Producer Lauren Cribb and writer and director Brent Craft, both of production company Cropp Productions, came to the college to look at prospective locations for a production slated for late 2017.

"This will be my second feature film (the first was ‘Lady-Like’). It's an offbeat family comedy, and I guess the basic premise is a father is in sort of a financial crisis, and he hits the road with his brother to try and raise funds to save his family," said Craft.

ENMU was selected because it feels both distinct and representative of universities across the country, according to Craft.

"I think it has a really nice aesthetic that we're looking for. It has a traditional sort of touch to it, but I also think it has an artistic touch. The movie will probably be quirkier than some of the campus scenes, but I think the artistic sort of touch that this campus has - some exteriors, and even the typography on the buildings - I think sort of fit with the world of our movie," he said.

In addition to ENMU's picturesque campus, Cribb was struck by the welcoming nature of Portales, which she said could make filming much easier.

"I've been in the film industry for the last seven years, so I've had a lot of opportunities to be in different small towns shooting and things like that, and the one thing I noticed about Portales is that everybody's really nice, and I really like that," she said. "As a producer, you always look at the ease of things, because you want your actors to feel comfortable and your crew to feel comfortable."

Two members of the university's filmmaking faculty were present on the tour, and saw the prospect of a production on their campus as a major boon to the communities of ENMU and Portales.

Aside from the funds brought into a community, Assistant Professor of Digital Filmmaking Jonathan Barr listed practical experience for his students as a major reason the production would be beneficial.

"It's good, specifically for our film students who are aspiring to work in the profession, to get them experience, and that's something that you can't assign a monetary value to because it's invaluable to their careers," he said.

The potential opportunity for a film on campus, in addition to past productions in Portales ("Believe in Me" in 2005 and "Hell or High Water" in 2015), made Theatre and Digital Filmmaking Department Chair Neil Rutland feel eastern New Mexico was finally receiving recognition in the film world.

"Between what we have to offer as a community in terms of locations and services, and the programs we have here that can offer them production assistant work and stand-ins, it's an exciting thing, just because it puts us in the middle of things, where we're used to feeling on the outside," said Rutland.