LAS CRUCES — Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Wednesday that a full-service film and production company has chosen Las Cruces for its headquarters, with plans underway to open a film production studio in the near future.
Over the next six years, California-based 828 Productions plans to invest $75 million to build a 300,000-square-foot studio and 20-acre back lot, creating at least 100 well-paying jobs in Las Cruces. The company began ramping up its production efforts in May 2022, filling key positions and purchasing a 7,500 square foot office building in downtown Las Cruces for training, post-production and visual effects.
The State of New Mexico is committing $3 million to the project from the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) job creation fund as the company achieves its employment goal of at least 100 full-time, year-round employees.
“New Mexico is seeing record numbers of film and television industry productions and record spending, and that’s no accident,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “Not only are we investing in studios like 828 Productions, but we’re also expanding industry workforce training with a new film school in Albuquerque and Las Cruces — and it’s paying off. We are extremely excited to welcome 828 Productions to Las Cruces, and the well-paying local jobs and industry growth it will bring to the entire state.
828 has finalized negotiations on an additional 35 acres of land in downtown Las Cruces, with existing structures that will provide a soundstage and building space. The film company aims to shoot its first production at the new Las Cruces studio before the end of 2022 and spend $350 million on productions over the next decade.
The City of Las Cruces is considering an additional $897,000 in local LEDA through capital appropriations, with an additional amount of up to $2.8 million set aside by the Las Cruces City Council specifically for cinematographic infrastructure. These funds are pending City Council approval and finalization of a project participation agreement.
With the LEDA deal and other company guarantees to invest in workforce training, 828 Productions is set to become New Mexico’s third film partner, joining Netflix and NBCUniversal. The partnership model is a key provision of Senate Bill 2 of 2019, led by Governor Lujan Grisham, which revised New Mexico’s film tax credits to catalyze ongoing investment from the film and television industry. in New Mexico to create jobs and diversify the economy.
“828 Studios chose Las Cruces because of Governor Lujan Grisham’s commitment to job growth in film and television,” said Department of Economic Development Secretary Alicia J. Keyes. “It’s an industry that is very mobile and can be set up anywhere. They come to Las Cruces to create jobs here because we have pioneering investments in place that help this industry thrive.
828 Productions is a full-service film production and finance company, whose recent films include: K. Asher Levin’s dark, millennial comedy “Helen’s Dead”, Robert Rippberger’s haunted house thriller “Those Who Get Away go”, the special grand prize of the Deauville Film Festival nominated “The Last Son”, the high-octane action film by Camille Delmarre “Assassin Club”, “The Price We Pay”, “Raven’s Hollow” , “Operation Seawolf”, “The Requin” and “The Fallout”, winner of the SXSW Grand Jury Prize.
“We were looking for a home for 828 Studios and fell in love with Las Cruces,” said Todd Lundbohm, Founder and CEO of 828 Productions. “It’s a booming city, with a wealth of opportunities just waiting to be tapped. At 828, we’re passionate about history and film as an art form, but we’re also passionate about creating a studio environment that also inspires positivity behind the scenes,” he continued. “For us, it’s about putting down roots, and New Mexico, specifically Las Cruces , gives us the perfect place to do so.”
Stephanie Denton is a longtime media executive, formerly with WWE Studios and Lionsgate International and now Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development with 828 Productions. “We are excited to work with this amazing community to continue to grow the local workforce, developing programs with NMSU and Doña Ana Community College with the goal of creating a premier production center right here in Las Cruces,” Denton said.
Denton added that the Governor’s commitment, through EDD and the Department of Higher Education, to develop a professional media education curriculum through the Next Generation Media Academy will enable 828 Studios develop practical internships and training programs that can lead to full-time employment for many people. students.
The creation of 828 Studios comes as Las Cruces sees an increase in filming activity, hosting Netflix and major studios and independent productions featuring well-known actors such as Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis, Kate Bosworth , Ving Rhames and Ryan Phillippe.
Las Cruces is included in New Mexico’s “uplift” film incentive zone, offering film productions an additional 5% discount on films to shoot there, for a total potential incentive of 35%. The incentive resulted in a 650% increase in direct spending in rural areas of the state last year.
“Today’s announcement is a game-changer and a dream come true for the film industry in Las Cruces and Doña Ana County,” said State Senator and Film Las Cruces Co-Founder and President Jeff Steinborn. “We are thrilled that 828 Productions is making this investment in our community to create a full-service film production studio and backlot. 828 Studios will help make Las Cruces one of the top movie production hotspots in New Mexico and the United States, and showcase our excellent movie incentives, diverse locations, talented crew, and the rich culture of the Southwest. .
Pending City Council approval, the City of Las Cruces would be the fiscal agent for the economic relief.
“Las Cruces is already a destination for filmmakers and the City of Las Cruces is working closely with 828 Productions to bring a world-class production company to the city so we can create year-round permanent jobs and grow our highly skilled labor in film. industry,” said Mayor Ken Miyagishima.