Is there a recipe for attracting film productions? In the case of Santa Fe, a movie making mecca that has multiple film festivals, studios, skilled actors, expert crew, gorgeous locations, tax rebates and oh yeah, a natural beauty and sense of community, you have many of the key ingredients to produce a world-class television and cinema delectable dish.
What else do you need? People. People are the key ingredient. One of Santa Fe’s leading citizens is Lance Hool—CEO of Santa Fe Studios. Lance’s method for developing a sustainable film environment is a blend of commerce, education, art and community. A family man, Lance welcomes any production to Santa Fe with open arms: “Whether it’s documentaries, narrative features or television, we are the most friendly city in the world for film.”
When Lance Hool opened Santa Fe Studios in 2011, he thought one of the most important aspects to commercial success was to build a filmmaking infrastructure that would incorporate student education into his business plan. The Studio has had success coordinating internships with Santa Fe Community College to bring in trainees for onsite work. Several interns have worked on TV and movie productions such as Seth MacFarlane’s “A Million Ways to Die in the West” and the Neil deGrasse Tyson hosted TV series: “Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey.”
To attract and keep experienced production talent, Lance plans to stay ahead of technology trends and further incorporate The City Different’s rich arts base into the Studio’s next chapter, “be it costume design, actor’s performance, production design or camerawork, they’re all art forms…every art form becomes part of a movie.” When asked if there was anything he needed from New Mexico schools in the future, he replied that he would like to see, “[A] curriculum being taught at local colleges that meshes with film production company requirements so that graduates can work as soon as they complete their education.”
In addition to working with learning institutions, Santa Fe Studios is partnering with Santa Fe Film Festival Director NaNi Rivera, who is introducing a training ingredient to festival panel discussions. Lance supports the Santa Fe Film Festival (SFFF) and has agreed to host a party that showcases the festival’s unique aspects to the Santa Fe community: “We need to make the Santa Fe Film Festival special. Santa Fe is a very special place. Being the arts city that we are, we have to have a film festival that shows that. I want to let the film community around the world know that this is a good festival.”
CEO Hool and Director NaNi Rivera joined Santa Fe city officials in creating a new aspect of the festival: its 1st Annual Film Industry Tune Up titled “Shoot Santa Fe.” SFFF raised a prize package worth $25,000 of cash and industry resources including equipment rentals from Santa Fe Studios and professional crew from I.A.T.S.E. Local 480 film technicians to reward the winner of the competition. The contest, to produce a trailer that represented a series pilot set in Santa Fe, drew over eighteen submissions.
It hasn’t been always been a smooth road to developing a recipe for success. Tax rebate issues aside, there have been some lumps in the gravy, so to speak. But, with production tax incentives restored and even increased, the future of film in New Mexico is looking bright.
Posted by Joanna Smith
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