A record high of $855.4 million was brought into the state’s economy during the 2022 fiscal year due to direct spending by the film, television and digital media production industry. A July 14 press release from the Office of the Governor says the spending is a 36% increase from fiscal year 2021 and a new record for New Mexico.
In FY2021, the industry brought in $626.5 million, and in FY2020 the industry spent $292 million in the state. The press release highlights some of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s initiatives to keep the film industry in New Mexico and help grow the state’s economy, including a 5% tax credit for films and TV shows produced outside the Albuquerque/Santa Fe corridor. According to the release, that credit helped increase direct spending by the industry in rural communities by 660% from the previous fiscal year.
It’s not just rural communities that are benefiting from the direct spending. Filming continues to take place throughout Albuquerque, including in many parts of the northeast and far northeast part of the city. Several scenes from “Stranger Things” Season 4 were filmed at Eldorado High School, including a few with La Cueva High School student and actor Alex Wagenman, who plays the role of one of the bullies at Lenora High.
According to Thursday’s press release, the median wage for a full-time film crew member working in the state was $29.36 an hour, about $10 more than the average for all other industries. Total number of worker days increased by more than 100,000 in FY2022 compared to the previous fiscal year, with industry worker hours increasing by 22% since FY2021. There was also an increase in the total number of productions in the state, rising from 76 in FY2021 to 109 productions in FY2022.
“Another record year for film and television industry spending makes it as clear as ever that New Mexico is the place to be for film and TV,” Lujan Grisham said. “Due to the work we’ve done to foster a successful environment for production and build a thriving base of talented local crews, film and television productions from around the world are putting money directly into New Mexico communities, supporting our small businesses and creating jobs for thousands of New Mexicans.”