Projects that show the state's production depth

THE BOOK OF ELI
“‘Eli’ takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, and in that respect, New Mexico was a great fit,” says producer Andrew Kosove. The film did its stage work at Albuquerque Studios, but also traveled south to the 1,000-resident town of Carrizozo, where locals greeted the crew with a potluck dinner. “It’s great when you can give back. The downtown’s core was in a state of disrepair, and not only did we make it look worse for the movie, but when we restored it afterwards, we made it look better,” says exec producer David Valdes.
Incentives: 25% rebate, no-interest loan
Locations: Albuquerque, Carrizozo, Cochiti Pueblo, Elephant Butte Dam, Santa Fe (Old Main Prison), Santo Do-mingo Pueblo, White Sands NationalPark
Facilities used: Albuquerque Studios
N.M.-based support: Leonetti Co., Mountainair Films (equipment broker), New Mexico Grip and Lighting, Production Outfitters (EPKs), Serious Grippage and Light Co., Star Waggons
Other N.M. vendors: AeroWest Helicopters, American Tent Rentals, Aquila Travel, Reel Chefs Catering
Location manager: Michael Dellheim
CRASH
On the Lionsgate series based on the Oscar-winning pic, line producer Lester Berman explains that “all the equipment that has wheels” hails from Reynolds Auto Service, which started out as a salvage shop but now fabricates everything from vintage cop cars to futuristic vehicles for screen use. A few years ago Berman promoted shop owner Patrick Reynolds from honeywagon driver to transportation coordinator on “Into the West,” and he’s now handling the logistics on “Crash.” “When we move the company tonight, we’ll be moving more than 35 trucks. It’s a huge operation,” Berman tells Variety.
Incentives: 25% rebate, film crew advancement program (50% reimbursement of wages for offering residents on-the-job training in advanced below-the-line positions)
Locations: Mostly in and around Albuquerque (Ann Lerner, film liaison)
Facilities used: Fulcrum Building, Rio Rancho; Albuquerque Studios; Garson Studios, Santa Fe
N.M.-based support: HDNM Studio Services (video assist, equipment rentals), Keslow Camera, Leonetti Co., Production Central ABQ (ADR)
Other N.M. vendors: Aquila Travel, Mario’s Catering
Location manager: Alan Swain

THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS
It was fitting that this George Clooney comedy, in which a reporter investigates “X-Files”-style mind-control tactics within the U.S. military, shot in Roswell, N.M. The production turned the town’s New Mexico Military Institute (a private training facility) into a U.S. military base and looked elsewhere in the state for spots that could play Iraq. A prisoner exchange scene was lensed adjacent to the gypsum mining operation at Zia Pueblo, a Native American reservation that has hosted everything from “The Missing” to “Ghosts of Mars” (the film that brought state film office director Lisa Strout to New Mexico).
Incentives: 25% rebate
Locations: Alamogordo (White Sands National Monument), Albuquerque, Roswell, Willard, Zia Pueblo (coordinated by tribal administrator Peter Pino)
N.M.-based support: Ahern Rentals (heavy equipment), Filmmaker Production Services Co. (props and costumes), MBR Studio Equipment Rentals, Mountain States Crane, New Mexico Film Rentals, Production Outfitters, Serious Grippage and Light Co., Spots & Props Unlimited, Star Waggons, TM Motion Picture Equipment Rentals, Wild Horse Movie Trucks
Other N.M. vendors: Aquila Travel, Carey Limousine, Cort Furniture, Entertainment Partners (payroll), Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Flyin’ In Prods., JLS Security
Location manager:
Todd Christensen

PAUL
Producer Bob Graf had been to New Mexico before, booking this Greg Mottola-directed road movie into the same Santa Fe stages where he worked on “No Country for Old Men,” but this time, he took advantage of the state’s diverse terrain as well. The story begins in San Diego, but New Mexico doubles for pretty much all the other sites. “Santa Fe has close proximity to the desert and forests and mountains and valleys and a variety of different looks that simulate places all over the country,” Graf explains. “If you go from White Sands on one hand to Taos on the other, it feels like different planets.”
Incentives: 25% rebate, film crew advancement program
Locations: “The nature of the road movie is that you move around a lot,” Graf says. Spots include Santa Fe and Las Vegas, followed by Albuquerque, Chimayo, Galisteo, Madrid, Moriarty and the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.
Facilities used: Garson Studios, Santa Fe; Old Main Prison, Santa Fe (used for set construction)
N.M.-based support: Ahern Rentals, B and B (generators), Haul of Fame (trucks), New Mexico Lighting and Grip, Star Waggons, Maleco Grip Rigging
Other N.M. vendors: Digitech (copiers), Exchange Communications (telecom), Mountainair Films, Rockbottom Rentals, Sandia Office Supplies
Location manager: Todd Christensen

