By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor
Clovis has become the closest thing to a Hollywood on the High Plains.
Just weeks after producers of “Believe in Me” called it a wrap, Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce officials are recruiting a film with a new set of stars — more specifically Sandra Bullock, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd.
Crew members of the roughly $70 million production want to film the drama, about a writer’s relationship with two convicted murders, in New Mexico and are scheduled to arrive in Clovis today to scout the area for the second time, Chamber officials said.
“We’re trying to make Clovis a filming community,” said Ernie Kos, executive director at the Chamber. “Of course we’d like to get the entire movie filmed here, but if we can just get a portion of it we’d be ecstatic.”
Paltrow, Bullock, Judd, Kline and other big stars are expected to play lead roles in the movie, according to the Earth’s Biggest Movie Database Web site.
Kos said “Believe in Me” producers tipped Clovis officials off about the film and that it would likely be filmed in New Mexico.
The movie, titled “Every Word is True,” is based on Truman Capote’s experiences researching his book titled “In Cold Blood.” The non-fiction book’s plot centers around the murder of four family members in Holcom, Kan., in 1959, and two men who were hung for the crime six years later.
Crew members of the movie have been scouting the Albuquerque area the past two days, said Kos, who noted production of the movie is scheduled to begin in January.
The crew scouted the Clovis area about six months ago, but with two versions of the script they backed off for a bit, said Liz Eisenbraun, marketing director of the Chamber.
“Six months ago they were interested … then it was ‘it’s off, it’s off, it’s off,’ and all of a sudden it’s like ‘wham bam’ all of a sudden just two days ago it’s on and it’s full-steam ahead,” she said.
With a setting that resembles Kansas, Eisenbraun believes the Clovis area has a good chance to land at least a portion of the filming.
“If you look at where the original (book) was set in it very much duplicates that,” she said.
One of the reasons Hollywood has New Mexico on its radar, she said, is because Gov. Bill Richardson has offered incentives for producers to film here.
The incentives include gross receipts tax deductions and a 15-percent film production tax credit — a fully refundable credit of 15 percent of eligible direct production costs against the filmmaker’s New Mexico income tax, according to the New Mexico Film Office’s Web site.