NM: Five Production Support Businesses Expand to Boost N.M.'s Film Industry
6 Nov, 2020
Over the last year, five new major production service support businesses have located or expanded to a new facility in New Mexico to be a part of the rapidly growing film and television industry.
The growth in business-support services in one of the untold stories of the film industry and likely one of the reasons an independent survey found film and television had a favorability rating of 70 percent, the third highest among 17 industry sectors in New Mexico.
“Incentivizing the film industry is so much more than just bringing the big studios, the stars, or the above the line crew to our state. It’s about established businesses headquartered elsewhere coming to New Mexico to create jobs,” said Alicia J. Keyes, New Mexico Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary. “As we continue to see growth in this sector we will see businesses like these expand even further and hiring New Mexicans.”
“These companies have national and, in some cases, global brand recognition. We are thrilled that they have chosen to come to New Mexico to support our thriving and expanding film and television industry," said New Mexico Film Office Director Amber Dodson. "By locating in New Mexico, it further cements our status as a premier production hub, elevates our offerings and builds on our already strong ecosystem, provides jobs to New Mexicans, and is a testament to decision-makers within the film and television industry that New Mexico is the place to be.”
In August 2020 Crafty Apes, a full-service visual effects company for major movies and television series, opened a 2,000 square foot facility in Albuquerque. Crafty Apes has locations in Los Angeles, California, Atlanta, Georgia, New York, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Vancouver, British Columbia. Recent project includes “Stranger Things” and “Jumanji: The Next Level”.
“With the film industry booming in New Mexico our strategy was to expand our business in order to be on the ground to serve our clients and the various productions we are working on” says Chris LeDoux, co-founder of Crafty Apes. "We are also able to hire exceptional local VFX artists to support the growing post-production industry out of the new Crafty Apes studio."
Buffalo 8, is a full-service film and media company focused on film financing, production, post-production, production services, and distribution. Based out of Santa Monica, California, Buffalo 8 opened a New Mexico division in February 2020. The New Mexico division is a full-service division that serves producers, projects, and companies looking to shoot within the state of New Mexico. Buffalo 8 NM is able to support all production needs including production management, equipment rentals, locations, scouting, vendors, accommodations, tax credit assistance, and everything in between. The New Mexico division is located in Santa Fe and led by Robert Dean (Wander, The Dead of Night).
“By opening a division in New Mexico, it gave us the ability to correctly structure projects and guide producers through every stage of production, with high quality and economic feasibility in mind within the strong tax credit and filming infrastructure of New Mexico,” said Buffalo 8’s CEO Matthew Helderman. “We understand how crucial it is to capture a filmmaker’s vision while also staying on budget in a new shooting location.”
"We begin by first understanding a production's unique needs and then align them with the best options of locations, crew, and vendors in the state. Our specialty is laying the foundation for a creative, cohesive, and productive environment that empowers the production team to focus on the more important aspects of their project,” said Robert Dean, Head of Buffalo 8 New Mexico Division.
In November of 2019, Production Resource Group (PRG,), opened its 5,400 square foot camera prep facility in Albuquerque. In addition to camera-prep, the facility provides an extensive array of specialty production technology including 35Live! ™ production packs and the Emmy-winning GroundControlTM Followspot lighting system. The facility has six fully equipped camera prep bays and a generous flex space. Located on the ground floor, PRG has two loading docks and plenty of parking.
“We feel the timing is right to support the New Mexico production community with our industry-leading expertise in film, scripted and unscripted television, sports, music, special events and live broadcast production,” said Andrea Berry, Senior Vice President of TV, Film & Broadcast. “We envision this as a destination not only for camera-related services, but for thought leadership, technology previews and educational events.”
Working with PRG opens a gateway into Virtual Production, including Ncam®, their real-time camera tracking system; and Enhanced Environments, an alternative green-screen workflow used by today’s most acclaimed cinematographers. Virtual Production is the use and incorporation of visual effects and technology throughout the production life cycle, as seen in Black Panther (2018), Joker (2019), Game of Thrones series finale (2019) and many other productions.
Keslow Camera, a camera rental house based out of Los Angeles with additional locations in Atlanta, Vancouver, Toronto, New Orleans, Chicago, and Utah, has recently moved from its location at Santa Fe Studios to a new facility in Albuquerque. The facility rents both digital and film cameras and has eight prep bays and lens test room. The Albuquerque location has a camera service tech on site and service team that provide full customer support in servicing the camera needs for the motion picture industry. Recent local projects include “Godless”, “Briarpatch” “Only the Brave”, “Star Girl”, and the upcoming Zack Snyder movie “Army of the Dead”.
“Our goal is not to be the biggest in the industry, we strive to be the best.” Robert Keslow
Reynolds Advanced Materials (RAM) opened a stocking location in Albuquerque in October, 2019. RAM has 12 other locations across the USA. Reynolds Advanced Materials offer a variety of materials and technical expertise to support film production groups and studios in creating a variety of special effects (Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, The Avengers, etc.) and themed environments (Disney, Universal Studios, etc.). Liquid rubbers, plastics, expanding foams, colorants, supplies and more are available for immediate delivery.
Reynolds Advanced Materials National Sales Manager, Brad Frikkers, states that “We are thrilled to have an outlet in Albuquerque supporting our long-time film and production customers in New Mexico. We have had relationships with many of these professionals for so long and know what they expect from us as a top tier materials supplier.”
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