ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The film industry is booming in New Mexico, but some locals are finding it’s hard to land those coveted top jobs without going to places like LA or New York first.
“We’re treating this as if we were shooting for a network,” said Matthew McDuffie, a UNM professor.
Right in your backyard, University of New Mexico students are filming “Drifteen,” a series they’re hoping takes off. “It’s basically a pilot for a television show that we’re creating,” said McDuffie.
It’s all being done through a university course called, “The Show.”
“It’s the first time we’re doing this, so we’re sort of feeling our way through it,” said UNM professor Dan Galassini.
McDuffie is the writer and director, Galassini the producer. “I feel like I’m getting to make the school that I would have wanted when I was their age, to be able to stay here,” he said.
Not only are the students getting hands-on experience, “It feels like I’m working on a professional set,” said UNM graduate Evalina Lopez.
The local talent is being highlighted to help them get jobs in the business, right here. “To be a part of developing something that is all homegrown, that I think is part of UNM’s mission right now,” said Galassini.
For locals, getting work “above the line” isn’t easy, but they’re hoping that will change. “Well, you don’t need to move to LA, here I think it’s booming,” said student Jay Wallace.
The two leads are local SAG actors and the crew hopes a major network picks up the series. “We’re also going through my representation in Hollywood to sell it to Netflix or HBO or whomever, and then it will be an ongoing series,” said McDuffie.
It’s their way of showcasing all New Mexico has to offer, to keep, it’s talent local. “Drifteen” films right next to Albuquerque Studios.