With its rose-colored stretches of desert and broad, rocky mesas, the state of New Mexico seems an ideal place to capture the spirit of the American Southwest. From Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to Brokeback Mountain, New Mexico has appeared on screen as the home of that zll-American male archetype: The cowboy. With its long history of Native American, Spanish and American settlers, the state’s intermixing of cultures has made it a perfect locale for moviemakers looking to capture the unique history of this area of the United States. Since 1898, more than 700 films have been shot within New Mexico’s borders.

Only recently, however, has the state started moving toward becoming amenable to moviemakers looking to base their whole productions in the area. To this end, the New Mexico-based Rio Grande Studios has teamed up with British production company Turn of the Century Productions to work on an upcoming film, the action-adventure flick Judgement Day. The first feature to be produced from pre- through post-production entirely in the “Land of Enchantment,” Judgement Day will be directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak (Doom, Cradle 2 the Grave).

For information on shooting in New Mexico, visit www.nmfilm.com.

You can also catch NM’s desert plains in:
Independence Day
Every Which Way But Loose
Natural Born Killers

Sound Off: Do you think it helps the independent film industry to have more films produced outside of Los Angeles and New York? Do you prefer to work outside of one of these bigger cities if you can complete pre- through post-production somewhere else? Weigh in by posting in the comments section!

–Jennifer Straus