Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Governor and Mayor Berry Announce CBS & Hallmark Hall of Fame Will Shoot Let Them Shine in Albuquerque

From the New Mexico Film Office:

For immediate release         Media Contacts: Pahl Shipley, NM Film Office 505.476.5613
June 29, 2010                                            Ellen Nesselrode Jasa, Hallmark 816.274.8099
Governor Bill Richardson & Mayor Richard Berry Announce CBS & Hallmark Hall of Fame Will Shoot
Let Them Shine in Albuquerque

SANTA FE-Governor Bill Richardson and Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry today announced that Let Them Shine, a CBS and Hallmark Hall of Fame production, will shoot in the Albuquerque area through the end of July.  The production is expected to hire up to 150 New Mexico crew, as well as approximately 25 local cast members and as many as 600 local background talent.

"We are proud that CBS and Hallmark chose New Mexico for this major production," said Governor Richardson.  "The film and television industry continues to create jobs and bring significant revenue into the state even while other sectors of the economy are not."

"This is an exciting opportunity for Albuquerque," said Mayor Richard J. Berry.  "Our city really has become the world's friendliest place to make movies.  We welcome Hallmark with open arms."

Let Them Shine, based on the memoir "Nobody Don't Love Nobody" by Stacey Bess, is a story about a young teacher who gets her first teaching job and finds it's not what she expected.  Rather than a comfortable class, she is assigned to the School with No Name, a classroom in a community homeless shelter.  As she fights her own fears and prejudices, she begins to examine the lives of the underprivileged children she teaches.  What she finds are a group of children and their parents that are all in need of hope and love.

The movie stars Emily Vancamp as Stacey Bess.  Other roles are still being cast.

Let Them Shine is directed by Jeff Bleckner, with executive producers Brent Shields and Gerald R. Molen.  It is being produced by Andrew Gottlieb with co-producer Cameron Johann and coordinating producer Shawn McClaren.  The screenplay was written by Camille Thomasson.

Since Governor Richardson took office in 2003 more than 140 major film and television productions have been made in New Mexico, with an estimated economic impact of more than $3-billion.  There are 10,000 direct and indirect film-related jobs in the state, and more than 250 businesses and services directly related to the industry.


Alarie Ray-Garcia
Communications Director
Office of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson
State Capitol, Suite 400
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501


Monday, June 28, 2010

NMBW: Gubernatorial Candidates & the Film Industry

From the New Mexico Business Weekly:

Denish, Martinez differ a little on future of New Mexico film industry - New Mexico Business Weekly

New Mexico Business Weekly - by Megan Kamerick NMBW Staff

Read more: Denish, Martinez differ a little on future of New Mexico film industry - New Mexico Business Weekly

At a recent conference on film financing and distribution, there was a distinct sense that an era was coming to an end in the New Mexico film industry with the departure of Gov. Bill Richardson at year's end.

Most of the state's film incentives were set up under former Governor Gary Johnson, but many in the industry in New Mexico credit Richardson with pushing the incentives aggressively and wooing more production here.

So those with businesses serving that industry are eager to know the position of the gubernatorial candidates.


Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, the Democratic candidate, said the film industry has been a powerful job creator. State officials put that number at more than 10,000.

"I want to work with the industry and the Legislature to continue to provide sustainable, accountable incentives," she said.

Denish said it's also important to build up post-production here. Much of that still goes back to Los Angeles or other production centers.

She acknowledged that there have been at least two studies on the return on investment on the incentives that came to different conclusions.

"But I think we have basically done things right in New Mexico," Denish said.


Susana Martinez, the Republican candidate for governor, submitted a prepared statement on the film industry incentives.

"Last year, the state faced a budget deficit close to $600 million, while at the same time spending over $76 million on film incentives," said Martinez. "I support efforts to bring the film industry to New Mexico, but I believe we must do a better job ensuring these incentives are truly helping the economy."

Martinez expressed concern about what she said is conflicting data on the industry. A study by the Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University found a far lower return on investment from the incentives than a study by Ernst & Young, although the parameters of each study were different.

"If elected, I will order an independent economic review of these incentives to ensure New Mexicans are getting an adequate return on investment," Martinez said. "A study of the entire tax system must be undertaken to ensure that we create an environment that allows for long-term growth and lower taxes to help all small businesses, which are the backbone of the economy."


Past threats of eliminating or capping the incentives in the Legislature reverberated far beyond New Mexico, said Rick Clemente, owner of Production Central Albuquerque and manager for the I-25 Studios in the former Philips plant, where cable TV series "In Plain Sight" films. Two years ago, when a bill was introduced to eliminate the incentives, $70 million in scheduled production left the state for Canada, Clemente said, even though the bill died fairly quickly.

"No one is going to spend the next $20 million or $50 million if every year this agonizing legislative process is going on," he said.

