Las Vegas video is] an ode to the
beauty of Las Vegas, as well as to its usefulness as a location
spot. The city works for different types of films because it can
be a college town, the Old West, Mexico, or even Kansas if you head
toward the plains. -Santa Fe
New Mexican, February 17, 2008 (full item below)
films at one time By Don Pace and David
Las Vegas Optic (February 11, 2008)
hot-dog stand was set up in the middle of the Plaza on Monday morning,
but the vendor was picky about his customers. That’s because the
stand was part of a scene in the movie “Not Forgotten.” Over the
last several days, Las Vegas has been the site for the filming of
three movies — “Not Forgotten,” “Brothers” and “Beer For My Horses.”
usual, some residents talk about the economic benefits to Las Vegas
of the filming, while others note the hassles in traffic and detours.
Martha Martinez, chairwoman of the Las Vegas Film Commission, acknowledges
that most of the film crews have out-of-town caterers. But she said
businesses and residences where filming takes places are compensated.
“I’ve never seen figures on economic impact,” she said.
Rick Rubio of The Music Album, which is on the Plaza, said he was
unhappy with how the film companies were handling their operations.
In particular, Rubio objected to how the many crew members were
taking up valuable parking spots in the Plaza, giving little space
for customers. Previous movies, he said, have brought in crews by
bus so as to prevent that problem. Rubio also said notices about
filming were posted on businesses, while previous movie crews have
met with merchants personally in a spirit of cooperation. “There’s
very little personal touch now,” he said.
During filming, the public has been out of the loop when it comes
to advance information about locations and what streets were being
blocked off. Businesses around filming locations have had notices
taped to their doors, but the media have not been notified at all.
KFUN radio owner Joseph Baca alluded to that fact on Monday’s “Over
The Back Fence” program. “No one seems to know who the members of
the film commission are; it must be a secret society,” Baca said
on the air. In a later interview, Baca said, “The only information
we ever got about any movie companies coming to town didn’t come
from the film commission — we sought the information.
the Coen Brothers were filming the movie “No Country for Old Men”
last year and turned the overpass into a Mexican crossing, we made
contact with the public relations person. He came to the station
two or three times and even sent us courtesy photographs of the
filming. Baca said when Hollywood comes to town, his station is
flooded with calls from people looking for information. He said
some people understand, but others get angry not knowing when roads
are going to be blocked or what areas are affected. “We can just
tell callers that whoever’s responsible is not giving us that information,”
Baca said. Martinez, however, said it’s not standard practice in
the industry to give public notice other than to residents and businesses
directly affected. “Most films don’t do public notices,” she said.
don’t want to be disturbed or bombarded (with spectators).” She
added it’s the Police Department’s prerogative to notify the public
when there are street blockages. The production company is supposed
to give notifications to surrounding businesses and residences,
Martinez said. One company recently sent out four such notices,
with revisions each time for scheduling changes, she said. Movie
scheduling is based on actors’ needs mostly, but sometimes, the
weather plays a role, she said. As for Baca’s statements, Martinez
said, “Maybe he should get the information first.
free to call me or call the city.” Elmer Martinez, the city’s community
development director, said it was by chance that all three movies
were filming this weekend in Las Vegas. He said the three had originally
been scheduled at different times. He credited a number of local
officials for doing a good job at coordination. “I do know there
are inconveniences,” he said. He added that the benefit has been
economic development, noting that hotels he called were booked.
Rubio of The Music Album said the police seem to change when filming
is happening. “The cops change their attitudes when they’re working
for Hollywood,” he said. This go-round, with three movies rolling
film at the same time, traffic was a concern for Las Vegas police
in charge of traffic control.
though filmmaking in the Meadow City is passé for some, the commotion
of the process brings out the lookie-lous, and rubbernecking can
lead to some sticky situations. However, in one incident Sunday
evening, a hapless driver who was trying to make his way around
Plaza Park was harshly reprimanded by an officer. Cars were blocked
from entering the park area from Moreno Street, and another patrol
car prevented motorists from driving around the park. It was dark
and no other vehicles were in sight as the car attempted a right
turn from National leading to South Pacific — the usual route. A
police officer yelled at the driver to stop and warned the person
to follow instructions.
Police Chief Christian Montaño said the film activity is causing
many people to lose concentration on their driving, so officers
must make sure drivers are focusing on safety. He said officers
often don’t have the ability to issue citations while directing
traffic, but they will give brief admonitions. The movie companies
are compensating the Police Department for officers who are directing
traffic around filming, police said.
attitude doesn’t change when Hollywood comes in. Our officers have
to have a heightened sense of safety,” Montaño said. “Not Forgotten,”
starring Paz Vega and Simon Baker, is expected to end filming in
the Plaza today. “Beer for My Horses,” starring Toby Keith, notified
businesses that it would end its local filming Monday. “Brothers,”
starring Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal, left during the weekend.
• • Beer for My Horses also will be filming in the Las Vegas,
N.M., area, one of three films to be shooting in the Meadow City
recently. Native Las Vegan Jim Terr points out that in addition
to Horses, Not Forgotten and Brothers also filmed
in Vegas in the past few months. He has put together an updated
DVD of his 8-minute 1992 film, Las Vegas, New Mexico, America's
Oldest Film Location, to be sent out to more than 75 film companies.
It's an ode to the beauty of Las Vegas, as well as to its usefulness
as a location spot. The city works for different types of films
because it can be a college town, the Old West, Mexico, or even
Kansas if you head toward the plains.
Right now, Las Vegas
is waiting to see how No Country for Old Men fares in the
Oscars later this month. A Best Picture nominee, No Country involved many townspeople and locations, and even included a New
Mexico premiere for the film.
As much fun as that was for the town,
nothing today can beat the joy back in the '70s when Ernest Borgnine,
Kris Kristofferson and Ali MacGraw descended on
the town for the filming of Convoy. Directed by the legendary
Sam Peckinpah, that was a movie. • • •
Fe New Mexican "El
The state's capital of Santa Fe, once the center of production,
is small and quaint, boasting three Western sets/towns plus Las
Golondrinas (a living museum that doubles as a Mexican village).
Near Santa Fe is Las Vegas, N.M. (a double for the Midwest and period settings
from turn of the century through the '50s), as well as Georgia
O'Keeffe's home, Ghost Ranch. full
article in VARIETY
Vegas mentioned in New York Times July 2, 2008
Lionsgate and the director Frank Miller shot "Will Eisner's The
Spirit" in Albuquerque. "No Country for Old Men," which won last
year's best picture Oscar, was filmed near Las
Vegas, N.M., and elsewhere in the state. Those
and other projects have brought about $1.8 billion in entertainment-related
spending to New Mexico in the last five years, according to Eric
Witt, director of the governor's entertainment development effort.
Vegas hosts "No Country for Old Men" premiere!