For decades young filmmakers and aspiring actors have made the pilgrimage to La-La Land in hopes of counting themselves among the stars. However, finding a studio willing to take a chance on an unknown filmmaker is like trying to catch a whale with a gold fish net, practically impossible. Not to mention the enormous production costs. Yet all is not lost, because there is still a beacon of hope shining in the desert.
In 2003 New Mexico, launched a film incentive program to entice filmmakers to consider trading in Tinsel Town for the Land of Enchantment.
Like all new and radical ideas, progress was slow, but in recent years movies such as Sicario (2015), Spare Parts (2015), The Homesman (2014), Transcendence (2014), A Million Ways to Die In The West (2014), and 2 Guns (2013) were filmed in New Mexico. It’s not just the big screen but also the small screen taking advantage of this desert oasis as well; television series like Breaking Bad and Longmire.
Film Tax Incentive
By choosing to film your movie in New Mexico, filmmakers will be offered the following incentives:
- Refundable tax credit for hiring NM actors and crew
- 25-30% refundable tax credit on in-state spending (Ex: catering, rental, etc.)
- 25% refund incentive for production and post
- 30% tax incentives for TV series and stand-alone pilot episodes
- $500,000 loans to qualified filmmakers
- 50% reimbursement of wages for on-the-job-training for NM residents (Advanced below-the-line crew positions)
- All incentives can be used collectively
You can qualify for NM film incentives for pre-production, production, and post production of the following:
- Feature Film
- Short Film
- TV series
- Stand Alone TV Pilots
- National TV Commercial
- National Internet Commercial
- Regional Commercials
- Video Games
- Informational Videos
- Music Videos
- Mobile Apps (for commercial exploitation)
Everyone can reap the financial benefits of shooting in NM. A $50 million production budget cap gives lower budget films an advantage; larger budget films would not benefit from filming here giving more opportunities for low budget and independent films. In the last four years 15,848 full time jobs with average annual salary of $52,000 have been created, $1.5billion has been generated, and $251 million paid back in incentives.
With an enticing list of tax incentives, beautiful landscape, and a growing number of trained laborers; New Mexico is on its way to being the next hot spot for independent filmmaking. Not only is New Mexico a proven supporter of the film industry, it is also invested in creating jobs and increasing the local economy.
Blog by: Nakia Ford & Cassidy Glascock