January 2019 - The New Keyes in the Castle: Meet Alicia J. Keyes
Albuquerque is experiencing a rebirth. The election of Mayor Tim Keller has the City feeling hopeful of real change for this town, revitalizing Albuquerque and highlighting the many events and productions that are happening in this town. One of the additions to the Albuquerque team is Alicia Keyes (no relation). Keyes comes from a television and film background that can only benefit the city, state, and filmmakers. We had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Keyes about her goals with the film office, what she loves about Albuquerque, and what New Mexico means to her.
Was it the job or the mountains that brought you to New Mexico?
It was the mountains, my family and the people. This is my home and I have a strong support system that I wanted my children to grow up embraced by this community.
You had a major hand in bringing Netflix to Albuquerque. How did it happen?
I just called Netflix and asked the right question at the right time. Jason Hariton is an old friend. I was talking to him about possibly getting a flight between Burbank and Albuquerque. Then I asked him if he had thought of buying ABQ Studios. They had looked at it in the past, but the key was to put together City and State support.
Let take a step back to the childhood dreams of one Alicia Keyes. What did you want to be when you grew up?
A Solid Gold Dancer – seriously - and a Veterinarian.
You have created your own works. How would you describe your process?
My writing and producing are driven by a need to examine the human experience. But mostly, I work through my own emotional issues, fears, and feelings through the characters.
What do you love about Albuquerque?
The Bosque – I walk my dogs along the river every morning. The Bike Path – I recently fixed up my parent’s 30-year-old Huffy Cruiser Bikes – I love going out just before sunset. The People – in LA everyone seems to be in the biz, here I have a real mix of friends that are passionate about life, politics, and our community.
You are part of a very positive, community-driven team with this administration. How does that help in the day-to-day process of running this department?
It sounds Pollyanna, but I love going to work. Mayor Keller has brought in some amazing, "out of the box" directors who constantly ask, "How can we do this better?" That’s refreshing. I inherited a wonderful staff at the Film Office, who work hard and laugh a lot. It’s super fun.
What do you feel is your number one goal as Film Liaison of this office?
To Build Albuquerque into a Major Production Hub
What does the Albuquerque Film Office have to offer the filmmaker new on the scene?
We provide all your film permits for Albuquerque and host screenings, support festivals and provide educational opportunities (subscribe to IndieQ & follow us on Facebook & Twitter)
What are some of the upcoming projects you have your hands on for the City?
Finding a direct flight to Burbank and continuing to create Businesses Development for our Industry.
What would the public be surprised to learn about what the Albuquerque Film Office has to offer?
We start working with baby-filmmakers from day one! We want you to come to visit us and get to know us – as we’ll be together for years. Come early and often!