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Foot in the door: Speaker to talk about how to get involved in NM film industry

Four years ago, one could say, Bobbie Shelton was bitten by the film bug.

Newly retired, Shelton wasn’t necessarily looking for her second act.

But after her first couple roles as a background actor, she was hooked.

“I’m not in this business to be a star,” she says. “I enjoy being around all the people coming together to create these beautiful series and films.”

Shelton will present “Breaking Into Background Work” on Wednesday, Feb. 28, in Santa Fe as part of the New Mexico Film Office’s free Educational Speaker Series.

For the program, Shelton will take aspiring actors through the ins and outs of the film industry.

Attendees will learn how to register with background agencies and what is needed to bring to set, as well as set etiquette.

“Unless you’ve been on a set before, there’s no way to know what to expect,” she says. “I’m looking to give some advice on what exactly to do. Most people don’t realize how easy it is to become a background actor. The film industry continues to grow, and there are plenty of opportunities for people to grow within in the industry.”

Shelton says she was surprised to be asked to host the talk by the Film Office.

“I started a social network group for Albuquerque where we talk about films coming and who’s casting,” she says. “I hope this gives me the opportunity to create a group like this in Santa Fe.”

With four years of background acting under her belt, Shelton says, there’s nothing like viewing the finished product.

Bobbie Shelton will lead a speaker series on how to break into background work in the film industry.

“Recently, I was watching ‘Waco,’ where I was cast as a core member of the Branch Davidians,” she says. “While I was watching, I was listening to Taylor Kitsch in the scene. It took me back to the day we filmed that scene, and I could remember everything that happened. It’s a special thing.”

The next few topics for the event series are:

• March 28: “Vendors: New Mexico Businesses Working With the New Mexico Film Industry,” about businesses that have been able to get involved with the New Mexico film industry.

n April 25: “Production Assistants” – every set needs them and a breakdown of what the job consists of.

n May 30: “Foley Artist: The Fun and the Job,” with Lara Dale. Foley artists are some of the most creative people in the film business, making true-to-life sounds from everyday objects.

n June 27: “Costumes, Makeup & Hair.” Department heads from some high-profile New Mexico films talk about what it is like to work in the the costume, makeup and hair departments on films and TV shows.

More information can be found at nmfilm.com.

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email film@ABQjournal.com. Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.

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