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The New Mexico Film Office brought in a record-breaking sum of money in 2022, due in large part to the 109 productions that were shot in the state, including acclaimed television shows "Better Call Saul" and "Stranger Things," as well as films such as Focus Features' "Vengeance". The various projects earned the Film Office $855 million, approximately $200 million more than last year.
“Fiscal year 2022 was a pretty great year. I feel like that is an understatement,” said New Mexico Film Office Director Amber Dodson, who expects the sales numbers to continue rising. “We smashed all previous records for film and television spending in New Mexico.”
As the state earns more film and television revenue each year, nearby states are also making their cases for production companies to work with them. Oklahoma passed a $30 million tax incentive for the film industry, while Arizona's incentives are capped higher than New Mexico's at $125 million.
Despite such actions from other states, Dodson isn't intimidated.
“We wish them well, and there are no hard feelings with our neighbors, but we are decades ahead in this industry of film and television and digital media production," she said. "It doesn’t just take an incentive. You can’t just flip a switch and you’re going to have a film industry, especially one that is as thriving as prosperous as ours."
Dodson believes that New Mexico has enough unique factors to keep it at the forefront of production companies' minds.
“Our film incentive is highly competitive, but it also hinges on hiring New Mexico residents and sourcing from New Mexico businesses," she said. "A second major asset New Mexico offers is our incredible highly skilled crew base."
“There are a lot of different elements that go into a film industry too that takes time," she continued. "We wish our neighboring states well, but we are far ahead of the game and we only see strong steady growth ahead for New Mexico.”
Dodson's faith may not be misplaced. NBCUniversal has opened a production facility in Albuquerque, and Netflix is planning a 300-acre studio expansion in the state.