Mayor Javier Gonzales tweeted enthusiastically about Martin’s Stagecoach Foundation project Tuesday afternoon as a big boost to Santa Fe’s film economy.
He said in an interview later that a Santa Fean donated the building to Martin, author of the best-selling fantasy novels on which the hit “Game of Thrones” TV series is based, with the idea that it would be used for “something good” for Santa Fe.
“What this means for the city specifically is more film infrastructure” that increases the likelihood that major film productions will come to town along with start-up movie-makers, film editors and digital media creators who need affordable production space, Gonzales said. The Stagecoach Foundation facility could be used for a film crew’s headquarters as well as editing and other functions, he said.
“As a foundation and a non-profit, his (Martin’s) vision to make this facility accessible and affordable” so film and digital artists will have a space “where they can go and create,” Gonzales said.
The space should allow young film entrepreneurs to mix with “some of the most seasoned people in Hollywood,” he added.
A new movie by the team of Joel and Ethan Coen, who made Oscar-winning “No Country for Old Men” in New Mexico, is expected to use the Stagecoach Foundation space, located 411 Greg Street near The Lodge at Santa Fe hotel on the city’s north side, according to the mayor. The building has 19 offices and previously was used in the bio-tech industry.
Martin lives in Santa Fe. He owns the Jean Cocteau Cinema, converted a former school building into arts studios and his own storage space and helped finance local arts collective Meow Wolf’s highly successful “House of Eternal Return” immersive arts project.
Santa Fe has two film studios, Santa Fe Studios on N.M. 14 near the state penitentiary and Greer Garson Studios on the campus of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.