Friday, July 24, 2009

SF New Mexican: Some Towns Welcome Movie Industry Impact

Somewhat in response to the recent LA Times story on Las Vegas, NM, comes this from the Santa Fe New Mexican:
In N.M. towns such as Carrizozo, Roy, movie industry's impact welcome

Robert Nott | The New Mexican
7/23/2009 - 7/24/09
Hollywood turned the small New Mexico town of Carrizozo into a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and the only complaint came from a dog.

The Denzel Washington thriller The Book of Eli, shot in and around Carrizozo (population about 935) earlier this year, financially benefited the town through jobs and spending for such things as lodging and meals.

"I don't know the financial impact yet, but they hired 120 extras, and 39 were from Carrizozo," said Dirk Norris, president of the local chamber of commerce and now the town's film liaison for the New Mexico Film Office. "They hired 15 people as security guards, two as location or production assistants. And they hired a concrete/cement company to provide rubble. They also used one of the local junkyards to provide crushed cars. They even rented a pile of red bricks."

Norris heard but one gripe: "I was on a street corner talking to a reporter from KOAT when a woman came up and said, 'When is this damn film going to be over? These people are driving my dog nuts!' "

But the pet problem was nothing compared to the grief expressed in a recent Los Angeles Times article that reported some Las Vegas, N.M., residents aren't too happy with the film business. The piece spotlighted several Las Vegas citizens who felt film artists acted like "they're a big deal" and who griped about street closings and businesses losing customers while such productions as No Country For Old Men and Paul (a sci-fi comedy currently shooting there) are in town.

That article set off a string of online comments from film-industry supporters suggesting such publicity hurts the industry and led various town leaders to tout the plus side of show business...

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