Clemente said he supports the maximum transparency possible, but he also supports keeping the incentives in place for a set period of time to provide predictability.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Santa Fe Simtable in the News

One of the cooler things we've been seeing from a few New Mexico companies and organizations is their development of interactive experiences, whether it be for museums and installations like Ideum (http://www.ideum.com/) or this from Simtable, a spin-off of the Santa Fe Complex (http://sfcomplex.org/).

The unfortunate thing is that explaining these things in text or even in video (see the clip or follow the link below) leaves out much of the experience. The great thing is... there's more and more of this work going on in New Mexico, and more and more opportunities to get involved.

From KOB 4:

New tool developed in Santa Fe to help fight wildfires

In the corner of a Santa Fe studio sits a sandbox filled with what looks like holographic mountain ranges.
Before we go any further... this is the type of story you have to see to believe, so vivid it’s hard to describe, so be sure to check out the video.
If not, picture Google Earth in a box, Avatar style, with almost any data firefighters would need to strategize on how to tackle a wildfire.

First a camera installed next to a projector performs a 3-D scan of the box and color codes where to pile up sand to make mountains and where to dig it out to make valleys. Think color by numbers.
Then realtime data is pumped in via computer from Google Earth, US geological surveys, weather programs and even traffic patterns.
The simulator allows firefighters to spark up a simulated blaze with a regular lighter. A camera recognizes the flame and triggers a computer program that track what the fire will do according to wildfire variables like wind, weather and vegetation.
The Simtable also allows incident commanders to draw air tanker and bulldozer lines and even takes into consideration types of vegetations, roads and rock out-croppings.
Traffic patterns can be pulled up and projected onto the sand as well, showing emergency planners where bottlenecks could arise if evacuations were ordered...

More at: New tool developed in Santa Fe to help fight wildfires

(Full disclosure: I do a little work for the Santa Fe Complex where the Simtable is based. And I really like the work the folks at Ideum are doing.)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New funding for state film programs announced

More news about additional funding for film programs at schools throughout New Mexico - helping launch new programs and expanding some existing programs in fields ranging from set-building to post-production.  Also announced was continued funding for the popular NM Filmmakers Program:

From the New Mexico Business Weekly:

Richardson announces funds and warns about film industry's future

New Mexico Business Weekly - by Megan Kamerick NMBW Staff

Gov. Bill Richardson said there are more funds to promote the New Mexico film industry's growth while warning about the future once he leaves office.

Richardson announced June 14 that colleges around the state will share $385,000 in state funds for film programs. On June 11, he said there is more funding for the New Mexico Filmmakers program, and urged attendees at a film conference to continue fighting for the film industry.


Richardson also announced an allocation of $200,000 for the New Mexico Filmmakers Program during a stop on June 11 at the New Mexico Filmmakers conference on film financing and distribution in Albuquerque.

The funds will be used for filmmaker training and outreach programs, such as the New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase, the annual New Mexico Filmmakers Conference, the New Mexico Filmmakers Resource Center and outreach events on the upcoming Native/Hispanic Film Tour.

Read more: Richardson announces funds and warns about film industry's future - New Mexico Business Weekly

and from the Silver City Sun News:

Richardson to visit WNMU today

Sun News Report

SILVER CITY -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson will stop in Silver City today and make an announcement related to Western New Mexico University's film and media arts program.

Richardson, New Mexico Film Office Director Lisa Strout and Eric Witt, the governor's film and media adviser, are scheduled to make the announcement at 10:15 a.m. at the Global Resource Center Auditorium on the WNMU campus.

Richardson made announcements at ENMU-Roswell, NMSU-Carlsbad and Luna Community College on Monday regarding $385,000 in funding for film programs.

According to the university, WNMU currently offers both a certificate and an associate degree program in digital media communications through the School of Applied Technology. Courses in Adobe Creative Suite programs like Photoshop, Dreamweaver, After Affects and Illustrator as well as digital film editing (Final Cut Pro) and audio production are offered. Most of these courses deal with post-production skills...

More at: http://www.scsun-news.com/ci_15314617

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

AMC Renews Breaking Bad

Don't think I'd seen this online here in NM, but... Great News from the Good folks at AMC TV on June 14th:

AMC Renews Breaking Bad for Fourth Season


AMC announced today the renewal of its Emmy Award-winning and critically acclaimed drama series Breaking Bad for a fourth season, continuing the network's momentum in delivering the best original storytelling on television. From acclaimed writer/producer/director Vince Gilligan (The X-Files), the series follows the story of a desperate man who turns to a life of crime to secure his family's financial security. Breaking Bad's first two seasons awarded Bryan Cranston the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, which marked the only time an actor from basic cable has ever been recognized with back-to-back Emmy Awards.

