Richard Holcomb didn’t have to live in New Mexico.
Born in Ohio, he’d been stationed in Oregon, northern California and the Philippines while in the Air Force, and lived and worked in media — going back to a radio station job in Akron, Ohio, in the late 1960s — in Wisconsin and the Land of Enchantment.
New Mexico is where he wanted to be, though, and Rio Rancho is where he lives and works. He’d been in the state before, hired to get KISS-FM on the air in the mid-1980s. He left after that, and returned — to stay, it seems — in July 2002 to start Home Builders Gallery on KASA Fox-2.
He founded Cliffdweller Digital then, had a home built in the City of Vision — appropriate, it seems for a video firm — and operated his company out of his home before moving to a place on Barbara Loop, and into his current site in 2007.
Cliffdweller Digital, 3791 Southern Blvd., is his business and his business card says it all: “El Presidente for Life.” He’s protected by Wylie, a rescue dog believed to be some mix of golden retriever, chow and collie, who seemed amped up on caffeine one morning this week.
Holcomb’s also has 13 full-time employees and five edit suites in his 5,000-square-foot building, and they’re staying busy cranking out high-definition videos left and right, some for television, and some for web pages and the Internet. (A side note: Some of the best art you’ll find is in that building.)
Holcomb maintains that all these videos have a life of their own, maybe into perpetuity, in cyberspace — namely, YouTube.
One such video that deserves to be around forever, unlike a lot of unmemorable YouTube stuff, is any single “New Mexico True” show.
The “New Mexico True” series airs Sunday mornings at 8:30 on KOB-TV, following another Cliffdweller Digital production — “Who Rocks New Mexico,” a business-oriented program aimed at improving business in the state, not only by possibly enticing new businesses to locate here but current businesses to strut their stuff.
Chuck Tjeltweed is among that erstwhile crew, and he’s got more than three decades in the business, with much of that spent working at an Albuquerque TV station, shooting the firm’s “Home Builders Gallery,” which airs on KASA Fox-2; that show recently aired its 800th episode.
Frequently working on “New Mexico True” has been a great way for Tjeltweed to get out and see his native state: “It took me 50 years to get to Silver City,” he joked.
The show is all about New Mexico, aimed at boosting tourism — not only from those living outside the state, including the El Paso and Lubbock markets, where it also airs, but by New Mexicans unaware of the wonders the state has to offer.
“People in New Mexico needed to see New Mexico,” Holcomb said, and that’s what they do with this show. In recent weeks, the video crew and host Michael Newman have “shown off” the farmers market in Corrales, hot-air ballooning at Red Rocks State Park and a sports bar in Gallup, Tent Rocks (near Cochiti Pueblo in Sandoval County), Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu, Pie Town, the VLA and many more.
“Everything Disney (Land or World) has, we have here in New Mexico,” he added. “We in New Mexico need to be ambassadors for that.
“I really love what we’re doing now,” Holcomb continued, and that extends beyond servicing his clients: Cliffdweller also supports El Ranchito de Los Niños in Los Lunas, plus St. Felix Pantry, The Juliette RP Vision Foundation and Paws & Stripes in Rio Rancho.
Holcomb knows his firm’s good reputation will bring Cliffdweller more opportunities in the future; Frost Mortgage recently signed on as a client, and Cliffdweller is the official videographer for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
“People say it’s nice to hear good things about New Mexico.”
Cliffdweller’s state-of-the-art production facility and the crew’s equipment make sure it’s easy to see good things about New Mexico, too.