TERMINATOR SALVATION
The massive production booked all but one of the stages at Albuquerque Studios (the other was being used to film AMC’s “Breaking Bad”), sprawling out onto the surrounding Mesa Del Sol development. For a scene billed as taking place on the Rio Grande River, rather than travel all that way only to fight the current, producer Jeffrey Silver struck a deal with the adjoining property. “They let us dig a big giant hole and build our own multiacre backlot river, pumps and all, so we had our own backlot tank, which we later reseeded,” Silver says.
Incentives: 25% rebate
Locations: Albuquerque (Kyle Reese and Marcus Wright face off against a Terminator at the same train sheds that hosted a “Transformers” shoot-’em-up), Algodones (where a power plant doubled as Skynet HQ), Cibola National Forest, Taos (the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge)
Facilities used: Albuquerque Studios
N.M.-based support: Ahern Rentals, Elliot Location Equipment, First Call Studio Equipment, Leonetti Co., New Mexico Lighting and Grip, Serious Grippage and Light Co., Star Waggons, United Rentals
Other N.M. vendors: Aero West Helicopters, AIG, Entertainment Partners, Hogle’s Theatrical Supplies, Mountain Air Helicopters, Reel Chefs Catering
Location manager: Michael Burmeister

TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN
Michael Bay maintains close ties with the military, which granted him access to its facilities and some of its coolest toys. The production built Middle East sets on the White Sands Missile Range, where it had worked on the first “Transformers.” “The commander on the first movie asked that they leave it there — it was so realistic that they would use it for training,” Army-appointed Hollywood liaison Lt. Col. Greg Bishop explains. The test facility is an explosives-friendly zone, and the Army arranged for a pair of M1A2 Abrams tanks to fire two 25mm rounds apiece. “When it looks like they’re firing, that’s because they really are,” Bishop says.
Incentives: 25% rebate
Locations: Alamogordo, Mescarlero, Tularosa, White Sands
Facilities: Garson Studios, Santa Fe; Holloman Air Force Base; White Sands Missile Range
N.M.-based support: Action Equipment Rental (Las Cruces), Ahern Rentals, Crane Service Inc.
Other N.M. vendors: Aquila Travel, Enterprise Car Rental, Exchange Communications, For Stars Catering, Garcia’s Tents, Marbec Catering, One Stop Auto Parts & Service
Location manager: Kai Ephron

YEAR ONE
The Old Testament comedy split its time between Louisiana and New Mexico. Per location manager Alan Swain, “We’re trying to take a community-friendly approach here so we can avoid some of the issues in other states.” That tactic earned “Year One” access to several sensitive locations, including part of Ghost Ranch where Georgia O’Keefe painted (but few films have shot) and an area called the Kiwainas Meadow that is normally closed to foot traffic. “They’ve been trying to fund this project, so we provided them with a very generous donation to get their efforts going,” Swain explains. For the parting of the Red Sea scene, the production worked with the Dept. of Reclamation to raise the water level in Caballo Lake. “Only in New Mexico will a federal dam adjust the water for a movie company,” says IATSE Local 480 business agent Jon Hendry.
Incentives: 25% rebate
Locations: Abiquiu (Ghost Ranch, repped by David Manzinaras), Caballo, Cibola National Forest, Sandia Peak (Kiwainas Meadow), Santa Fe, Truth or Consequences, White Sands
N.M.-based support: HDNM Studio Services, Leonetti Co., New Mexico Lighting and Grip, Serious Grippage and Light Co.
Other N.M. vendors: A-List Security, American Tent Rentals
Location manager: Alan Swain

Filed Under:

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more