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Las Cruces getting its own film studio

LAS CRUCES – A new film studio opening in Las Cruces is expected to attract major movies and television series to southern New Mexico and help train a growing production crew workforce.

“We’re definitely hoping we’ll become home base for some productions in the future, that this facility will make that happen,” said Film Las Cruces Board President Jeff Steinborn.

Las Cruces Studios is the result of a partnership between Film Las Cruces, the non-profit organization working to grow the film industry in southern New Mexico, and Doña Ana Community College, which provided funding to lease the studio space.

“DACC is proud to help make this one of a kind training facility possible for our students and others wanting to get into this field, while establishing a commercial film studio in Las Cruces,” DACC President Renay Scott said in a news release.

The community college’s film crew training classes will begin using the studio in early March.

“New Mexico’s film industry is growing and there’s a tremendous need for trained workers and studio space,” said Scott.

Cinelease, the nation’s largest independent lighting and grip supplier, donated the use of an equipment package for training and student crew productions. New Mexico’s largest film union, IATSE Local 480 is giving Film Las Cruces a grant for the DACC Film Crew Training Program film set construction, and set safety classes.

“At 74,000 square feet Las Cruces Studios will be able to accommodate all sizes of film productions from major motion pictures and television series, to independent and student films and commercials,” according to the press release announcing the new studio.

Las Cruces Studios will be housed in the former Coca Cola bottling plant. Steinborn credited the building’s owner, Duane Green, for making the space affordable.

“The owner of the building bent over backwards with the limited budget that we had to get this off the ground,” said Steinborn.

The State of New Mexico Film Office has designated Las Cruces Studios as a “qualified production facility,” which allows a feature film production to get an extra 5 percent film tax incentive on a New Mexico-based crew if they film at the facility.