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Behind-the-scenes success: Albuquerque filmmaker worked his way up from production assistant

Albuquerque filmmaker Magin Gomez has worked his way up to second second assistant director in the film industry. (Courtesy of Magin Gomez)

As a child, Magin Gomez was obsessed with movies.

Thankfully, his mother censored a lot of the content he and his siblings would watch.

It didn’t deter Gomez from his obsession.

“I would see a movie trailer, and I would let my imagination run wild and draw storyboards,” he says. “Since I was little, I wanted to be in film.”

Fast-forward to today, and Gomez has planted roots in the New Mexico film industry.

His résumé includes “Breaking Bad,” “The Night Shift,” “The Messengers, “Graves,” “Mr. Robot,” “The Brave,” “Waco,” “Midnight, Texas,” “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” and “Better Call Saul.”

He’s worked his way from a set production assistant to his current role of second second assistant director.

The second second assistant director serves to lighten the load of the first AD and second AD, working under their direction and responsible for assembling and directing extras, coordinating on-set vehicles, managing PAs, preparing call sheets and production reports, helping to make complicated shoots (stunt-heavy, massively crowded scenes, etc.) go smoothly.

New Mexico native Magin Gomez on set at Albuquerque Studios. Gomez has worked his way up from production assistant in the industry. (Courtesy of Magin Gomez)

Gomez’s journey into film started to take shape while he was a student at West Mesa High School. It’s where he got interested in theater, more so the production aspect.

After high school, he was working at the airport, he enjoyed his job, but knew there was something more. It was after 9/11, he realized that he wanted to be a director.

His passion slowed after a car accident injured his neck and he was out of work.

“I had a lot of rehab time figuring out what my next move was going to me,” he says. “At the time, the film industry was picking up, and I saw options.”

Gomez says his “break” into the film industry happened quickly.

“I was brought onto the ‘Breaking Bad’ set and was learning as much as I could,” he says. “With each production, I open myself up to learning and taking in what others are teaching me.”

That way of working has paid off. Nearly two years ago, Gomez was accepted into the Directors Guild of America.

“I was voted in,” he says. “It was a goal achieved after working through so much chaos.”

There’s an ebb and flow to life in the film industry.

Aaron Paul, left, and Magin Gomez on the set of “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.” (Courtesy of Magin Gomez)

Gomez has learned to be patient and ride the waves when they come.

He’s been called back to work on the final season of “Better Call Saul” and is looking forward to more adventures.

“I love every day when I get to be on set,” he says. “I’m living this dream. It’s become normal to meet some of the talented cast and crew. Vince Gilligan calls me by my first name. I never thought that would happen. It was actually (producer) Steward Lyons who gave me the confidence to have people pronounce my name correctly (ma-HIN).”

The 40-year-old New Mexico native also enjoys being a mentor to younger filmmakers while on set.

“Giving back keeps the education cycle going,” he says. “I’ve been fortunate to learn from some of the best in the business. I believe the more we learn, the better it becomes. To have highly skilled people competing for the same job only means that the standard is that much higher in New Mexico. It brings the best out of us professionally.”


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

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