CNM Student Plans to Pitch Show to Netflix
Riley Del Rey

CNM Student Plans to Pitch Show to Netflix

Riley Del Rey and her classmates recently shot the pilot for a sci-fi western they hope gets picked up by the studio
January 06, 2020

If CNM graduate Riley Del Rey has her way, Netflix subscribers across the country will be watching a show she wrote and produced sometime in the next couple of years.

The show is called “Thought I Lost You,” and it’s about a bounty hunter tracking a fugitive cowboy through space and time. The pilot was shot at CNM in the Advanced Technology Center in December, and Riley, who just graduated from the Film Technician program, plans to spend the coming months working on the edit, then pitching.

“I couldn’t be happier with what we shot,” she says.

Riley knows that getting a show picked up by Netflix is a tall order but she’s not afraid to try. She worked for months to secure funding for the shoot and ensure the production quality was high enough for network standards. She stars as the bounty hunter and wrote the fugitive cowboy part for Clint Obenchain, a well-known local actor who has lots of Hollywood experience.

“It’s rare for a student production to be able to work with someone like Clint, but he jumped at the opportunity,” she says.

Riley and Clint in a scene from “Thought I Lost You”

In addition to the two lead actors, Riley says there were about 35 additional people involved in the shoot. CNM student Doug Rivenbark directed the film, and Nick Kasparian, also a CNM student, was the director of photography. Other CNM students filled in as background actors and helped with everything from the props to makeup.

Riley also got plenty of community support. The Prop House, which usually works with big Hollywood productions throughout the state, donated many of the costumes the actors wore. Friends and family helped Riley raise the money she needed to pay for things like Clint’s acting fee, and she’s currently talking to a professional film editor and sound designer about them volunteering part of their time to help her finish the pilot.  

“I wouldn’t have worked this hard and have gone to such great lengths to work with the right people if I wasn’t completely satisfied with how everything turned out and didn’t truly believe the project was Hollywood quality,” she says.  

Shooting “Thought I Lost You” back in December at the Advanced Technology Center  

If Riley can get the show picked up by Netflix, or maybe some other studio, she hopes to keep as much of the production in New Mexico as possible. Born and raised in Lovington and now an Albuquerque resident, Riley says she wants to create opportunities for New Mexicans to train and get experience right here at home so they don’t have to move away to Los Angeles or New York.

“Usually people have to leave their homes to get training but I want them to stay here so they can enrich the place they come from,” she says. “I want us to be able to stay at home and tell our own stories the way we want to.”

Episode two is already written and Riley hopes to shoot it this March or April. She also plans to have a local release of the pilot here in Albuquerque on June 6.

“I feel like I’ve proven to myself that I can create high-quality work and fulfill the creative side of me that I’ve always wanted to explore,” Riley says. “This feels like a great place to start the new decade and I’m excited to see what comes next.”

On the set of “Thought I Lost You”