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Editorial: TV, movie work gives NM an economic bright spot

In a month that has seen announcements about shuttering grocery stores and scaling back a computer chip workforce, New Mexico in general and Albuquerque in particular can thank television and film productions for keeping the local economies real.

Two independent films are in or have just finished production – “Justice” filmed for nearly a month just outside of Santa Fe and “2 Years and 8 Days” is underway in southeastern New Mexico. And recently eight television productions had every soundstage at Albuquerque and Santa Fe studios full. Those include NBC’s “The Night Shift” and “Midnight, Texas”, AMC’s “Preacher,” CW’s “Untitled Mars Project” pilot, Netflix’s “Longmire” and “Godless” and El Rey Network’s “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series.”

The New Mexico Film Office says one week of filming a TV production funnels $1 million into the community. Nick Maniatis, who’s run the office since 2011, says “we’re holding up well with the facilities and crew. What’s happening now is the fruits of our labor.”

As the state deals with the loss of grocery jobs and the Metro area is on edge from announcements that Intel will cut its global workforce by 12,000, it is clear New Mexico needs to continue to strengthen and diversify its economy to create more employment opportunities. And the growing television and film industry shows it can be done.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.