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N.M. Film Focus: On Class, Casting

N.M. Film Focus: On Class, Casting

What's the best way to get into business with New Mexico’s film and emerging media industry, which regularly presents such opportunities to locals? Film industry insider Christa Valdez, of OneHeadlight.com, reports.

N.M. Film Focus: On Class, Casting

BY CHRISTA VALDEZ

Christa Valdez

by Carol Skipworth

As a global audience eyes the growth of New Mexico’s film and emerging media industry, locals are regularly presented with opportunities to “get into the business.” Here are some resources and events to get you started.

Class acts

The acclaimed Chubbuck Acting method, studied by Brad Pitt, Halle Berry and Sylvester Stallone, will be taught by Rebekah Wiggins in an intensive weekend course through Southwest Sceneworks. The next beginner intensive is scheduled for March 26. Visit southwestsceneworks.com to learn more. 

Area casting director Jo Edna Boldin is currently enrolling adult (18+) students for her Audition 101 workshop.  

Sol Acting Academy has become a theatrical instruction institution here in town. Managed by Vivian Nesbitt, the training resource and performance space offers classes for aspiring performers of all ages and skill levels.

A perennial favorite for budding actors is the Albuquerque Actors Studio class taught by renowned local Lora Cunningham.

Get cast!

Jennifer Beals (“Flashdance,” “The L Word”) has joined “The Night Shift” in a recurring role as Dr. Syd Jennings, an Army Major. (Photo courtesy of APA)

Jennifer Beals (“Flashdance,” “The L Word”) has joined “The Night Shift” in a recurring role as Dr. Syd Jennings, an Army Major. (Photo courtesy of APA)

Albuquerque-based casting companies are looking for fresh faces for the following series pilot and television series: “Preacher,” “The Night Shift,” “Longmire,” “From Dusk Till Dawn” and “Midnight, Texas.” Visit the websites of White Turtle Casting, EG Casting and Lorrie Latham Casting for more details.

To be considered for background work on these shows, submit your interest to Robert Baxter via email at robertbaxtercasting@gmail.com. But before you do, read the next paragraph.

No experience is needed to apply for background roles. The information casting directors find most valuable is an accurate physical description of yourself, including height and weight, hair and eye color, ethnicity, a clear current photo, accurate contact information and any special skills or physical characteristics you have.

For your schedule of availability, I advise Thursday through Monday and every day after 5 p.m.

Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) on AMC's "Preacher" Photo credit: AMC

Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) on AMC’s “Preacher” Photo credit: AMC

Physical attributes like full-body tattoos or no tattoos at all are important to note. Save yourself and the casting director time and effort by being thorough.

Skills like horseback riding, firearms training and all sorts of sports, musical and other specialized training can help get you cast; sometimes, what makes you, well, you can even bump you from the background into a featured role.

And, remember, casting companies do more than places, faces and types: they also need your car or truck. One of the casting directors listed above asks people to include a photo and detailed description of all the vehicles you own, and that’s sound advice. 

Get exposure

The New Mexico Film Foundation’s annual Actors Showcase is a prime opportunity to see local talent in action. This year’s showcase is scheduled for Saturday, March 26, at the South Broadway Cultural Center. Visit nmfilmfoundation.org to learn more.

Sponsored by Cine Magnifico, The Indie Scene is a quarterly film showcase at the National Hispanic Cultural Center featuring some of the best short films, video segments and music videos by filmmakers from all over the state. Submissions of shorts and videos are open now at facebook.com/theindiescenenm.

Dubbed the “little Sundance of New Mexico,” the Taos Shortz Film Fest happens April 7 through 10. Get info at taosshortz.com. On April 9, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the state film office hosts its annual Albuquerque Film & Media Education Summit at CNM. Visit nmfilm.com to learn more. And save the date for AFME 2016, slated for April 18 through 24. The experience takes place at multiple venues along historic Route 66. Visit abqfilmx.com for details.

A new Southern New Mexico film community effort will take root when the first Film T or C festival kicks off on May 6. Go to facebook.com/FilmTorC to ask questions or get involved. It’s also time to make plans for the Roswell Film Festival. Submissions are open through April 18 at roswellfilmfestival.com. The fest itself happens May 19 through 21.

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

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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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  • The Update: 3-29-16 | Don Santana
    March 30, 2016, 12:50 pm

    […] reimbursement; debut of Bites of Burque column; Christa Valdez of OneHeadlightInk.com gives locals a heads-up on extra work available on in-state shoots; most health insurance companies in N.M. took a financial downturn in […]

    REPLY
  • The Update: 3-29-16 | Adam Hutchins
    March 30, 2016, 12:58 pm

    […] reimbursement; debut of Bites of Burque column; Christa Valdez of OneHeadlightInk.com gives locals a heads-up on extra work available on in-state shoots; most health insurance companies in N.M. took a financial […]

    REPLY
  • Today’s NM Film Fix | OneHeadlightInk
    March 31, 2016, 12:05 pm

    […] out my upcoming ABQ Free Press article, hitting newsstands on Wednesday, April 6, which includes an interview with Patrick Fabian. He […]

    REPLY
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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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