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Reel Advances: The New Mexico film industry continues to grow and draw productions to the Land of Enchantment

Jacki Weaver in a scene from “Perpetual Grace, LTD,” which filmed in northern New Mexico. (Courtesy of Epix)

New Mexico continues its quest to be a film industry production hub.

In 2019, big strides were made to ensure it happened.

The first was when Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill that raised the cap on what can be paid to film and TV productions in a single year from $50 million to $110 million.

The bill also added an additional 5% tax credit for productions in rural areas — meaning 60 miles outside the Albuquerque/Santa Fe corridor. This is in addition to the 25% tax credit on goods and services, and TV shows get up to a 30% rebate.

The next step was having both Netflix and NBC Universal set up production hubs in Albuquerque.

New Mexico Secretary of Economic Development Alicia J. Keyes has said the key to keeping the film industry successful is having diversity, and points to the Netflix and NBC Universal deals as examples.

“With the New Mexico partners, they are giving us much more stability and consistency,” she said. “What we’re going to see is the direct spend in the state slowly grow. In the past, we had years that went high and then would drop off. Having the partners and bringing stability will allow us to grow in all avenues of this industry.”

In 2019, New Mexico also was home to 94 productions — all ranging in size.

Tom Hanks filmed two movies and Angelina Jolie was here, too.

Let’s not forget the “Jumanji: The Next Level” crew of Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, who fell in love with the landscape in the Farmington area.

Then there’s the state’s part in the new golden age of television. “Better Call Saul” has been the anchor for years. Shows like “Deputy,” “Briarpatch” and “Perpetual Grace, LTD” are making their own mark.

In fact, “Perpetual Grace, LTD” was named best new TV show in 2019 by Entertainment Weekly.

Each cog within the industry has a place and purpose in the overall picture.

Go behind the scenes with us to see how it all comes together in creating the magic and why filmmakers find New Mexico so enchanting.

For the fourth time, we take it Frame by Frame.


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