Bernalillo County earns revenue from film industry

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico’s film and television industry has boomed thanks to the state’s tax incentives. Bernalillo County has also embraced Hollywood by opening its doors to film crews.

The old Bernalillo County Courthouse has gotten its share of closeups in television. Steven Michael Quezada is now a county commissioner, but on the small screen, he was known for his role in “Breaking Bad.”

“The movie industry is coming in and saying, ‘These are great spaces. We want to rent these spaces,'” he said. “They like the hallways. They like the rooms. They like the courtrooms.”

“Bob Odenkirk, who’s a really good friend of mine, he loves doing ‘Better Call Saul’ in New Mexico,” Quezada said.

The county’s typical fees are $1,000 for a film day, and the county says it tries to make all facilities open for filming.

“We make sure it’s always done where it’s not interfering with people’s jobs, people’s work. A lot of times, they’ll do it after hours, or they’ll do it on weekends,” Quezada said.

During Fiscal Year 2014, the county’s film revenue was $17,300. FY15 was $43,778. In FY16, $36,556 was earned.

“We really truly believe that in 2017 that will go up,” said Quezada.

“It’s the one industry that we know that’s growing in the state of New Mexico and that we have an opportunity to grow it to where it’s a really substantial job provider,” he said.

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