With an aggressive incentive program, natural assets, and diverse population, Albuquerque is a magnet for film and media.
New Mexcio provides zero-interest loans of up to $15 million, which can be 100 percent of the budget, for films and television projects shot substantially in New Mexico. The state also offers a tax credit of up to a 20 percent on production expenditures, post-production expenditures, and video gaming expenditures. And the Workforce Training and Mentorship Program offers a 50 percent wage reimbursement to production companies that hire New Mexico trainees.
A parallel development is Sandia National Laboratories’ long involvement in media for training, visualization and security.
Albuquerque Studios completed a $74 million, 50-acre complex of eight sound stages in 2007.
Sony Pictures Imageworks’ studio is expected to open in 2008, establishing high-end digital animation and post-production facilities in New Mexico.
Lion’s Gate Films established a studio in Rio Rancho.
A California group plans to establish New Mexico Film Studios with four sound stages between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
MovieMaker magazine in 2007 ranked Albuquerque fourth best American city for making movies, citing the sunny climate, the state's incentive package and the construction of Albuquerque Studios.
A related industry gathering momentum is video and interactive game development.
In 2005 the Hollywood Reporter said, “New Mexico has led the way in film tax legislation.”
Film-makers have found that Albuquerque is a hub for talent, crew, sound stages and equipment. With easy access to air, rail and two interstate highways, transportation is convenient. Within a small radius are backdrops ranging from cityscape to forest, Victorian to modern, mountains to desert. And Albuquerque is a film-friendly city. You’re welcome here!
Film and Multimedia Assets
Sandia National Laboratories has been a leader in visualization, virtual reality, and computer graphics. The media sector has broad applications in medicine, homeland security and gaming.
A production complex is planned for Albuquerque. And the University of New Mexico’s Art, Research, Technology and Science (ARTS) Laboratory, created in 2005 with funding from the state’s Media Industries Strategy Project, is an interdisciplinary collaboration that supports the state’s media industry. It will include a black-box, new-media experimental studio and an immersive dome theatre.
Central New Mexico Community College has a fast-track, film-crew technician program that gives students hands-on training.