Last night, AMC premiered the final episode from Season 3. Household ratings are 20% stronger than Season 2 and Season 3 is delivering 18% more total viewers and over 30% more adults 18-34 than last season. Breaking Bad is filmed on location in Albuquerque, NM.

"AMC's Breaking Bad is one of the most layered and intense dramas on television today," said Joel Stillerman, Senior Vice President of original programming, production and digital content. "The critical acclaim and strong audience growth we've seen in Season 3 reinforce that this is the kind of exceptional original storytelling AMC has become known for providing to audiences. Vince Gilligan and his team deliver bold storylines that truly push the psychic envelope and create a mesmerizing, exhilarating television experience. We look forward to an incredible fourth season."

More -- and much more about Breaking Bad -- at: http://blogs.amctv.com/breaking-bad/2010/06/season-4-renewal.php

E3 Sees 3D (in addition to games)

The big E3 (http://www.e3expo.com/) entertainment tech industry conference is still going on -- but there's a lot of content that's come out already.

In addition to the game content that's really at its core (I'd probably hit http://games.venturebeat.com/ for a roundup -- and http://games.venturebeat.com/2010/06/15/playing-games-on-microsofts-kinect-is-a-blast-hands-on-videos/ as a starting point for more on Microsoft's Kinect (formerly Natal)), there's a lot on the new displays that will probably drive the need for some more 3D content.

From the LA Times:

E3: Nintendo strikes deals with three studios for 3-D movies on upcoming 3DS hand-held console

Nintendo gave Sony Corp. a poke in the eye Tuesday morning by announcing an agreement with Warner Bros., Walt Disney Co. and DreamWorks to deliver stereoscopic 3-D movies to Nintendo's upcoming 3DS hand-held console.

The Japanese game company did not list movie titles, but a demo of the console showed a trailer of Disney's "Tangled," which was an adaptation of Rapunzel. "Tangled" is set for theatrical release Nov. 24.

Nintendo said it expected to ship the 3DS sometime during its current fiscal year, ending March 31, 2011, but Nintendo President Satoru Iwata declined to say whether the console would be on store shelves in time for the Christmas holidays...

More at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/06/nintendo-strikes-deals-with-three-studios-for-3d-movies-on-upcoming-3ds-handheld-console.html


E3: Sony pushes 3-D future for video games

3DEE3 Sony Corp. is taking Hollywood's 3-D mania to the video game world.

At a news conference Tuesday, the first day of the video game industry's annual E3 conference, Sony executives hyped the ability of their PlayStation 3 console to display video games in stereoscopic 3-D, the same technology that has become the hottest thing in the movie industry this year.

"A decade from now, when we look back at 2010, it will most likely be remembered as the year that Sony brought authentic 3-D to the video game industry," boasted Kaz Hirai, chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment...
More at http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/06/sony-pushes-3d-future-for-video-games.html

It seems clear though that the worlds of games and movies are continuing to merge, with the display systems most people will have capable of playing traditional TV, movies, web, social media and game content -- if not right now in the very near future. Thinking about whether what you're producing can play in these different dimensions has never been more important.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Upcoming NM Film Training classes

Hi folks...

IATSE Local 480 is offering a few new classes through the PreEmployment Training Program.

Please pass along this information to anyone interested:

American Heart Association First Aid / CPR class (6/12)
On Saturday, June 12 we'll offer an American Heart Association First Aid / CPR class, which will lead to a 2-year AHA certification card.  

The class will be held in Santa Fe, noon to 6pm, in the Meeting Hall auditorium at 1420 Cerrillos Road (next door to the Local 480 office).  

The class is offered to any New Mexico resident over 18 (drivers license required), at a fee of $25 each, payable to the instructor, cash or check only.

To sign up for this class, contact the Local 480 office @ 505.986.9512, or contact Phyllis Detrich at the email below.

General Safety Class 6/13
On Sunday, June 13, we will offer a General Safety Class, which leads to a permanent certification (completion of this course is required for every member of IATSE Local 480) by OSHA.  

The class will be held in the Meeting Hall auditorium at 1420 Cerrillos Road (next door to the Local 480 office), from 10am - 4pm, and fee is $50, payable to the instructor, cash or check.  

Again, participants must be New Mexico residents over 18.
To sign up for this class, contact the Local 480 office @ 505.986.9512, or call or email me at numbers below.

Respiratory Protection (6/19)
On Saturday, June 19 we will offer a class in Respiratory Protection, 10am - 6pm, also in the Meeting Hall auditorium at 1420 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe.  

This class fee is $35, and class is restricted to NM residents over 18; Participants are advised to provide their own respiratory gear.
To sign up for this class, contact the Local 480 office @ 505.986.9512, or call or email me at numbers below.

Thanks for dispensing the class details to appropriate parties.  We have not yet reached the minimum number of
participants needed for these classes, so we will welcome folks from your communities to join us !

