First film production since March kicks off in New Mexico

Coronavirus New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A huge economic driver in our state is getting back on track. The New Mexico Film Office recently announced a new movie being filmed here in the Land of Enchantment. While it’s the only production going on right now, the industry expects more to come. “The industry is coming back to New Mexico,” said New Mexico Film Office Director Amber Dodson.

Netflix’s ‘The Harder They Fall’ is currently in production and filming in Santa Fe through December of this year. Dodson said it is the first production in our state since March. “It’s certainly really exciting to finally have production ramping up gradually and strategically,” Dodson said.

The film is a western, starring Idris Elba, and Jonathan Majors and is produced by Jay-Z and directed by Jeymes Samuel. It features a Black-led cast and production team. “To have more voices and more diverse voices making films and telling stories is absolutely thrilling, timely, and really, we are excited that they chose New Mexico,” Dodson said.

Dodson said over the past six months, dozens of productions have reached out wanting to work here. She said it is partly due to New Mexico being seen as a safe place to produce following the state’s pandemic response. “New Mexico’s proximity to Los Angeles in addition to all of the other amazing assets we have has certainly put us more on the map now than we even were in March, which we were on a really great roll, to begin with,” Dodson said.

This production alone is employing 500 New Mexico crew members and more than 300 New Mexico vendors. Dodson said the outlook for the state’s industry is bright.

“What I can tell you is we have a very full pipeline,” Dodson said. “We have a lot of inquiries and other shows getting close to actually saying ‘yes, let’s do this.’ Rest assured, we will be really busy throughout 2020 and 2021.”

The Film Office said all productions are following COVID-safe practices and the governor’s public health order as well as unions and guild guidelines.

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