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N.M. Film Focus: The Crew Community

N.M. Film Focus: The Crew Community

Meet The People Behind The Scenes

By Christa Valdez

As the song goes, “…these are the people in your neighborhood.” Go ahead, let the tune get stuck in your mind. It was the catchy little theme song to a lovely segment on an all-time classic television show during its heyday. Now, during the latest heyday of film in New Mexico, let’s get to know some of the people in our neighborhood.

Greens, Crafty, Ager-Dyer, Critter Wrangler, Property Master, Grip, Stunts, Special Effects, Transport, Casting, Wardrobe – these and many more are jobs in the New Mexico film industry.

Greens are not the garnish or even the salad that comes with your entrée – in production, it’s the team of workers that creates or arranges landscape to dress a set. In all its splendor or imperfection, the lay of the land tells volumes to us as we watch a movie or TV show, whether we know it or not.

No one and nothing would arrive at any scene without Transport. From equipment to A-listers, the transportation coordinator is typically in charge of moving everyone and everything to and from set. The shuttling goes on throughout filming, as cast and crew must be transported in mini-busses, coaches, golf carts or ATVs from location to location.

Your local property master is the branch of the art department who furnishes all the specialty set decorations and props featured from scene to scene. These can be anything from prop guns to ice cubes, body bags, antiquated cell phones or futuristic weapons and accessories.

Dusty cowboy hats and strategically distressed denim don’t just happen within the time constraints of a filming schedule – but those are some things an accomplished ager-dyer can achieve during a film shoot. Western garb, post-apocalyptic uniforms, or even the proper street attire for a general crowd scene in any given era requires the work of a skilled subset of the costume department.

And back to that theme song: “Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?” was written and composed by 14-time Emmy Award winner Jeff Moss, who was the first head writer, composer and lyricist for “Sesame Street.” That’s three more job titles among the thousands it takes to complete the art of film, television and new media.

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Ashley Kurtz is a freelance theater critic.

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