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N.M. Film Focus, Part 1

N.M. Film Focus, Part 1

This blogger-turned-columnist loves movies and the artists who create them. I'm here to shine a light on opportunities in the film industry — which just so happens to be the largest job creator in modern New Mexico history

N.M. Film Focus: Introducing the Author


ABQ Free Press

Author Christa Valdez hams it up with “Breaking Bad” star Aaron Paul. (Credit: Andrea B. Good)

For the past seven years, I’ve blogged about the New Mexico film industry at OneHeadlightInk.com. Given that tenure, you might assume I’ve rooted for local creatives and film work for just as long; yet my passion for New Mexico and its people has been a driving, lifelong force.

I’ve never yearned to be a film star. In fact, faced with most any camera, I freeze, paralyzed. I’m not out to make big (or even quick) bucks. I always wanted to write about New Mexico film, so I did. Like my blog, this regular column in ABQ Free Press will focus on this place, the film industry and people I wholeheartedly believe are some of the best in the business.

Whatever your craft, calling or interests, there’s a place for you in the New Mexico film industry. From Chama to Sunland Park, Gallup to Tucumcari, production teams, casts and crews have canvassed the state, producing everything from large-scale productions, commercials, homegrown documentaries and epic independent films. Both Albuquerque and Santa Fe are home to world-class studio facilities with Roswell and Las Cruces working hard to follow suit.

Living at the epicenter of statewide film industry action, Burqueños have access to a host of resources and networks that can lead to industry opportunities. After all, Albuquerque is where the “best TV show ever” (according to Forbes circa 2013) was made. The runaway success of “Breaking Bad” boosted television production in our city, and that growth shows no sign of slowing.

NBC series “The Night Shift” and the first full season of AMC’s “Preacher” are set to film in town soon. Local production of independent music videos, shorts, web series and full-length feature films, are taking off at a breakneck pace and grow in variety, quality and popularity by the day.

Between you and me, I’d like this introduction to serve as an invitation to interested parties to look into the New Mexico independent film community. Talent, craftspeople, service providers, electrical and construction trade specialists and all-around film enthusiasts can gain a wealth of knowledge and access to the organizations and resources that come together in creating a production.

To those of you in the industry I haven’t yet come to know, I’m here to learn what you’re doing, where you want to go and what you’d like to see come from our state’s film industry.

This blogger-turned-columnist loves movies and the artists who create them. I’m here to shine a light on opportunities in the film industry — which just so happens to be the largest job creator in modern New Mexico history. An annual opportunity to rise and shine among industry professionals happens Monday, Feb. 8, at the State Capitol.

During the Legislative session, New Mexico Film and Media Day is where the film community and lawmakers gather in a collective show of support. State Senator Lisa Torraco says, “The proven track record of sustainable jobs the film industry brings to the state is not only good for our economy, but it builds morale and provides education and training opportunities like never before. Coming out in support of the industry is imperative to keep it growing strong. And everyone loves seeing their hometown on the big screen — it makes us proud.”

For complete details on this year’s Film and Media Day, visit bit.ly/NMFM2016.

Christa Valdez is the founder and author of New Mexico entertainment blog OneHeadlightInk.com. Reach her at christa@christavaldez.com.


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New Mexico film expert Christa Valdez, of OneHeadlightInk.com and ChristaValdez.com, reports on movie industry news for ABQ Free Press.

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