New Mexico gives 'Cry Macho' a different feel - Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico gives ‘Cry Macho’ a different feel

Claire Folger
Director/producer Clint Eastwood on the set of the feature film, “Cry Macho,” which was filmed in New Mexico. (Claire Folger/Warner Bros.)

“Cry Macho” was one of the first productions to film in New Mexico when the film industry got the green light last fall.

The production — helmed by legendary director Clint Eastwood — took place in November and December 2020.

Filming on “Cry Macho” got underway in New Mexico in late 2020, with every precaution taken to ensure the health and safety of cast and crew. The production shot in such areas as

Socorro, near a portion of the New Mexico Tech campus; in numerous interior and exterior sites in Albuquerque, Lemitar, Belen, Bernalillo and at several addresses in Polvadera, which would serve as the small town where Mike and Rafo meet Marta. The film opens in theaters Friday, Sept. 17, and is streaming on HBO Max.

“Clint Eastwood is synonymous with New Mexico and film,” said Alicia J. Keyes, New Mexico Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary. “Over the years the A-list actor and top-notch director has brought several projects to our beautiful state and we were thrilled to welcome Mr. Eastwood and Warner Bros. back to New Mexico.”

The production employed approximately 250 New Mexico crew members, 10 supporting New Mexico cast members, and 600 New Mexico background and extras.

Eastwood’s frequent collaborators Ron Reiss, Deborah Hopper, Joel Cox and Stephen Campanelli, among others, along with veteran director of photography Ben Davis in his first

project with the company, comprised the creative team.

“The whole crew is very good,” Eastwood said in a statement, “but I always have good crews. They’re all ready to work.”

New Mexico would need to serve as Mexico and, according to Eastwood, despite the time of year they were lucky enough to enjoy fair conditions.

“It was in the winter time so it was cool, and Albuquerque’s at 5,000 feet so it’s up high, but it was nice weather for the most part,” he said.

For Ben Davis, cinematographer, it was both nature and the nature of the story that played heavily into his work.

“It’s a road movie and a locations movie, so it becomes about what those locations are,” Davis said. “They dictate the look and the amount of control you have is defined by where you’re shooting. You develop a visual style based on that and it speaks for itself, in a way.”

Davis allowed the landscape to permeate his field of vision and the choices he made.

“Once we got onto the first set, which was an exterior out in the desert, I started to play around with color temperature, where I thought the palette should be, and I saw Clint was wearing this beautiful brown suede jacket and hat. He was in the car, driving through the New Mexico landscape, and I warmed up the color temperature of the camera, thinking about where the shadow should be,” Davis said. “Then it just kind of hit me that this was the look of the movie. I was getting this beautiful shadow from his hat, hiding his eyes. A lot of his character is about what’s hidden, all the things that happened in his past that are within him, that the boy brings out. So, throughout the film, starting with that shadow from the hat, I kept trying to allow light to come into his eyes.”

Davis’s said his biggest challenge was that Eastwood was the lead actor and director, and was virtually in every scene.

“I’ve done that a couple of times so it’s just about getting those levels of communication working so you have a shorthand,” Davis said. “For me, I love Clint’s films because there’s a great honesty about them, there’s no flowering of things. He’s a storyteller, fundamentally, and I love the way he does that and I’m there to help him do that.”


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