By Mike Cook
Las Cruces Bulletin
LAS CRUCES – Two young filmmakers from Los Angeles were in southern New Mexico the week of May 20 shooting a short film called “Cruces” at several locations.
“The film is a short film about a struggling standup comedian, Bo, who returns to his hometown from Los Angeles for a show,” said the film’s co-writer and executive producer, Nat Frum. “Upon returning home, we follow Bo as he navigates through his estranged relationship with his father and new stepmother.”
Frum said he and co-writer and director Joe Warren came up with the concept, as they both have tried their hand, unsuccessfully, at standup comedy.
“In the process we became fascinated with the form – particularly with the struggle most comics endure for their entire careers,” he said. “It is a particularly unglamorous life, yet they do it because they love comedy deeply.”
He and Warren had wanted to shoot in Las Cruces for some time, Frum said.
“When we first moved to LA from the East Coast in 2016, Joe drove through Las Cruces. It is such a visually captivating place! Furthermore, the exciting New Mexico film scene enticed us to film something in the state. The Las Cruces film office was incredibly supportive and welcoming to us, which also played a huge part in deciding to film here.”
“Being at the crossroads of I-25 and I-10, Las Cruces is often seen by those passing through on their way to Los Angeles, said City of Las Cruces Film Liaison Jon Foley. “This is the second film in the last two years that has landed in Las Cruces after a producer happened to drive through. The Las Cruces Film Office is happy to extend our resources to projects of all scopes and sizes. We look forward to continually serving the film and entertainment arts industries in Doña Ana County whenever the opportunity arises.”
Cast and crew utilized NMSU’ Creative Media Institute film program, as well.
Locations used for “Cruces“ include the Butterfield Shooting Range and White Sands National Monument. “Those who have visited know there is no justification needed for wanting to shoot a film there,” Frum said of White Sands. “It is one of the most beautiful and haunting places I have seen in my life.”
The cast includes professional actors Stafford Douglas and Jay Huguley, along with Las Cruces actors Eric Brekke, George Loman and Santiago Garzon. Susie Ouderkirk of Las Cruces, who is doing production design, costumes and props for the film, said a former Las Cruces shelter dog, Rocco, is also in the cast.
The crew includes David Jean Schweitzer, SOC, as director of photography. Pepper Gallegos of Las Cruces is doing makeup.
Douglas is a native of Albuquerque. His television acting credits include “In Plain Sight,” “Better Call Saul,” “Longmire,” “The Night Shift,” “Criminal Minds,” a recurring role in “Manhattan” on WGN and as Billy the Kid in American Heroes Channel’s “Gunslingers.” His movie credits include “Independence Day: Resurgence,” “Gold,” “The Space Between Us,” “Hostiles” and “The Kid.”
Huguley played David on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and Jimmy Ledoux on HBO’s “True Detective.” He played Will Branson in the HBO series “Treme,” Whit Peyton on ABC’s “Brothers and Sisters” and recurring characters on ABC Family’s “Ravenswood.” Huguley’s film credits include “Sunny in the Dark,” “Abattoir” and “12 Years a Slave.”
Mike Cook may be contacted at email@example.com.