Saturday, July 24, 2010

Re: [MISP] brief intro

Good work, Dick.  We need more like you.  Keep up the good work!

Frank Zuniga (505) 385-1073


Date: Sat, 24 Jul 2010 11:22:56 -0600
Subject: [MISP] brief intro

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I don't want to detract from the great discussions going on about the Milken report but it does have relevance for me. My name is Dirk Norris and during the filming of "The Book of Eli" in Carrizozo I became the film liaison for Carrizozo. The town got more than its share of publicity because we became film friendly after the Chamber of Commerce put on a potluck dinner for the IATSE crew building the set.  But we received even more notoriety when during filming of this $75 million dollar movie, Representative Dennis Kintigh introduced his bill to eliminate the film tax incentive. This was particularly interesting because Carrizozo is in his district. Later I gave a couple of presentations, one at the Municipal League's annual meeting in Albuquerque, on the economic impact the filming had on Carrizozo.


The filming of "The Book of Eli" was an eye opener for some folks in Lincoln County, and at one point Secretary Mondrogon came to Ruidoso and suggested they start a film commission. This idea was taken to heart, however there were several groups making this attempt at the same time. Not very much was happening. In the mean time, the last legislative session saw three bills introduced to cap or eliminate the film incentives. Two of these bills came from legislators that represent Lincoln County, Representative Dennis Kintigh, and Senator Tim Jennings, both of Roswell.


I went before the Lincoln County Commissioners and asked that a letter be written to the Governor and the state film office that indicated not all of Lincoln County felt the way these two politicians felt. And I thought I had support in this request by some of the commissioner, but ultimately did not, and my request was tabled.


So in March of this year, after the elections, and after seeing no action being taken to form a county film commission, I asked the 5 mayors of Lincoln County and a person from the  county itself if they would name a representative from each of their municipalities to serve on a county film commission. They agreed and Film Lincoln County NM was formed.  Our mission is to "promote Lincoln County as a film location, and to foster the art and education of film making in Lincoln County."


Since our formation, we have brought the New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase to Ruidoso, held a meet and greet in Capitan for people in the county that are interested and or work in the film industry, and have scheduled a film industry symposium to take place at the Spencer Theater in Alto. More on that in a minute then I will leave you alone.


This shameless self promotion is to let you know that there is a great interest in film making South of I-40 here in Lincoln County, that even though there are legislators from this area who would like to cap or eliminate the film incentives, not every one here feels that way, and that we have a great interest in growing the film industry from within. ENMU Ruidoso is now one of the 20 supercomputer gateways. We now have an independent film company that will begin shooting in Nov and make use of these facilities at  ENMU.


I fully believe in the film incentives and the recent Milken report should open more eyes. But I think the burden is on the film makers and the people in Digital media that will have to help in the eye opening. I also believe that the incentives are meant to give birth to a self sustaining industry grown from within. I think it is unfortunate that incentives have to be offered, but with practically every state in the union offering them we must continue to do the same. At least for the near future. But what would happen if all the states agreed to stop their incentive programs at the same time. I think New Mexico would continue to get a majority of the films because of the facilities we have the growing talent of crew.  And I too use the term film loosely to include digital media because I truly believe this is an area that will come into it s own here in New Mexico.


Ok sorry. Not so brief. I posted information about our Film Industry Symposium on the events list. We have a great line up of speakers to come talk to us about the film industry in the state, and give some of those folks a chance to meet some of us. This event is free and open to the public so I hope to see some of you there.  Thanks so much for your time and tolerance

Dirk Norris


Film Lincoln County NM

ps the events announcement failed to mention the box lunches are $13

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