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Texas Film Commission hosts workshop for those interested in industry

El Pasoans interested in film were able to get a taste of what it’s like to work in the industry.

The Texas Film Commission hosted a two-day production assistant (PA) workshop at the Plaza Theater.

Leora Backer Mohr, the workshop’s instructor, said the role of a production assistant is crucial on set.

“One thing that the film commission is trying to do with these workshops is build up their PAs in a lot of the cities within Texas,” Mohr said. “I think that having a good crew base is a big part of bringing a production to your city.”

One of the disadvantages El Paso has in attracting big films is that it’s right next to New Mexico. A report from the New Mexico Film Commission states that in Fiscal Year 2017, over $500 million were spent directly into the state’s economy by the film industry.

Texas, on the other hand, has slashed its film incentive budget by nearly three-quarters since 2015.

“There are still some productions that still choose Texas, and they choose Texas for a number of reasons. One of the best reasons to go to a different location is because of the available labor and the talent of the crew,” said Drew Mayer-Oakes, with the El Paso Film Commission.

Those who participated in the workshop were certified by the Texas Film Commission.

“My ultimate goal is to go into editing for big films, but I think this is a great way to get into that,” UTEP film student Priscilla Almanza said. “I’m just really glad the Texas Film Commission is bringing projects like this and opening doors for people like us who want to get into the business.”

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