How your home could end up on the big screen!
Every frame of every live-action film, TV show, or commercial was filmed somewhere, whether in a studio, outdoors, or in a building. While some locations are custom-built, most shots are made in existing buildings, often someone’s personal or business property rented for use by a film company. With so many films being shot in Las Cruces, perhaps a property you own is just right for a scene.
Don Gray is the contract locations coordinator with the New Mexico Film Office and his job is to help film location scouts find as many sets as they can in our state. To that end, he curates a section of the NMFilm.com website that is a resource for filmmakers which currently lists over 8,000 locations within the state that are available to be used for filming. Search “Las Cruces” and 162 venues pop up, including our iconic Organ Mountains and other natural locations, a graffiti-covered doghouse in La Mesa, the Rio Grande Theatre, shopping centers, homes, and alleys.
Las Cruces has a lot going for it as a film location, including our proximity to the El Paso International Airport, our great year-round weather, and our new film studio. But filmmakers need more than that. “They want to source as much locally as they possibly can because it’s cheaper that way,” Don explains. “If they have to drag something down from Albuquerque or ship it in from LA or something, it gets super, super expensive.”
Don adds, “There are two things that help more than anything to bring productions to a community. One is locations in the community, so that means gas stations, a blacksmith shop, a barn, people’s homes, apartments, all that sort of stuff. The New Mexico Film Office has the third largest location archive in the country and it’s just photographs of locations. In Las Cruces, we need as many locations as we can.”
The other essential ingredients are trained film crew members and local services, from catering to lodging to security. He adds, “The other thing we always need to be able to reassure them is the support services that they need are here and we have an industry directory on NMFilm.com where you can list whatever it is, whether it is crew people or your business.” A look at the industry directory for Las Cruces shows there is plenty of opportunity for businesses to add their resources to be considered by filmmakers.
Property owners can go to the film office website and submit photos and information about their locations for consideration for inclusion on the website at no cost. Business owners can also submit information about what they offer under many categories. You never know what a location scout will be looking to find and your beautifully decorated home or broken-down shed may be exactly what someone needs. You may find yourself catering for a film crew or offering security to a set. In fact, they may need a dog or cat with your pet’s exact skill set: barking on cue or hissing at an intruder. Listing any of these on the website puts them where filmmakers can see them. And it doesn’t cost you a cent to post.
We’ve got the beautiful natural scenery, a film studio, schools training crew members, proximity to the airport, and now maybe your location or business to offer filmmakers. Don says, “Suddenly you start putting together the package for Las Cruces and it starts to seem very, very interesting to a film company.”
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