ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A Los Angeles-based production company is making its way to New Mexico and hopes to bring more opportunities for locals in the film industry. Brian Espinosa is a born-and-raised New Mexican, but when he graduated from college and wanted to get into entertainment, the state’s film industry was not at the level it is now.
“When I finished college, I really wanted to go into the entertainment industry, and back in 2007, there was really not that kind of thriving industry that’s there now,” said Espinosa, CEO of Optimism Entertainment. “I had to leave. I had to move to California in search of bigger opportunities so I could open a company.”
He’s since created the L.A.-based talent management and production company, Optimism Entertainment. Now, he’s expanding to New Mexico to create those bigger opportunities.
“We’re bringing the industry to New Mexico so that way, they don’t have to leave. They can build their businesses and they can stay and grow the economy and they don’t have to leave their families,” said Espinosa. “There are so many talented people that want to do this trade, they really want to be in this business. And that is what we’re here for. We’re going to give them that opportunity so they don’t have to live in super expensive LA to do it.”
This week, Optimism Entertainment acquired New Mexico production company 8 Beat Films, created by local filmmaker Keagan Karnes. It will now help New Mexico businesses make commercials and even serve as a place where New Mexico creators can produce their own projects.
“I hope this can kind of be a pipeline for New Mexican above-the-line to get their films made,” said Karnes, who will now serve as a creative executive and Director of New Mexico Operations for Optimism Entertainment. “We can have New Mexican stories by New Mexico creators.”
Espinosa says while filming is at a standstill because of COVID-19, they hope to use this hub to reach out to New Mexicans. There are even plans to offer free teachings about the business side of the industry.
“Jobs are going to be very difficult. We have to be very open about that right now. There’s so many unknown factors. We don’t know if a second wave of COVID-19 will come soon or later,” said Espinosa. “Those opportunities may not initially be a film acting job at the moment but what they could be us having classes that are no charge to locals, teach them the business. For me, I really felt that it’s important to expand on the already-great production business that New Mexico has. I think it’s done fantastic for crews but what I would really like to see the film industry do for New Mexico, and we want to be in the forefront of that, is teaching New Mexicans how to be entertainment entrepreneurs so they can create a thriving business and not just be dependent on the acting.”
Karnes says this new opportunity is just a big boost in 8 Beat Films’ original mission — which is creating global opportunities for New Mexican creators. Optimism Entertainment says they will reveal details about the New Mexico office opening and job postings later this month.