Beginning in October, 2019, Tom Hanks, the cast and crew of News of the World spent 53 days shooting in the high desert, forests and mountains surrounding Santa Fe. A billion dollar boost from the film industry has area economies enthusiastic about the future in New Mexico. Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and now after buying Albuquerque Studios Netflix is building an industry presence in the Land of Enchantment.
Intermittent closures of N.M. 16 during the filming of Chupa — a Netflix film about a boy who discovers a mythical creature living on his grandfather’s ranch — riled nearby residents who said the production kept them from accessing Interstate 25. “We don’t want to mess with the film; we just want to go out to town to get ice cream,” Donnamarie Jones said Monday, adding residents on Red Rock and Baja Waldo roads had been told to take an alternative route while on more serious business, such as going to work in Santa Fe, traveling to care for an elderly person in the East Mountains and catching a flight at the airport in Albuquerque. Larry Kurtz said Camino Cerro Chato, the only other way in and out of the area, is a rough road that would have routed residents of the remote community locals call [Baja Waldo] through Madrid — about an hour out of their way. Kurtz and Jones said filming in the area has resulted in temporary road closures in the area before but said they’d heard from neighbors — some who complained about the issue in a group email thread — that tribal officials stationed at checkpoints during the production seemed less amiable than in the past. The production is employing approximately 300 New Mexico crew members and 650 New Mexico background performers and extras, according to a film office news release. A chupacabra is a creature that appears in legends, primarily in the Americas. It is said to attack and drink the blood of animals. [Phaedra Haywood, 'Chupacabra'-related road closure riles area residents, link mine.]The New Mexico Department of Transportation maintains NM-16 only to the border with the Kewa Pueblo (Santo Domingo Reservation) but it's generally known as a state highway all the way to the Galisteo Dam which was built in 1970 after floodwaters wiped out part of the pueblo just above where the Rio Galisteo joins the Rio Grande.
When neighbor Kosta was killed an interested party met with state police, law enforcement from two counties, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and tribal police who all believe the Dam Road is a state highway through tribal lands but it's been under contention for decades. The US Army Corps of Engineers who built the dam has long abandoned responsibility for the road's maintenance and the US Bureau of Reclamation blocked access to a recreation area at the dam several years ago.
Because we rent our casita to Airbnb guests I've repeatedly offered to patch potholes but have always been rebuked by NMDOT and the Kewa Tribal Council.
The production company for Perpetual Grace, LTD starring Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley filmed scenes on the Kewa Pueblo's portion of the Galisteo Dam Road, the Cochiti Pueblo's portion of the Tetilla Peak Road and at the Bonanza Creek Ranch. The soundtrack includes work from The Dead South who performed at the Santa Fe Brewing Company in 2019.
Sam Peckinpah shot a bunch of scenes for the 1978 film Convoy out here, too. Our property was part of the old Peckinpah Ranch that was carved out of the Kewa Nation.
Dead for a Dollar, Stranger Things and Trigger Warning are all shooting at locations in New Mexico.
ip photo: a film crew is setting up for scene shoots last November on the Galisteo Dam Road under a gorgeous New Mexico morning sky. Click on it for a better look.
Quiet moment for your timeline. pic.twitter.com/LOihZX9uRS— Better Call Saul (@BetterCallSaul) September 16, 2021