When hearing the news that Netflix was buying Albuquerque Studios, I could not help but think about the classic movie “On the Water Front”.
Oscar winning Actor Marlon Brando, playing Terry Malloy a former boxer in the classic scene says:
“I coulda’ had class. I coulda’ been a contender. I coulda’ been somebody. Instead of a bum, which is what I am.”
The State is contributing $10 million of Local Economic Development Act funds.
Albuquerque is contributing another $4.5 million of Local Economic Development Funds.
Albuquerque beat out other places such as Denver, Salt Lake City, Austin, New York, Georgia and Los Angeles.
Albuquerque Studios is an enormous complex that includes 9 sound stages, a backlot and management offices.
The Albuquerque site will be Netflix’s first hub purchased in the United States.
New Mexico’s other 4 production studios are I-25 Studios, Garson Studios, Santa Fe Studios and Las Cruces Studios as other productions seek studio space for their projects.
The New Mexico film industry has been growing steadily for more than 17 years.
Albuquerque has regularly been ranked in the top 10 of the trade magazine Moviemaker’s best places to be a filmmaker.
The Netflix purchase will no doubt benefit the other major studios in the State that will likely be asked to provide additional overflow work.
The jobs that will be created in Albuquerque run the gamut of film and TV production work, most of which is project-based contract labor.
It is estimated that at least 1,000 well paying jobs per year will be created.
The jobs that will run the gamut of film and TV production work, most of which is project-based contract labor.
Many of the jobs are expected to pay $70,000 a year.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
In 2006, Albuquerque studios was a $74 million, 50-acre project featuring eight sound stages, production officers and support space.
On July 24, 2006, the groundbreaking of Albuquerque Studios occurred and once completed, it was and still is a state-of-the-art movie-making facility.
Notwithstanding the sophistication of the facility, Albuquerque Studios for the last 17 years has been a rental house to production companies.
Albuquerque Studios has also been for sale for a number of years.
The fact that Netflex is purchasing the Albuquerque Studios ensures the Albuquerque will indeed be a real contender in the film industry nationally and globally.
With the Nextflex purchase, you will have a production and distribution company that can create that will take it over and start producing far more projects.
Last year alone, the film and TV production industry brought in over $180 million of direct spending to the city and state.
Far more important, the $70,000 a year jobs that will be provided are a far cry form the hourly wage jobs provided by the “call centers” that the city has become accustomed being announced.
The purchase deal also calls for $1 billion worth of production spent over 10 years which will have a dramatic effect on the City and State economies.
It is impressive that Albuquerque beat out other places such as New York and Los Angeles given the film industries dominant presence in both of those states.
The City and the State need to continue with efforts that will insure that our education institutions such as the New Mexico Community College continue to offer a trained work force.
Both the City and the State need to create more incentives to build and guarantee that the industry continues to prosper in New Mexico.
The film industry with the purchase of Albuquerque Studios by Netflix is clearly in the future of Albuquerque and the best hope at this point in diversifying our economy.
Albuquerque and New Mexico need to pursue with a vengeance the real growth industries like heath care, transportation and manufacturing, and the film industry to diversify our economy.
Public-private partnerships in the growth industries where ever possible should be encouraged and developed.
Special emphasis and support should be given to Albuquerque’s film industry which is developing, expanding and proving to be very successful in providing well-paying jobs.
For more on economic development and the growth industries see: