New Mex­ico’s Film Crew Ad­vance­ment Pro­gram pro­vides money that helps with crew train­ing


Take a jour­ney with a crew mem­ber in­volved with the New Mex­ico Film Ad­vance­ment Pro­gram.

Jeremy Wilcox did not ex­pect to end up as a key ac­coun­tant for NBC.

But his in­volve­ment in one of New Mex­ico’s in­cen­tives for film pro­duc­tions to lo­cate in the state, the Film Crew Ad­vance­ment Pro­gram, helped open doors that led to his em­ploy­ment with one of the top U.S. tele­vi­sion net­works.

The state-fi­nanced FCAP pro­gram trains crews on the job and en­cour­ages their ad­vance­ment in the in­dus­try.

Wilcox grew up in Santa Fe and at­tended Santa Fe High School. He earned his bach­e­lor of fine arts in film pro­duc­tion at the Univer­sity of Bri­tish Columbia in Van­cou­ver, Canada. But, he was drawn back to Santa Fe to be with fam­ily.

His ap­pli­ca­tion for a job at the state’s film pro­duc­tion of­fice didn’t work out, but his ré­sumé was passed on to the agency’s ac­count­ing of­fice. And, for Wilcox, the story be­gins there.

Wilcox be­came a par­tic­i­pant in FCAP, or as he says, he was “FCAPed.”

In FCAP, ac­cord­ing to the New Mex­ico Film Of­fice web­site, a pro­duc­tion com­pany is re­im­bursed by the state for 50 per­cent of a par­tic­i­pant’s wages up to 1,040 hours of work in a spe­cial­ized craft po­si­tion. This on-the-job train­ing pro­gram is in ad­di­tion to the 25 per­cent film pro­duc­tion tax re­bate avail­able to pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies.

Im­ple­mented in 2004, this on-the-job train­ing pro­gram fo­cuses on New Mex­ico residents work­ing in pri­mar­ily tech­ni­cal in­dus­try po­si­tions, ac­cord­ing to Ben Cloutier, direc­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions for the New Mex­ico Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Depart­ment, New Mex­ico Tax­a­tion & Rev­enue Depart­ment. This pro­gram serves

as an in­cen­tive for par­tic­i­pat­ing com­pa­nies to pro­vide more job op­por­tu­ni­ties to New Mex­i­cans.

Com­pa­nies are ap­proved by the Chair of the Job Train­ing In­cen­tive Pro­gram Board.

Since the 2004 fis­cal year through the 2018 fis­cal year, 214 com­pa­nies have par­tic­i­pated with 2,277 New Mex­ico trainees.

Dur­ing that pe­riod the state has is­sued $13,069,880 in re­im­burse­ment and qual­i­fied par­tic­i­pants have earned $23,617,096 in wages.

Find­ing a job was im­por­tant to Wilcox at the time. His wife was preg­nant and needed health care, so he pushed to find a po­si­tion where he could join the In­ter­na­tional Al­liance of The­atri­cal Stage Em­ploy­ees Lo­cal 480 union that in­cluded ben­e­fits.

Wilcox be­gan his ca­reer in film as an ac­count­ing clerk on the film “Ap­paloosa” in 2007.

For his next job, he was hired as a sec­ond as­sis­tant ac­coun­tant, de­spite the po­si­tion re­quir­ing more “abil­ity” than he had. But be­ing FCAPed and hav­ing a ba­sic un­der­stand­ing of ac­count­ing got him the job.

“My next show was ‘Ter­mi­na­tor: Sal­va­tion,’” he said. “I don’t think I got FCAPed in that po­si­tion. I was an as­sis­tant con­struc­tion au­di­tor and solely dealt with the con­struc­tion of­fice, which man­aged the build­ing of the sets for ‘Ter­mi­na­tor: Sal­va­tion.’ ”

Af­ter “Ter­mi­na­tor,” FCAP kept op­por­tu­nity knock­ing at his door.

