California-based 828 Productions has chosen Las Cruces, New Mexico for its headquarters with plans in motion to open a major film production studio in the near future.
The company plans to invest $75m to construct a 300,000 square foot studio and 20-acre back lot, confirmed New Mexico governor Lujan Grisham.
828 Productions began ramping up its production efforts in May, filling key positions and purchasing a 7,500-sq. ft. office building in downtown Las Cruces for training, post-production, and visual effects work.
The State of New Mexico will pledge $3m to the development from the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) job creation fund to meet its full-time employment target of 100 roles minimum.
Pending approval, the City of Las Cruces will inject an additional $897,000 in local LEDA through capital appropriations, with a further $2.8m set aside by the Las Cruces City Council for cinema infrastructure.
828 has confirmed an additional 35 acres of land in downtown Las Cruces, with existing structures that will provide soundstage and set construction space.
“New Mexico is seeing a record number of productions from the film and television industry and all-time high spending, and it’s no accident,” said Grisham. “Not only are we are investing in studios like 828 Productions, we are expanding industry workforce training with a new film school in Albuquerque and Las Cruces – and it is paying off. We’re extremely excited to welcome 828 Productions to Las Cruces, as well as the high-paying, local jobs and industry growth it will bring to the entire state.”
Alongside existing studio giants Netflix and NBCUniversal, 828 Productions will become the state’s third film partner, bolstered by revisions made in 2019 to the New Mexico film tax credits to catalyse permanent investments.
The city is also included in New Mexico’s ‘uplift’ film incentive area, providing film productions an extra 5% film rebate for filming there, for a total potential incentive of 35%. The incentive resulted in a 650% increase in direct spending in rural areas of the state in 2021.
828 Productions’ recent credits include: K. Asher Levin’s dark millennial comedy Helen’s Dead, Robert Rippberger’s haunted house thriller Those Who Walk Away, Deauville Film Festival Grand Special Prize Nominee The Last Son, Camille Delmarre’s action film Assassin Club, and SXSW Grand Jury Prize winner The Fallout.
“We were looking for a home for 828 Studios and fell in love with Las Cruces,” Todd Lundbohm, founder and CEO of 828 Productions, said. “This is a town on the rise, with a wealth of opportunity just waiting to be tapped into.”
The Californian outfit plans to shoot its first production in the new studio before the end of 2022 and spend $350m on productions over the next decade.