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Maryland screenwriter wins; so does New Mexico

Alexander Major, an attorney and U.S. Air Force reservist from Severna Park, has won one of six slots in the 2010 Duke City Shootout, a screenwriting and filmmaking competition based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Shootout puts out a call for short film scripts that a half-dozen winners then get to film in one week in Albuquerque (July 23-30), with cast and crew provided by the competition. Major had two scripts reach the top 12, but his winner was "Random Natural Occurrence," a comedy set in Purgatory's "Life-Traffic Control" center. It already has an advertising tag: "Living ain't easy and dying ain't hard...but managing both can be murder." Sounds as if Major might have drawn on his experience as an intelligence crisis manager at the Pentagon. According to a press release, he was there on September 11, 2001, providing intelligence to the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Taliban disposition and force movements.

The Duke City Shootout unfolds against the backdrop of a surge in New Mexico filmmaking. Thanks to an aggressive film-production rebate and loan program in place since 2002, the state has attracted TV and big-screen attractions such as "Breaking Bad" and "Thor." When was the last time Maryland could boast about an influx of film and TV production?

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