New Mexico Film Conference, held over two days at the Albuquerque Hotel, was not at all what I was expecting. Walking in, the Breaking Bad Tour RV is sitting out front, enticing people to go for a ride. You have a sales pitch to the visitors on why to film in New Mexico. Once inside, vendors line the wall for any production assistance you may need, and the ones you haven’t thought of. Panel discussion are separated from the masses in smaller comfortable rooms. Being a novice to films, I might just learn something here, and learn I did.
I sat in on the taxation panel to start with. I learned the ins and outs from how to set up your production company to what qualifies and what doesn’t. The most important thing I took away from this panel was if you even have an idea that you might want to make a film here in New Mexico, contact the New Mexico Film Office and they will be a great resource for you.
Back out on the floor, I talk to people set up at different tables from schools to equipment rentals. With a warm smile, I am told about the Media Arts Collaborative Charter School in Albuquerque dedicate to digital development. From films to video games, they teach children the regular academics and more, with small class sizes. Another table gives me price list for renting a soundstage at Nob Hill Studios. Yet another table gives me a price list and details on how to rent camera equipment in New Mexico. You can plan your budget right here in the hotel, and if you’re still not sure, there will be a panel on budget planning happening as well.
The final key to why this conference should be a must for anyone interested in film is the social groups that attend. I met some lovely ladies from Women in Film New Mexico. The name may be misleading since you can be a member as a male also. This group helps writers, actors, and many others, find a community network of people to help you hone your craft and maneuver the sea that is film. They have monthly meetings in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. There were also groups from Roswell Film Festival and a Dark Matters horror film festival coming up here in Albuquerque.
The conference answered questions I didn’t previously even know to ask. The panels were made up of well-educated people, dedicated to helping us all understand the laws and the hurdles of filming in New Mexico. We will be following up in later articles with some of the key speakers from this year’s conference, so for those who thought making a movie or being a part of one was out of reach, will find out that you can make it happen right here at home.