“I lucked out on my next job I was hired on,” he said. “It was a tele­vi­sion show called ‘Doc West,’ and they wanted me to do pro­duc­tion ac­count­ing and I didn’t have enough ex­pe­ri­ence. They knew they could FCAP me and the woman I was speak­ing to, Eileen Street, was very strong on the fi­nan­cial side. She took a chance and hired me. It was way beyond my un­der­stand­ing at that point in time. I made it through the pro­duc­tion of the show and learned a great deal.”

Wilcox work­ing with FCAP led him to a va­ri­ety of ex­pe­ri­ences on pro­duc­tions of all sizes.

“I worked as a con­struc­tion buyer on the film ‘The Book of Eli’ and I knew I was FCAPed,” Wilcox said. “The po­si­tion is more of a fo­cus on the ma­te­ri­als that are needed, as well as the cost, bud­get and the pay­roll within the con­struc­tion depart­ment. It turned out to be a re­ally good ex­pe­ri­ence to move back down in po­si­tion and do con­struc­tion buy­ing, which in it­self is a minia­ture pro­duc­tion.”

Wilcox moved into some ma­jor pro­duc­tions made in New Mex­ico.

He worked on the films “Cow­boys & Aliens” and “Tiger Eyes,” and he also got a job on the TV movie “Truth Be Told.”

“I think that was the sec­ond time I was FCAPed as an ac­coun­tant. It was a smaller show. I did some re­ally small mil­lion­dol­lar shows and I was the only per­son

in the ac­count­ing of­fice,” he said. “For be­ing FCAPed, I got all the ex­pe­ri­ence I could ever want. I had to es­sen­tially do every­body’s job.”

He said he got an­other “lucky break” when he was called to work on “The Lone Ranger.”

“I was hired as a first as­sis­tant ac­coun­tant, and that helped me move up in the scene in New Mex­ico and un­der­stand the nu­ances of the tax in­cen­tive and how they wanted ev­ery­thing han­dled,” he said. “I was in­volved in many dis­cus­sions be­tween Dis­ney and the New Mex­ico Film Of­fice. That ex­pe­ri­ence on my ré­sumé helped with my fu­ture jobs as an ac­coun­tant here in New Mex­ico.”

His streak con­tin­ued when he re­ceived a call from an ac­coun­tant that he had run into in New Mex­ico who had since be­come a fi­nance ex­ec­u­tive at NBC. He of­fered Wilcox the chance to be the key ac­coun­tant on the tele­vi­sion show “Mid­night, Texas.”

Wilcox has now been work­ing with NBC for two years.

He is now re­spon­si­ble for about 300 crew mem­bers ev­ery week and a cast that ranges from 15 to 20 peo­ple ev­ery episode. A large num­ber of ex­tras are needed, as well.

Wilcox over­sees the pay­roll, as well as pay­ments, which in­cludes rent­ing needed equip­ment and ser­vices for the pro­duc­tion.

He is re­spon­si­ble for the money side of all of it. His sig­na­ture must be on ev­ery doc­u­ment as­so­ci­ated with the pro­duc­tion. He checks for their le­git­i­macy and puts to­gether cost re­ports and bud­gets.

Ac­count­ing might not have been Wilcox’s first ca­reer choice, but it has turned out to be his call­ing.

Wilcox said, “It was a whirl­wind, I will say.”

And he cred­its the state pro­gram in­tended to help pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies lo­cate here as help­ing es­tab­lish him in the film and tele­vi­sion in­dus­try.

“(FCAP is) an as­set to em­ploy­ees that are brought up into a po­si­tion that they wouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily do and get train­ing, knowl­edge and a skill set that they can use not only in New Mex­ico, but all over the world,” he said.

New Mex­ico’s Film Crew Ad­vance­ment Pro­gram helped Jeremy Wilcox, at right, work his way up to key ac­coun­tant for NBC. Wilcox worked on “Ter­mi­na­tor: Sal­va­tion,” pic­tured above.


Den­zel Wash­ing­ton filmed “The Book of Eli” in 2009 en­tirely in New Mex­ico.


Gary Old­man, who plays Carnegie, in a scene from the NM-filmed “The Book of Eli.”

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