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Albuquerque Cast as Host City for First Ever Deadline HotSpots Conference

Studio Executives, Actors, and Industry Pros Praised Albuquerque as the Premiere Production Hub

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Over the weekend and into Monday, Albuquerque played host city to Deadline Hollywood’s new conference series HotSpots. The idea behind the conference was to shine a spotlight on locations outside of Los Angeles and it brought film and tv industry decision makers from across the country to hear, learn, see, and experience all that Albuquerque has to offer as a premiere film and tv production hub.

“Albuquerque’s status as a film production hub has been a combination of intention and strategy. We offer a deep portfolio of locations, an experienced and talented workforce, and a culture that embraces creativity. The City of Albuquerque is committed to investing in our workforce, being a film friendly city, and doing all we can to support the thriving film and tv sector of our economy. We are ready to form public-private partnerships to bring even more anchors to the film and tv industry like Netflix and NBCUniversal,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “We are thankful to Deadline for selecting Albuquerque to be the first host city to their new conference series HotSpots.”

“New Mexico was a smart and easy choice for our inaugural event. Albuquerque is clearly invested in the film industry with Netflix and NBCUniversal laying down roots and has elevated the city as a production hub. The question of Why Albuquerque was answered at HotSpots, and under the leadership of Mayor Tim Keller and Economic Development Department Director Synthia Jaramillo, the City of Albuquerque, gave attendees of Deadline’s HotSpots a warm welcome, a visual display of beautiful locations, and made it heard loud and clear that Albuquerque has what it takes for your next project. If you aren’t there yet, you should be,” said Stacey Farish, Chief Revenue Officer and General Manager, Deadline.

Deadline contracted with many local vendors to produce the conference such as AE Productions for event production, Jak+Flux for videography and photography, Albuquerque in a Box, Tabalo - all hosted at local hotel and dining businesses, Hotel Chaco and Los Poblanos. 

“It has been a pleasure to host the Deadline Hollywood conference HotSpots. Film and TV is a crucial sector of Albuquerque’s economy. From small business to professionals there is a role for everyone to play in the film and TV industry,” said Synthia Jaramillo, Economic Development Director for the City of Albuquerque. “Albuquerque had a blockbuster year in 2019 and we at the City of Albuquerque in the Economic Development Department and at the Albuquerque Film Office plan to do all we can to continue to build on the momentum and continue to shine a spotlight on our status as a production hub and best place in the nation for living and working in the film industry.”

The conference featured topics such as Diversity and Inclusion in New Mexico, On Location: Albuquerque, World-Class Crew Base – Largest Between the Coasts, Film Locations – Diverse, Accessible and Fresh A Fireside Chat with Netflix, and A Keynote Address from NBCUniversal, and more. During each session Albuquerque received nothing but praise from the all-star panelists at the conference confirming Albuquerque offers what other places can’t buy – great weather all-year round, the easy commute, the state of the art facilities, our world-class crew base who are dedicated, loyal, and hardworking, the value of the close proximity to Los Angeles and more.

“The City of Albuquerque is supportive of the creative industry and is creating a diverse and inclusive environment, especially under the leadership of Mayor Tim Keller,” said Jason Asenap, Albuquerque based filmmaker.

Actor Patrick Fabian known for his role as Howard Hamlin in Better Call Saul said, “When I first heard that I would be shooting Better Call Saul in Albuquerque, I thought who wants to go to Albuquerque? But I have fallen in love. Albuquerque offers a place to not only work, but a place to live and breathe.”

“Filming in Albuquerque is miles and leagues ahead of other cities. We are well received by locals, and local businesses. The crew is amazing, loyal, hard-working, they care and have a sense of pride, and the commute time is real. Actors are investing in Albuquerque, buying houses, becoming residents, and I’m proud to perform as a local actor,” said Rhea Seehorn, Actress in Better Call Saul.

“The best thing about Albuquerque is the community is behind you. There is an unrivaled sense of spirit and support,” RJ Mitte, Actor, Breaking Bad.

During a fireside chat with Netflix it was reported that since the 2018 deal, Netflix has made a $150 million dollar spend, contracted with over 2000 vendors, employed over 1600 New Mexicans who have put in nearly 18,000 hours shooting productions like El Camino, Army of the Dead, Day Break, Chambers, Messiah and others.

Netflix executives, Patty Whitcher, VP of Physical Production and Momita Sengupta, VP of Physical Production said, “Netflix is all in with New Mexico, unlike any place in the world, Netflix is invested here by owning Albuquerque Studios and we plan to be here for a long time.” The two executives went on to say that “Netflix selected Albuquerque because of its long history with film, its crew base, its gorgeous locations, its proximity to LA, its state-of-the-art facility, and that Albuquerque offers an excellent quality of life making an otherwise grueling industry enjoyable.”

During the session, Netflix also announced that its TV series Stranger Things, will for the first time be shooting outside of Atlanta, Georgia in Albuquerque and New Mexico.

Comcast NBCUniversal executives, Brian O’Leary and Vans Stevenson delivered a keynote address stating that in 2004 production spend was under $15 million and under Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham production spend was $525 million. NBCUniversal representatives stated that the growth has been a by-partisan effort that has spanned administrations which provides a stable and predictable environment.

“Deadline made the right choice for New Mexico to be the inaugural location for HotSpots. This community, State and City government have a plan and broad ambition. They are succeeding by all foreseeable measures. The growth of the industry has put a pressure point on other states and cities and New Mexico has responded and they are setting guidelines and stipulations that work for them such as creative measures to expand and advance New Mexico’s production workforce.” said Brian O’Leary, Senior Vice President, NBCUniversal 

“New Mexico is leading the incentive game with a convenient, cost-effective, and innovative incentive program. New Mexico has resisted national movements to eliminate tax incentives and subsidies by government entities and that is playing in their favor.” said Vans Stevenson, Senior Vice President, NBCUniversal

Since the Keller Administration took office studios like Netflix and NBCUniversal have made long-term commitments and investments in Albuquerque each committing to over $1 billion and $500 million in direct production spend, respectively. The result of these investments is  billions of new money being injected into the Albuquerque economy.