IATSE Local 480 Training Coordinator
505.986.9512, x 208  o

Thursday, June 3, 2010

NMFO Announces "NM Filmmakers Summer Showcase" with Encantada TV and Las Cruces Channel 98

From the NM Film Office:





For Immediate Release                                                       Contact: Trish Lopez, NM Film Office

June 2, 2009                                                                                                              505.476.5611



New Mexico Film Office Announces "NM Filmmakers Summer Showcase" with Encantada TV and Las Cruces Channel 98

SANTA FE—Lisa Strout, Director of the New Mexico Film Office and Trish Lopez, New Mexico Filmmakers Program Director, today announced a collaboration with Quote Unquote, Inc. (Encantada TV) and Las Cruces Channel 98 to televise  the winning films from this year's 2010 New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase.  The screenings, entitled the "2010 NM Filmmakers Summer Showcase" will include not only the winning films from the 2010 Showcase, but the 2009 Showcase and New Visions/New Mexico Contract Award winners as well.

The larger Showcase, which took place in May at the Guild Cinema in Albuquerque, was initiated by Governor Bill Richardson as a way to give local writers and directors the opportunity to submit any original film and have it screened for the public at no cost. 

 "We're very excited to be partnering with Encantada and Las Cruces to bring the work of these talented filmmakers to a wider audience around New Mexico," said Trish Lopez. 

Encantada Program Coordinator Mike Trujillo agreed, stating, "What we offer at Encantada TV is a great opportunity for the local/aspiring filmmaker to get his or her work seen and exposed to New Mexico viewers who appreciate great local efforts"

The NM Filmmakers Summer Showcase will be broadcast on Las Cruces Channel 98 beginning this Saturday, June 5th at 12 midnight, and on Channel 27 and Encantada TV Channel 26 beginning this Sunday, June 11th at 8:00pm.  The film line-up will be announced each week on www.nmfilm.com, Encantada's website www.encantadatv.org/news, and Las Cruces Channel 98's website www.lcc98.com.  The films will follow this schedule each week at the same time through the last weekend of August, 2010.

For the fourth year, the NM Film Office will also be hold special screenings of the winning films in locations around the state as part of a showcase tour in July.  Details about those screenings will be announced next month.


The NM Filmmakers Showcase takes place in May of each year and is announced through the New Mexico Film Office website: www.nmfilm.comFor more information on the Showcase and all other NM Filmmakers Program events, please contact Trish Lopez at trish@nmfilm.com.


ABOUT QUOTE UNQUOTE, INC.:  Quote…Unquote, Inc is the non-profit operator of both Public Access Ch. 27 and Encantada TV Ch. 26.  Public Access Channel 27 has been operating for 29 years and is specifically a community access cable channel.  Encantada TV Channel 26 has been in operation for less than one year but is already a key programming tool in showcasing the arts, culture and community events of New Mexico.  Encantada TV works to create opportunities for New Mexico filmmakers by helping to develop and expand the film industry here in New Mexico. One of Encantada TV's missions is to showcase independent & local filmmakers who wish to broadcast their material in addition to film festivals and even online video hosting sites. The key distinction between Channel 26 & Channel 27 is that programming on Encantada TV (Channel 26) is selected based on superior production value (QUQ staff has direct jurisdiction over what is broadcasted, which is not the case on channel 27).  The main criteria QUQ staff looks for are adequate audio levels, above "amateur" video production quality, no gratuitous obscenity or pornography, etc. Some examples of programming on Encantada TV are local state-wide high school sports & activities (ProView Sports Network), semi-professional sports franchises like the Albuquerque Thunderbirds, as well as feature length films such as "Descanos" by local filmmaker Chris Roybal, "American Meth" by Justin Hunt, and several local short films & documentaries acquired through various outreach efforts.  Currently, Encantada TV can only be viewed in the Albuquerque area with the potential to reach up to 200,000 Comcast cable subscribers.  For more information please contact Mike Trujillo at 505.319.7866.


ABOUT LAS CRUCES CHANNEL 98:  The Las Cruces Channel 98 began broadcasting on April 12, 2009, with the goal of bringing Southern NM residents more of their own community.  The Las Cruces Channel airs on Comcast Cable channel 98, which is accessible to all cable subscribers. The station was set up by Winning Choice Media Group, an entertainment, video and film company which has been involved in producing community media and arts projects since 1989.   Chris Soular is the Founder and CEO of the Las Cruces Channel. "With the assistance of media producers Ray Soular and Tony Martin, we will give viewers the option to not only watch, but to also participate in their locally produced entertainment and information program," said Mr. Soular.  The Las Cruces Channel 98 hopes that the local community will benefit enormously by gaining direct access to news and information that affects their lives.