Rio Arriba County Officials Visit Movie Set in Truchas


RAC Fire Marshal Jerome Sanchez (right) with film producer Chris Donahue (left) on the set of Longmire in Truchas on July 16, 2013.

On July 16 Rio Arriba County (RAC) was home to a one-day film shoot for the hit A&E television series Longmire, starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Robert Taylor. The series is based on Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire (Taylor), who returns to his work duties after the death of his wife to solve major crimes, while preparing to run for re-election. Rio Arriba County officials were on set front and center in Truchas, where Longmire producer, Chris Donahue was kind enough to grant an interview and introduction to actors and crew.

According to Donahue, this is the first time the show has been filmed within the county. Fires have prevented filming in Pecos, which serves as the show’s primary shooting location. “It’s good to be in this county,” said Donahue. “We were able to find this location by scouting. It’s beautiful.”

Not only do shoots bring out big names to Rio Arriba, but the local economy is also financially stimulated. According to Donahue, about 80 percent of crewmembers are from New Mexico. Food costs, land rental for sets, permitting and licensing fees, solid waste disposal, lodging, security and travel are also expenses that benefit the state financially every time something is filmed locally.

Rio Arriba has seen big films pass through such as A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014), Cowboys & Aliens (2011), The Lone Ranger (2013) and Bless Me Ultima (2013): all of which have helped boost the economy, promote tourism and attract more film makers. Local film directors Mateo Frazier and Diego Joaquín López released the compelling film this year, Blaze You Out, which was produced in the county and no doubt contributed by featuring local actors, shoot locations and using needed, local resources. The film was recently acquired by California-based film and television distribution company, Lionsgate’s Grindstone Entertainment.

“It’s great to see projects like this making their way out here,” said RAC Public Information Officer, Erika Martinez. “Not only does our beautiful county get showcased and our economy benefits, but outsiders get to experience the warmth, talent and culture of our people.”

The RAC Planning and Zoning Office permits and oversees private lands within the county for filming.  Films in the City of Espanola, Village of Chama, or on federal, tribal and state lands are monitored through those respective jurisdictions. To access the County’s film permit, please visit and click on “planning and zoning” under “departments.”   

-Erika L. Martinez, July 2013