Businesses flock to New Mexico amid film industry boom | KOB 4

Businesses flock to New Mexico amid film industry boom

Chris Ramirez
Updated: February 28, 2021 09:30 PM
Created: February 28, 2021 06:45 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As New Mexico’s film production has ballooned, a number of ancillary businesses that support the industry are adding to the success.

In the last few years, businesses not necessarily affiliated with a production studio have expanded into New Mexico to provide support for prop making, set creations and costume making.

Before 2019, Reynolds Advanced Materials had U.S. locations in Dallas, Hollywood and Atlanta before opening shop in Albuquerque.  The decision to expand into New Mexico came immediately after Netflix and NBC Universal announced major expansion plans in Albuquerque, according to Reynolds Advanced Materials specialist Brandon Green.  

“From an overall film standpoint, I definitely believe Albuquerque is on the map and will just keep growing,” Green said. 

Reynolds Advanced Materials supplies a number of products used to make a props and sets with silicone, urethane rubber, epoxy materials and a number of other products for sculpting.

“In the production industry, when special effects or crews need material, they usually need it yesterday,” Green said. 

Often times, a production may need dozens or hundreds of one prop made in a variety of different materials to get a scene just right.

“In an actual movie, (a mask for example), may get damaged and they have to replace it or every day they need a new one because they really can't save (the masks) because in the process of taking it off they rip and damage it,” said Samuel Troxell with Reynolds Advanced Materials. 

The products sold at Reynolds Advanced Materials allow a production house to make those items quickly, efficiently and at a very-low cost.

According to the New Mexico Film Office, many other businesses have relocated or expanded into New Mexico recently. Crafty Apes is a full service special effects company that opened a 2,000 square foot facility in Albuquerque. Keslow Camera is a camera rental house based in Los Angeles, with a new office in Albuquerque. Production Resource Group opened a camera prep warehouse taking up nearly 6,000 square feet in Albuquerque where production companies can take advantage of visual effects technology.

One movie production creates a chain reaction of millions of dollars spent in the community and hundreds, possibly thousands of jobs created.  These ancillary businesses are links in that chain.

The film industry wasn't immune to the pandemic.  In 2020, all movie and TV productions in New Mexico were shut down and that certainly effected the ancillary businesses.  But the situation seems to be on the rebound.  The New Mexico Film Office announced three major film shoots in the Albuquerque areas wrapped up in the last few weeks.

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