Monday, May 12, 2008

Variety Covers NM Studio Growth

Variety covers the planned addition of another studio here in New Mexico here:
New Mexico Brings Green to Studio
...Santa Fe Studios received a greenlight from Santa Fe's county commissioners late last month. The multiphase project, destined for construction in the business park on New Mexico Highway 14, will include full-service, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified green production facilities, promising 500 jobs and an anticipated $300 million annual impact on the local economy.

The pueblo-style campus facility, expected to be operational by the end of 2009, will include 10 sound stages encompassing 500,000 square feet, built over phases, and will incorporate the entire pre-, principal and post-production cycle.

On hand to bolster the battle for passage of the resolution were CEO Lance Hool, chief operating officer Conrad Hool and prexy Jason Hool, along with Santa Fe Studios board member Gary Credle, Warner Bros. exec VP, administration and studio operations.

The overlappingSanta Fe and Albuquerque production zones are only 60 miles apart. They offer unique locations and split the existing crew base. Albuquerque, the state's largest city, offers a wide variety of urban looks, doubling for Dallas, Los Angeles and sometimes (barely) New York. The state's capital of Santa Fe, once the center of production, is small and quaint, boasting three Western sets/towns plus Las Golondrinas (a living museum that doubles as a Mexican village). Near Santa Fe is Las Vegas, N.M. (a double for the Midwest and period settings from turn of the century through the '50s), as well as Georgia O'Keeffe's home, Ghost Ranch.

Albuquerque reaped the benefits of a recent increase in urban films lensing in New Mexico, and the fully booked 16-month-old Albuquerque Studios contributed to the influx. However, state-of-the-art soundstages in Santa Fe could once again split film production and boost the state's already thriving film production schedule.

"The idea of the first 'green studio' being built in Santa Fe, N.M., is very exciting to us," said Lisa Strout, director of the New Mexico Film Office. "Gov. Bill Richardson has initiated progressive pieces of legislation over the past few years to encourage environmentally friendly businesses and practices, and New Mexico was the first state to create a green filmmaking program."

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