cgi, hand-drawn or stop motion for example) and a short bio of the individual or team.
  • PLEASE INCLUDE A FULL SCRIPT (double-sided). This is in addition to the 3-page general synopsis of the program
  • Storyboards to illustrate your approach to the material
  • At least ONE (1) full color character and set design
  • If applicable, please include any animated work already completed or in progress.

Applications must be received at the NM Film Office by 5pm. This is not a postmark deadline.

Click here for terms and the application form.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bollywood and Tamalewood together again!

When "Kites" arrives in New Mexico, it'll be the best of two or three worlds...
Rakesh Roshan signs Barbara Mori for 'Kites'!
IndiaGlitz [Thursday, March 06, 2008]

Rakesh Roshan signs the top Latin actress "Barbara Mori" as the leading lady of his upcoming film "Kites" opposite Hrithik Roshan.

The film is also starring Kangana Ranaut and is set to be directed by Anurag Basu along with the amazing musical composition by Rajesh Roshan. The remaining cast and credits are currently being finalized. The casting is taking place in Bombay & Los Angeles.

"Kites" is to be shot in New Mexico, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The film is another Film Kraft Production's presentation and is scheduled to go into production by the end of July 2008.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Alamogordo Production News

The Daily News
By Kandra Wells, News Editor

An Alamogordo High School graduate presented his plans Monday evening to build a film sound studio and post-production facility on the southeast side of the city to a group of neighbors, including several who are opposed to the project.

Scott Hester, of Marble Canyon Studios, has asked the city to rezone land he plans to buy from residential zoning to light industrial. The 11.6 acre tract is near 2500 First St. Hester plans to build a single story office building and sound studio, along with outdoor Western sets.

About 40 people attended the meeting, held at City Hall, including commissioners Steve Brockett and Ed Cole, in whose district the property is located. The rezoning request will be fully heard Wednesday at the city's Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, and the city has already received eight official protests to the rezoning.

That meeting, set for 1:30 p.m. in the commission board room at City Hall, is also open to the public.

"This is not a flashy company trying to come into Alamogordo," Hester told the group. "My goal is to keep the family-friendly films within the community that is family-friendly."

According to Hester, Marble Canyon Studio primarily works on commercials and independent films, andmost of the work is post-production editing. For instance, he said plans are under way to work with a news organization in Santa Fe for a weekly news program. Post-production work for the show could be done at the Alamogordo studio, he said. He also cited editing on a low-budget $300,000 film being produced by a Chicago outfit, all of which would be done indoors.

"Eighty percent of the work would be done on computers, in the studio," he said, adding that the land parcel is also an ideal place for shots of the Sacramento Escarpment to the east. "A Western film is going to be ideal for Alamogordo."

Hester, who was accompanied at the meeting by Eddie Rio, producer and photography director of Rio Ltd. Company in Santa Fe, said the Alamogordo land is among several sites the company is looking at to build sets and studios.

Presently, he said up to 90 percent of film production in New Mexico is done at Santa Fe, and his studio would offer another option.

"Our intent is to blend in to Alamogordo, to give people a reason to stay in Alamogordo," he said, citing the exodus of high school students from the area after graduation.

Hester said the company could employ up to 11 people, mostly editors and possibly some graphic designers.

"We want to work with local people and develop local staff," he said.

He also said the company would help bring more tax dollars to the city, citing opportunities for film industry workers who already visit the city for the annual White Sands Film Festival.

"It's hard to walk into a city with limited production resources," said Hester, who worked on the initial festival. "I want to provide production resources."

Monday, March 3, 2008

Albuquerque Studios begins its next Phase

From Variety: Albuquerque Studios in next phase

Studio the production home for 'Terminator'

Albuquerque Studios isn't leaving its expansion plans on the drawing board. The studio, owned by Pacifica Ventures, broke ground last year with phase one of its $74 million, 28-acre studio complex consisting of eight soundstages and support offices (Daily Variety, Sept. 17, 2006).

"Film production got in the way, and now we're in phase 1B of our construction," said Albuquerque Studios chief operating officer Nick Smerigan.

Open less than a year, the studio just announced it will be the production home for Warner Bros.' "Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins," the fourth installment in the "Terminator" franchise. Lensing will begin in early spring and occupy the entire lot until fall.

"When building this facility, this is exactly the type of project we envisioned having," Smerigan said.

Jeremy Hariton, the studio's senior veep, said the opportunity to host such a production "speaks to the quality of the studio and great film incentive programs put in place by the state of New Mexico."

The state offers a 25% rebate within 45-60 days in addition to a four-year interest-free loan on productions with a budget of at least $1 million.

"The Spirit," with Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson, and "Game," with Gerard Butler and Michael C. Hall, filmed at the facility, along with AMC's "Breaking Bad" and USA's "In Plain Sight."

Phase 1B for Albuquerque Studios' expansion includes construction on two new stages, which will be separated by a stationary sound wall, and new office space.

"We are seeing a tremendous amount of interest in stage and production support space in Albuquerque," said Hariton, who markets the facility. "This new space will enable us to meet the increased demand and provide a home for more production activity on campus."

In addition, Albuquerque Studios has an exclusive agreement with Union Development Corp. to manage all production- and entertainment-related activities for the city's historic Rail Yard. The agreement comes on the heels of UDC's exclusive overall arrangement with the city of Albuquerque to manage the storied property.

Productions using the Rail Yard include "Transformers," "Beerfest," "Wild Hogs" and Fox series "The Sarah Connor Chronicles."

NMFI Short takes Honors @ Sedona

Congratulations to the filmmakers, Diane and the team at the College of Santa Fe's NM Filmmakers Intensive!

Good Morning,

I am thrilled to announce that the 2007 NMFI Short, IN THE WAKE was honored
a the Sedona International Film Festival this weekend where it received the
Best Humanitarian Short Film award a newly created special Directors'
Awards, honoring a feature film and a short that through excellence in
filmmaking express a compassionate world view. .

³In the Wake² is about Noe Hebert, who is such a part of his culture that
it¹s hard to tell where he ends and where New Orleans begins. When
Hurricane Katrina hits, Noe loses everything - his mother, his home, his
culture, and his soul. He finds himself in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Disconnected and isolated in a dry and rugged land, Noe struggles to
reconnect within himself to a world that no longer exists.

Congratulations to the NMFI Filmmakers: Director Craig Strong, Screenwriter
Shannon Rotheneder, Producer Rorie Hanrahan and their extraordinary cast and

Diane Schneier Perrin
College of Santa Fe