PRC Productions Works to Create Film Jobs in Southern New Mexico.
While Las Cruces is occasionally the location for big Hollywood productions, like The Mule with Clint Eastwood, most of the shoots are likely to be independent jobs and locally created ones at that. Troy Scoughton Sr. is a Las Crucen and is also a member of the Producers Guild of America and a partner of PRC Productions, which he owns with son Troy Jr. and Robert Dean, and Borderlands Media, a distribution company co-owned with Troy Jr. and David Salcido. He has produced several films, including Eaters, Frankenstein Versus the Mummy, The Mummy Returns with Danny Glover, Truth, Lady Belladonna’s Night Shades, and this year, Radio Silence and Lady Belladonna’s Tales From The Inferno.
Troy says, “We have some tremendously talented artists here, including actors, and the people that put the movie together, so camera people, sound people, all the grips, all the people that do the lighting, all that sort of stuff. They’re here because we have wonderful universities here that train these people to do the jobs. What we don’t have are the jobs to provide those people when they graduate. Now, there is a movement afoot to change that. There are people, like myself, who have been working very hard over the last ten years to make that a reality. So, for example, this year PRC Productions will do five feature films here, using the talents of people from right here. And by ‘right here,’ I mean the Borderlands, so they may be Las Cruces, they may be Silver City, they may be El Paso, but we’re all in this little enclave together that we call the Borderlands and so these guys are just extremely talented and it’s a huge pleasure for me to be able to work with them.”
Radio Silence, which Troy wrote, was partly filmed in the desert in Doña Ana, with a cantina set they put together. On the last day of filming, he said, “PRC Productions is a complete production company, and we must be, because where we are located there’s not a lot of other companies that we can use. So, not only do we write, we also do casting, and then we do all the preparation necessary to do the feature films, which sometimes can take two years. Afterwards, we can direct, construct the sets. This set was constructed from nothing. A couple months ago, there was nothing here but dirt. We also do the post production. So right now, we just shot our last shot this morning, and we are in the process of now putting the film together and that really is the make-or-break point.”
After the film is ready for distribution, it is handed over to Borderlands Media, which may submit it to film festivals and streaming services, such as Netflix or Amazon.
Troy says that making a non-union independent feature film without big name actors may cost up to $150,000. But once it becomes a union film, it can cost up to $2 million. He explains, “So, my choice in o film festivals and streaming services, such as Netflix or Amazon.
this is to go with grips, electric, people, all the below-the-line people that are independent and then when it comes to the actors, it depends on who I can get. So, if I can get an A-list actor, even if it is going to cost me a lot more money, and that person is a SAG actor, then we’ll go through SAG.”
Not optimistic that enough big productions from other areas will choose Las Cruces, he adds, “In my humble opinion, the way to realize that kind of success here is through independent films. So, rather than try to find five or six $100 million films a year, how about we try to find 20 or 30 $2 million films a year? Wouldn’t that be almost as good? Well, it would be for my people.”
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