Mar 212012
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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wide Awake on Set

March 21, 2012 – Filmmaking in Southern New Mexico is alive and well. Or, to misquote Mark Twain, “the reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated.” Despite continued funding cuts and a questionable future for Hollywood involvement, the filmmakers and students of Las Cruces continue doing what they love best: making movies. On Saturday, March 31st, the citizens of Las Cruces will get a rare first-hand look at the process of filmmaking, as well as the final product of that process, when students of CMI set up shop to film a scene from the short film, The Harp, in La Placita while just a few steps away, at the Rio Grande Theatre, local production house Wide Awake Productions will give a free premiere of their latest effort, Quimera. The premiere will be presented at 6:45pm and 8pm with light refreshments being served before and between screenings. Both screenings are free and open to the public.

Born of director Aron Hethcox’s love of 80s horror movies and creature effects and partner Marcela Salmon’s love of storytelling and character dynamics, Quimera is a thrilling, locally-produced short film from Wide Awake Productions that will make its world premiere at the Rio Grande Theatre before hitting the film festival circuit. In Quimera, a dysfunctional team of mercenaries takes on a mission to capture a creature that may or may not be real. Secrets are revealed, chaos ensues and soon they find themselves fighting for their lives. Made up entirely of local filmmakers, the cast and crew of Quimera included students of the Creative Media Technology program at Dona Ana Community College and the Creative Media Institute at NMSU. The film was shot on location at Lorenzo’s de Mesilla, Corralitos Ranch, NMSU’s Fabian Garcia Experimental Forest and on the set at PRC Productions studios.

“We could not have done this without an amazing cast and crew,” says Quimera producer Marcela Salmon. “You know you’re doing what you love when you’re excited to work with the same crazy group of people every day, regardless of the insanely long hours and uncooperative weather. We are so in love with this community of Las Cruces. We’ve worked hard to produce a film worthy of our town and our people and we hope everyone is proud of what we’ve done.”

The Harp is a student film co-written by CMI student filmmakers Sam Pool and Jake Bonner and directed by Pool. A gripping story about a homeless man’s search for happiness on the final day of his life, it features George Robert Snead, an independent actor from South Carolina, currently residing in El Paso. On the evening of the Quimera premiere at the Rio Grande Theatre, Pool’s film crew will be set up at La Placita, just north of La Iguana Restaurant, to film the final scenes of The Harp.

“I strongly believe in the future of filmmaking in Southern New Mexico,” says Rio Grande Theatre manager and Film Las Cruces moderator, David Salcido. “Opportunities like this don’t present themselves very often, so I’m hoping that the public comes out to watch the Quimera premiere, then sticks around to see the CMI students at work. It’s a great way to see the dynamics of this fascinating medium at work right here in our own back yard. And best of all, it’s FREE!”

The Rio Grande Theatre is located at 211 N. Downtown Mall, in Las Cruces. Film Las Cruces is a monthly forum taking place on the second Wednesday of every month. For more information visit or call (575) 523-6403. To find out more about Film Las Cruces, visit For more on Wide Awake Productions, visit

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