Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Las Cruces is becoming the hotspot of filmmaking

The Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument covers approximately 500,000 acres of recreational opportunities around Las Cruces and serves as a backdrop for feature films. (Courtesy Visit Las Cruces)

Las Cruces’ profile in the film industry is growing.

The city in southern New Mexico has grabbed another feature film production, according to the New Mexico Film Office.

On Friday the bureau announced that the film “The Locksmith” would be filmed in Las Cruces and other parts of Doña Ana County through mid-December.

“The Locksmith” is the story of a skilled locksmith fresh out of jail after a job went bad. At home he tries to familiarize himself with the life of his daughter and his ex-girlfriend, who is now a detective. Determined to make a clean start, he is forced to use his only skills as a gifted locksmith. However, things quickly get complicated after an unexpected kidnapping.

Ryan Phillippe stars in “The Locksmith”.

It stars Ryan Phillippe, Kate Bosworth and Ving Rhames.

“We’re excited to announce another production in Las Cruces, undoubtedly an emerging hot spot for New Mexico production,” said Amber Dodson, director of the New Mexico Film Office.

The film is produced by Mark David and Roger Goff and directed by Nicholas Harvard.

“Shooting this movie in southern New Mexico was a huge benefit for us,” said Goff. “The locations are breathtaking, the weather is nice, the people are friendly and helpful. I can’t imagine a better production experience or where else could we have made this film that would have been better. “

The production will employ approximately 65 New Mexico crew members and 200 New Mexico background talent.

The Locksmith is the third project to be filmed in the Las Cruces area.

At the end of October, the film office announced the films “Hot Seat” and “Knight”.

Kate Bosworth stars in “The Locksmith”.

“Hot Seat” plays Mel Gibson, Shannen Doherty, Michael Welch and Kevin Dillon. It will also employ 55 New Mexico crew members, 10 New Mexico lead actors, and 200 New Mexico background talent.

Bruce Willis stars in “Knight”. It will employ approximately 50 New Mexico crew members, 10 New Mexico lead actors, and 200 New Mexico background talent.

“The Knight team is excited to be filming in New Mexico,” said Ed Drake, “Knight” director. “We heard great things about the crew and talent in New Mexico, and of course the tax break made it easy for us to decide to move production here from Georgia.”

Dodson said Las Cruces is becoming a place of choice for film projects.

“(It’s) because of the stunning locations and the supportive film office, but mostly because of the ability for productions to take full advantage of the competitive film appeal that New Mexico offers by shooting in an uplift,” said Dodson.

While some productions are based in Albuquerque or Santa Fe, most of the filming takes place across the state.

The productions that shoot 60 miles outside the Albuquerque / Santa Fe corridor may receive an additional 5% incentive over the 25-30%.

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