By Tony Parra
Hollywood has its eye on Portales again.
Mayor Orlando Ortega said he toured the city on Friday with film scouts for a $70 million drama called “Every Word is True.”
The movie is based on Truman Capote’s experiences researching his book, “In Cold Blood,” which tells the story of murder in Kansas and two men who were hung for their crimes.
The movie is slated to star Sandra Bullock, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Kline and Ashley Judd.
If “Every Word is True” chooses Portales for filming, it will mark the city’s second encounter with the film industry this fall. “Believe in Me,” whose stars included Bruce Dern, completed its filming earlier this month with eastern New Mexico as its primary location. That movie, which could be released next year, is about an inspired Oklahoma girls basketball team.
Ortega said members of the “Every Word is True” film crew visited several buildings in Portales’ downtown area. He said Director Doug McGrath and associates took a look at the Roosevelt County Courthouse, The Roosevelt Restaurant and Traveler’s Inn in addition to other potential locations.
Community Development Director Kim Huffman helped take McGrath on a tour of the downtown area.
“It’s a great opportunity for the community,” Ortega said. “There is a lot of benefit to the community. People will spend their money here, they (film casting agents) may use extras from the community.”
Ortega said the filmmakers especially liked the look of The Roosevelt Restaurant and the Roosevelt County Courthouse.
J.B. Smith, the New Mexico Film Office Location Coordinator, said the movie’s producers have also scouted Clayton, Clovis and Albuquerque for possible locations.
“They really loved the grain elevators (at Garvey Processing),” Smith said. “They loved the look of Portales and Clovis to double for Kansas. The (financial) incentive program and support from former Gov. Gary Johnson and current Gov. Bill Richardson, along with support from the Legislature, are big reasons why there is an interest from Hollywood.”
Smith said eastern New Mexico is an ideal filming location for much of the movie, but the script calls for some scenes that may need to be filmed in New York City.
Smith said production for “Every Word is True” is scheduled to begin sometime in January.