In addition to Netflix recently naming Albuquerque its U.S. production hub, the city was also cited by the trade magazine MovieMaker as its No. 1 big city to live and work in as a filmmaker. And, the state film office reported last year that New Mexico is now the largest base for movie crew technicians between the coasts. In response to this expanding local industry, the University of New Mexico has announced big changes to its Department of Film and Digital Arts.
"What I would like to see, and what alot of students would like to see," says Department Chair Dr. James Stone, "is more individuals making it into what we call 'above the line' positions -- writers, directors, and producers. This is a big emphasis from the governor's office as well. We don't just produce the crews -- we love to be part of the crew, but we also want to be part of the creative leadership."
In this extended version of the interview, Dr. Stone speaks in greater detail about upcoming changes in the department and also about the department's teaching staff, which draws heavily from the ranks of professional filmmakers now living in New Mexico.