‘Game of Thrones’ Creator George R.R. Martin to Open His Very Own Movie Studio
About a decade ago, one of the hot new trends in the film industry was states writing tax credits into their statutes and regulations. The idea was that rather than making California and Vancouver double for every city in North America, Hollywood would be able to shoot on location at roughly the same cost and local business would benefit from access to studio productions. Of course, there is an obvious flaw with this plan: while studios might gain access to locations through tax credits, the local infrastructure they need — stages, technicians, union members — is often nowhere to be found. As recently as August 2016, Variety had declared this a dead experiment.
Then again, if one person knows anything about bringing things back from the dead, it’s George R.R. Martin. According to a recent piece in Rolling Stone (via Vulture), Martin has recently announced his intention to open Stagecoach Foundation, a not-for-profit film studio in his hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Mayor Javier Gonzales spoke with the Albuquerque Journal about the development, saying that Martin’s vision is “to make this facility accessible and affordable,” allowing both established filmmakers and up-and-coming artists to have a space for their films. Rolling Stone notes that Joel and Ethan Coen have already committed to using Stagecoach Foundation to shoot parts of their next film.
New Mexico may not be the first state that comes to mind when you think of the film industry, but it’s been home to plenty of major film and television productions. You can scroll through the complete list of film courtesy of the New Mexico Film Office, but it’s a list that includes recent blockbusters such as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Independence Day: Resurgence, and 2 Guns, as well as television shows such as Preacher, Breaking Bad, and Longmire. If Martin truly is committed to making New Mexico Hollywood’s home in the southwest, then providing filmmakers an affordable studio with access to industry professionals is a good way to start.
And that, my friends, is the only news article about George R.R. Martin you’ll read this week that doesn’t mention The Winds of Winter. Oh, crap.