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A still from SFN's first trailer
Katie Teague / StormCloud Media

New Network to Launch in Santa Fe

They're rad as hell, and they're not gonna take this anymore

July 6, 2017, 5:00 pm

Santa Fe continues its never-ending quest to become a real-life city as members of the community—including business owners, media folk, creative types and the generally wealthy—have come together to form the Santa Fe Network (SFN), a non-profit internet-based digital video platform slated to launch on the evening of Tuesday July 11.

SFN aims to be a Netflix-like service featuring episodic and cinematic filmed content created in New Mexico, either by locals or not. Thus far, founding members include the likes of MacGyver creator Lee Zlotoff, creative agency 12FPS proprietor Adam Shaening-Pokrasso, filmmaker Michael Becker and many others. Strategic partners include the Santa Fe Opera, Meow Wolf, George RR Martin and even more “others.”

“We got together in this room and the question came up, ‘Has there ever been a place-based network?’” Shaening-Pokrasso, who serves as vice-president of the SFN board, tells SFR. “And the answer was, ‘No, not that I know of.’” Pokrasso points to cities like Los Angeles and New York as the widely accepted meccas of ideas and creativity, and says that even though Santa Fe and New Mexico at large have hosted strong below-the-line numbers (as in crew, caterers, etc.), the minds behind SFN believe there are also actors, writers and producers ready to burst forth from their numbers.

“The [New Mexico film tax] incentive is working for us, but it’s not really creating opportunities for people who’ve worked on set for years who … maybe have some great script in their closet,” Shaening-Pokrasso says. “So, we’re highlighting works from our connections in the community—SFN is a way to aggregate, collect and promote media made by and in the state of New Mexico.”

So what does this mean, and how will you be able to watch? For now, SFN will live at santafenetwork.tv (a site through which submissions from filmmakers or producers can also be made) and early plans include streaming already-existing content from its partners. “They’re going to promote the existing stuff first,” Shaening-Pokrasso explains, “but they’re going to create new content, whether it’s about lowriders or culture in Northern New Mexico or health and wellness; we can’t really generate revenue until we have eyeballs, and our partners have these their extended audiences. That’s a good baseline.”

For now, Shaening-Pokrasso says there is “high potential” of the city allocating funds to support the platform and that there's a meeting on the books with Economic Development scheduled for next week, but that the vast majority of expenses have been paid out-of-pocket from SFN’s founding members.

“We don’t have it all figured out yet, but what we do have figured out is that the pillars of our community, like the markets or the long-standing institutions that must have unbelievable archives, when we put those all in one place and create content around it, Santa Fe’s global brand is reinvented,” Shaening-Pokrasso continues. “Then it’s no longer just a tourism destination, but a place where maybe actors or filmmakers will move because it’s happening here in Santa Fe.”

For the future, SFN envisions a possible app for streaming through devices such as the Roku or gaming consoles, but Shaening-Pokrasso estimates about two years before the implications of such a network might realize their full potential. “There is every intention that filmmakers will at some point be making money,” he says, “and we don’t reject people because they shot on the ‘wrong’ camera—we see it as another asset to the community at large.”

SFN’s launch party goes down at 7 pm Tuesday July 11 at the Hotel Santa Fe (1501 Paseo de Peralta, 855-825-9876) and more details can be found here.

 

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