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New Mexico is star of filmmaking exhibit

From left, Bryan Cranston, Giancarlo Esposito and Aaron Paul are seen in a publicity shot from "Breaking Bad." (Courtesy of AMC)

From left, Bryan Cranston, Giancarlo Esposito and Aaron Paul are seen in a publicity shot from “Breaking Bad.” (Courtesy of AMC)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Don’t miss the new lights, camera, action exhibit of “Hollywood Southwest” featuring New Mexico’s extensive history in film and TV debuting next month at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, 2000 Mountain Road NW.

bright-spot-logoWhile film production in New Mexico has enjoyed a renaissance thanks to state incentives and the ability to mimic locales worldwide, the fact is film has long been a part the state’s landscape, museum officials said in a news release.

“It’s essentially Hollywood Southwest,” said UNM professor Paul A. Hutton, a self-described addicted collector of film memorabilia and curator of the exhibit.

“We’re highlighting New Mexico as a center for filmmaking from (silent film director, writer and producer) D.W. Griffith onward, and the locations that are so prevalent,” he said. “We’ll show why New Mexico is so great for filmmaking, from the landscape to the light to the weather.

“We’re also highlighting films about New Mexicans, such as Billy the Kid,” Hutton said. “I love the idea of two really bad hombres and what they say about New Mexico. And yes, I’m talking about ‘Breaking Bad,’ too.”

Also working closely on this project is Jason Strykowski, who has worked on many films and TV series, and has been instrumental in acquiring some artifacts. Costumes from “The Avengers” and “The Lone Ranger” came from Strykowski’s connection to both films.

The exhibit is designed to take visitors behind the scenes on a film set and is expected to include a green-screen experience for kids to explore what it feels like to be on a set. The original 1920s projection unit from the KiMo Theatre will also be on display.

Other artifacts will include movie posters, movie clips, plus other pop-culture tie-ins, such as toys and promotional items.

An educational element of the exhibition focuses on film production as an industry in New Mexico.

“We’re trying to explain why New Mexico is and always has been an attractive place for filmmakers,” Hutton said. “We want to have fun with this, get people excited, wow them, and appeal to young and old alike. After all, everyone loves the movies.”

The public opening of Hollywood Southwest will be Feb. 25, a Saturday, from 1 to 3 p.m. It runs through Aug. 27.

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