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Las Vegas Landscape Lush For Local Filmmakers

Photography by Lucky Wenzel

Las Vegas has been a popular destination for some big box office movies: "Leaving Las Vegas," "Vegas Vacation," "The Hangover" … the list goes on. 

But Las Vegas is attractive for local and small filmmakers as well.

Especially for May May Luong, a native of Las Vegas who had moved away, moved back, took up theater at UNLV and was just named 
Nevada Woman Filmmaker of the Year at the Nevada Women’s Film Festival.

“Las Vegas is also a place that I really love. It’s my home,” Luong said.

Luong said she doesn't want to move to Hollywood to become a producer because she loves making films about Las Vegas and she has found a community of filmmakers in Southern Nevada.

“The filmmaking community here in Las Vegas is really strong. We bond together. We work together,” she said.

She does acknowledge that making a film in Las Vegas is not as easy as it would be in Los Angeles.  

“I think some of the challenges Las Vegas has is that we’re not quite known yet as a big filmmaking hub," she said.

Luong said there some big films that come into town but they often don't use the talented people already here instead they bring in crew members from Southern California. She would like to see more productions hire people living in Southern Nevada.

Most people know what a director on a film does and what the writer does, but a producer usually has many roles on a film. Luong told KNPR's State of Nevada that the flexibility is what drew her to the career.

“I think producing gives you a way to access more parts of your brain,” she said. Producing allows Luong to be both organized and creative.  

“I like to look at a lot of the details. I like to have a lot of lists and check them off 1, 2, 3,” she said.

Her next creative project will be on a script for a feature-length film she is writing herself. 

Luong was recently featuredin Desert Companion Magazine. 

May May Luong, film producer 

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Prior to taking on the role of Broadcast Operations Manager in January 2021, Rachel was the senior producer of KNPR's State of Nevada program for 6 years. She helped compile newscasts and provided coverage for and about the people of Southern Nevada, as well as major events such as the October 1 shooting on the Las Vegas strip, protests of racial injustice, elections and more. Rachel graduated with a bachelor's degree of journalism and mass communications from New Mexico State University.