With New Mexico gaining a reputation among film production companies, local businesses need to help fill a growing demand for services as more television shows and movies shoot in the Land of Enchantment.
The New Mexico Film Office reports nearly $506 million in direct spending in the state during 2017, and productions including “Godless” and “Waco” are racking up Emmy nominations by the fistful. This has put the state in the spotlight and local businesses are increasingly needed to provide an array of goods and services in addition to locations and crews.
“The film industry isn’t just for businesses you would typically associate with making movies – like studios, camera equipment or lighting – they literally need anything you can think of,” said Barbara Kerford, the state outreach coordinator for the New Mexico Film Office. “For the cast and crew, they are all living in New Mexico while a production is happening, if they aren’t already living here. And they need all of the services that they would need at home – like gyms, groceries, gas, salons, medical care, etc.
“And they will spend that money with local businesses in New Mexico,” she said.
As the NM Film Office prepares for this year’s New Mexico Film and Media Industry Conference, to be held Friday and Saturday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Albuquerque, officials say it is a perfect opportunity for businesses to tap into the state’s film industry by being a sponsor or vendor at the conference.
Participants can meet and mingle with around 400 industry professionals and talk with other businesses that have succeeded working in the industry.
Kerford said another way to get a foot in the door is to be listed in the office’s free online industry directory – the first place the film office sends productions in need of anything. The film office will have a table up at the conference to help businesses sign themselves up for the directory.
“I think the biggest challenge facing production companies in New Mexico would be figuring out where the services they need are,” Kerford said. “Just like when anyone moves to a new city, the first thing you have to do is to find the things you need. So local businesses listing themselves in the NMFO Industry Directory and coming out to the conference to introduce themselves to the industry is the first step.”
Additionally, attending the conference will give businesses an opportunity to gain insight into how the film industry works by sitting in on the wide variety of panels offered this year.
Interested businesses should act now to ensure entry or a vendor/sponsor spot.
“Last year’s conference was a sold-out event and we’re seeing greater interest this year,” said Nick Maniatis, director of the New Mexico Film Office. “This is an opportunity that our film community and local businesses should not miss.”
For more information on the conference, visit: nmfilm.com/nm-film-and-media-industry-conference.
(By Jason Gibbs for Finance New Mexico. Finance New Mexico connects individuals and businesses with skills and funding resources for their business or idea. To learn more, go to FinanceNewMexico.org.)
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