Archive for March 8th, 2009
A back and forth between Mike Rooney and Sito Negron, posted with Rooney’s permission.
In addition to media watcher Roy Ortega, the El Paso Times lost a graphic artist and reporter last week in corporate-mandated newsroom cuts.
The reporter was Leonard Martinez, who has been with the Times for about 10 years and most recently was part of the paper’s online team.
He declined to comment on the Times beyond a brief statement: “I’m going to look at all options. I’m pretty much considering everything, but hoping for the lottery.”
It’s been a bad few weeks for newspapers, even considering the long-term decline in print dailies.
The Rocky Mountain News printed its last edition Friday, March 27. [link]
Last week, employees at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram were told they were cutting the workforce by 12 percent, and cutting salaries for all who stayed. [link]
From CNN’s AC360, written by a former El Pasoan, photojournalist Gabe Ramirez:
Of course even then, Juarez had an edge. Besides the underage drinking, that edginess was part of the attraction to a teenager. But, if you weren’t careful, you could get into terrible trouble. My friends and I always stuck together. Girlfriends never strayed away even if they were pissed at you. The police kept a ruthless watch over us.
These days it’s just too dangerous for American teenage kids to hang out in Juarez. Compared to now, Juarez in the 1980s was innocent fun. By the mid 1990s the drug cartel wars were in full swing. [link]
According to film lore, or at least IMDB trivia lore, a desert landscape shot during the 2006 filming of “No Country for Old Men” in Marfa was interrupted by a smoke cloud seen in the distance. That cloud belonged to a pyrotechnics explosion from the neighboring production “There Will Be Blood.”
Although these films are very recent and prominent examples of productions in West Texas, New Mexico has been a magnet for mega-budget productions, such as “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and “Superman.” In fact, while part “No Country for Old Men” was filmed in Marfa, the bulk of it was filmed in New Mexico.
The El Paso City Council on Tuesday will consider a resolution — requested by the Texas Motion Picture Alliance — in support of two bills in the Texas Legislature (H.B. 873 and S.B. 605) that would support filming in Texas.
The bills offer grants for film or television productions that spend at least $250,000 in the state or commercial production that spends at least $100,000 in-state. Also, at least 70 percent of the crew would have to be Texas residents, and at least 60 percent would be filmed in Texas, and is within the budget of the Music, Film, Television, and Multimedia Office in the Office of the Governor. If 25 percent of the production days take place in an “underused area” of Texas, they will get more incentives.