New Mexico film industry brings in record-breaking $855M in spending

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico Film Office says 2022 has been a record setting year for TV shows and movies shot in the Land of Enchantment, and they expect those numbers to keep going up, even as other states try to get a piece of the pie.

The film offices said the industry brought in $855 million this year, that’s about $200 million more than last year.

Just this year, big names like AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and Focus Film “Vengeance” were all shot in New Mexico. 

“Fiscal year 2022 was a pretty great year I feel like that is an understatement,” said  Amber Dodson director of the New Mexico Film Office. 

A record 109 different productions brought in a record total of $855 million of spending. 

“We smashed all previous records for film and television spend in New Mexico,” said Dodson. 

It seems each year the state brings in more revenue from the film industry, other states want a piece of the pie. Two of New Mexico’s neighbors have recently passed tax incentives for the film industry.

Oklahoma passed a $30 million tax incentive to any films shot in their state and Arizona’s film incentives come in higher than New Mexico’s with a $125 million cap.

“We wish them well there are no hard feelings with our neighbors, but we are decades ahead in this industry of film and television and digital media production. It doesn’t just take an incentive you can’t just flip a switch and you’re going to have a film industry especially one that is as thriving as prosperous as ours,” Dodson said. 

As more states throw their hat in the ring, Dodson says there are a few things we have here that are hard to find in these other states.

“Our film incentive is highly competitive but it also hinges on hiring New Mexico residents and sourcing from New Mexico businesses, a second major asset New Mexico offers is our incredible highly skilled crew base,” said Dodson. 

And that doesn’t appear overnight.

“There are a lot of different elements that go into a film industry too that takes time, we wish our neighboring states well, but we are far ahead of the game and we only see strong steady growth ahead for New Mexico,” said Dodson.

And the future is looking bright as many studios are reinvesting in the state, Netflix is planning a 300 acre studio expansion and NBCUniversal has also opened a production facility in Albuquerque.