'Roswell FM' Movie Producers Finalize Film

Nov 16, 2012

Two local movie producers are wrapping up their very first film.

The movie’s called “Roswell FM and is set to be released in early 2013.

In a little office in Las Cruces are David Spence and Stephen Griffin. They’re just about done with their first full length movie – Roswell FM.

It’s about “the only normal guy at a paranormal talk radio station (who) quits his dream profession and takes a higher paying, but soul crushing job, to pay for his oddball nephew's college tuition.”

David and Stephen met in film school and decided to make this movie together.

David starting writing the script when he was still in college at NMSU as an undergrad.

“I got the idea because I actually used to listen to a lot of paranormal talk radio coast-to-coast. I listened to it a lot of nights and I always thought it was so fun and the people were so fun and interesting and I thought It would be a good setting for a comedy.”

The words came to David before he knew where his career was headed.

“I really wanted to be a screenwriter and I didn’t really know what that meant at the time. I just knew that I loved movies and I wanted to be the guy to decide what happened in the movies.” 

It takes a lot of work to make a movie. Especially when it’s your first full-length feature.

“A lot of stuff we’re doing, it’s the first time we’re doing it so it’s like everything that we’re doing is this new problem that presents itself and we’re both wearing a dozen or so hats each…you know, we’re producing, directing editing as well as all the technical stuff, transferring all the files and all the interesting stuff that goes along with that, said Stephen.

Stephen’s biggest hat during the film was as its director.

Another hat he and David wore was location scout.

Roswell was a good opportunity because most places there let them use their space for free.

“The best thing about filming here is just the openness. We shot in Roswell and the town really opened their doors to us,” said Stephen.

But one night, they hit a snag you might not expect in this part of the country.

“It rained for the first time in like 300 days in Roswell.” 

So they had to stop filming for a day, which is a long time for an independent film where every day and every dollar counts. But they made up the time and wrapped up the movie.

Steven and David say about half the cast and most of the crew they used were from New Mexico and that means they were able to receive state incentives.

“So we got 25 percent of our initial budget back and that’s what we used to fund post-production.” 

NM Film promotes the 25 percent tax credit on their website. Before Governor Martinez took office, it gave a no-interest loan with a percentage of profits to be given back to New Mexico.

Some say the old system was better, but it helped David and Stephen’s movie come together…along with a lot of hard work and ingenuity.

Both guys work at the Creative Media Institute at NMSU and have some advice for any future filmmakers out there.

“Just do it. Just get out there and do it.”

“And every new thing that you learn adds value to yourself and your career. The more skills you can acquire, the more employable you are.”