EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – There have been a number of new film productions in El Paso recently and the local film industry is hoping to keep film crews coming to the Sun City.
“I feel like now is the time for all of us to kind of really come together and show, LA, New York, the world, what we can do here in El Paso,” said Carlos Corral.
Corral, a native El Paso filmmaker and Founder of El Paso Film Festival, shoots most of his movies in El Paso including a comedy set to be released in September.
“The entire crew was from El Paso and cast members as well,” said Corral.
Drew Mayer-Oakes, Film Commissioner at Destination El Paso said in the past month, there have been two large film projects and four smaller ones.
“The production companies that are are working for companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Apple TV are on a backlog of their production and they are really desperate to find crew and locations that work for them,” said Mayer-Oakes. “Just the shear number of new productions that are happening because of the streaming phenomenon is going to continue to benefit our city. We want to capitalize on that for sure.”
Local film experts said El Paso needs to show off everything it has in order to keep these productions coming. However that’s not the only solution. They think film incentives in Texas need to increase.
“If you come and film in a specific state in a specific area and you hire local people like in El Paso or other parts of Texas, the state of Texas will give you an incentive they’ll give you usually like, you know 10% 15% rebate on how much money you spend here in the state,” said Corral.
New Mexico offers two to three times the incentives Texas offers.
“We lose a lot of productions to New Mexico which is right next door to us,” said Corral.
Mayer Oakes said film projects in El Paso are usually set on the Border or in the desert.