There’s a bill sitting on Gov. Susanna Martinez’ desk just waiting to be signed. SB 607 will put a cap on the amount of money the state gives out as rebates to studios that shoot films and television shows in New Mexico. The bill was—at best—a compromise between politicians who were fighting to keep the film industry alive here in New Mexico and politicians who wanted to cut expenses for the cash-strapped state. (One of these two groups, it must be noted, doesn’t quite understand how a rebate works. I have a dollar. You’re broke. I say I’ll give you my dollar, but only if you give me back 25 cents. You say you can’t give me a quarter because you’re broke. I point out that you’re about to become a dollar richer. You start complaining about giving handouts to rich fat cats like me. I take my dollar someplace else. You’re still broke, but smiling because you think somehow you’ve saved yourself 25 cents in this deal.)
It’s likely we’ll lose a few feature films because of SB 607. The bill says, in effect: New Mexico want movie biz, but not too much of it. If you’re a member of New Mexico’s film industry, or if you’d just like to show the governor you support the industry, I’ve got a fine idea for you. Hollywood, Once Removed is a local clothing company founded by film industry folks that has produced shirts for the Music in Film Summit, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, the Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and more. HOR has just started production on a line of “Make Film Not War” T-shirts. A portion of proceeds from sales of these shirts will be donated to the “I Am New Mexico Film” campaign. That ad campaign is intended to spotlight local businesses that make money off the film industry, and it hopes to keep alive the economic incentives that drive film business to the Land of Enchantment. You can check out some of their spots on YouTube or at the “I Am NMFilm” page on Facebook.
If you’re interested in showing your solidarity for New Mexico film, log on to Hollywood, Once Removed website and check out the “Make Film Not War” shirts. They’ll run you $21.40 each, or $23.40 for a 2XL. Wear one to the next local film premiere for extra street cred.