Baja Studios in Mexico seeks the spotlight with new production
A new film shot at Baja Studios in Mexico could help put the facility back on the filmmaking map since it hosted James Cameron’s Titanic, as well as Master and Commander. Little Boy is set in California and is the first feature in several years to shoot on location at the 35-acre studio.
Over the last few years Baja Studios has been haunted by the spectre of Mexico’s drug wars. It lies in Baja California near Tijuana on the US-Mexico border, which has had problems with cartel violence. Back in 2008 the studio was initially chosen for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, but the shoot was abruptly relocated to New Zealand when cartel violence spilled onto Rosarito Beach near the studio.
We have the people, we have the resources, we have the facilities and we have the supply chain. It’s one of the advantages of being so close to Hollywood.
Ricardo Alvarez, Pro Mex
Since 2008 the combination of the perceived security threat and more competitive filming incentives available elsewhere in the world have affected Baja’s international appeal. Hosting Little Boy could help attract more projects, as could the availability of a skilled crew base at reduced costs.
Ricardo Alvarez is Head of Innovation at Pro Mex, the Government Agency that promotes Mexico’s film industry, and spoke to the LA Times: “We have the people, we have the resources, we have the facilities and we have the supply chain. It’s one of the advantages of being so close to Hollywood. Lots of our talent has experience working in Hollywood productions. That is really helpful. It allows you to solidify your credentials.”
Baja Studios will need to tackle Mexico’s wider PR problem to achieve more success. Crime in Baja California has fallen since 2008 but drug cartel violence still dominates international news coverage of Mexico.
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