Santa Fe Film Office hopes to salvage sets used in big productions

New Mexico

New Mexico’s capital city is a hub for Hollywood. The number of movie and film productions in Santa Fe hit an all time high last year, but they are leaving behind a giant problem.

For years, New Mexico has been attracting big hits. Movies like True Grit, The Longest Yard and even Thor were all filmed in Santa Fe. 

“Productions has really picked up over the past couple of years,” said Eric Witt, Executive Director of the Santa Fe Film Office.

Witt says with the high number of big and small productions filming around town, there are specific film sets in high demand — like a small cave, which cost a quarter of a million dollars to build.

“Caves and courtrooms tend to be the two hardest particular locations to find, and we’re fortunate enough in Santa Fe to have both of those now,” said Witt.

However, after filmmakers are finished with the sets, productions don’t know what to do with them; and tearing them down could cost tens of thousands of dollars. Cue the Santa Fe Film Office.

“We would like for both city and county to be able to stockpile some of these sets, props and costumes that productions use that they otherwise again have to destroy, tear it down,” said Witt.

Still, even if the film office could take in these sets, there’s no place to store them.

“Our biggest challenge is finding space to store all these assets and that’s what we’re kind of working on now,” said Witt.

Witt said they would lease the sets out for a more affordable rate, giving local filmmakers a chance in the spotlight.

“That’s part of our mission,” said Witt. “We’re not doing this for Hollywood…we’re doing this for our own people as well, and that’s the motivation behind this.”

Witt said the county is currently looking for a building it’s not using to store some of the sets.

The cave featured in the video above is currently being stored at Garson Studios.

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