Christopher Coppola Launches Film Training Program in New Mexico

Filmmaker Christopher Coppola new media studio EARSXXI has created a new training and film production program dubbed ‘Project Alternative Hollywood,’ or PAH-Flicks. PAH-Flicks will be a state-wide film production program providing training for New Mexicans to hone their skills on productions bound for distribution.

Christopher Coppola said ‘PAH-Flicks is ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§special-forces’s training, a kind of hands-on graduate program for film crew members in the state of New Mexico.’

The first project out of the PAH-Flicks program will be the Coppola directed Big Bad Voodoo Momma, which is currently in pre-production and is scheduled to start shooting in Grants, New Mexico this May. The film is a modern-day wrestling remake of the classic opera ‘Turandot.’

PAH-Flicks was created to enhance and expand New Mexico existing Film Technicians Training Program (FTTP), currently in four counties including Santa Fe Community College (Santa Fe County).Albuquerque (Bernalillo County), NMSU Las Cruces (Dona Ana County) and ENMU Roswell (Chaves County).

Coppola continued, ‘No one is doing what Roger Corman used to do in the 70. Film crews and actors who worked for Corman made between 5-9 low budget films a year, and were able to get tremendous experience. Our goal is to bring a similar process back to the people.’

PAH-Flicks enables less experienced crew members to gain intensive production training by working with seasoned professionals. The program aims to augment the current film programs by hiring FTTP graduates who will work on feature films, gaining valuable experience and potential days toward Union membership.

“The development of digital media in the state is essential to our growth and survival in this industry,’ stated Lisa Strout, Director of the New Mexico Film Office. ‘The PAH-Flicks model hires new film and media technicians on feature projects, giving them more hands-on experience particularly in the digital realm. Having continuous digital production in locations around the state creates a valuable training ground for the next generation of New Mexico’s filmmakers”.

Coppola is currently working closely with private investors as well as state and local governments to build five digital sounds stages, production, and post-production facilities in New Mexico under the PAH-Flicks initiative. These sound stages will be available to independent filmmakers, major studios, and production companies. Facilities are planned for each of the major counties: Bernalillo, Chaves, Dona Ana, Sandoval and Santa Fe. Construction on the sound stages is planned for the second half of 2006.

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