The city of Las Cruces is hiring. This time for a position it hopes will attract more film and television projects to southern New Mexico.
“… A recruiter if you would…somebody that understands what we have to offer here.”
Local actress, Christy McMillin Thompson has driven across the state for acting jobs. Projects she’s been involved with seem to favor northern New Mexico.
“When the film industry goes to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, they know what to expect…the word has gotten out.”
Rep. Jeff Steinborn wants to do what’s necessary to support films. A soundstage, though, isn’t something he says the state would likely outright pay for.
“This will have to be a private sector investment…but I think we need to look at amending our film incentives…most of them are going up north.”
When it comes to filming, location can make a huge difference. According to Rep. Jeff Steinborn the location of the old film liaison at the Las Cruces convention and visitors bureau will be no more. There’s no position right now, but the new one will not be in the same place and it’s going to be a full time position.
City manager Robert Garza is looking to make some of these big changes with the position.
“We’re gonna be moving it…it’s not so much about tourism…more about job creation…it’s a big industry.”
That move in location represents a change in focus.
“In the past having the focus be more on tourism…versus participating…we don’t want to revert back to an old strategy…we just want to capitalize on that and expand it.”
A presentation at a city council meeting describes goals such as:
A regional labor inventory so studios can find talent, stronger university partnerships and even eventually creating a regional film board.
Interestingly, the liaison can’t offer advice on incentives…but has to refer people to the New Mexico Film Office…in Santa Fe.
While rep. Steinborn says the state won’t pay for a soundstage, just getting projects here will green light that much-needed infrastructure development.
“I think if we can help incentivize the building of infrastructure in places like Dona Ana County and other places…that’s the way to use the existing support the state is giving to help build industry around the state,” said Rep. Steinborn.