New Mexico in the American south-west offers distinctive desert landscapes that have been used recently to striking effect in films such as No Country for Old Men, Terminator: Salvation and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
A 25% tax rebate and the rugged terrain convinced big-budget action drama The Book of Eli to shoot in locations such as Albuquerque, Alamogordo, Conchiti Pueblo and the town of Carrizozo, which has around 1,000 residents.
The film stars Denzel Washington as a man wandering across a post-apocalyptic America as the guardian of a book that could save mankind.
Dirk Norris, Carrizozo’s liaison to the State Film Office, said: “We did not charge any fees for shooting in Carrizozo and the mayor has said that we will think about permits when we start getting ten movies a year.”
Romantic drama Mad Love and family comedy The Outfitters both shot in the town in recent years, suggesting it’s suitable for a range of genres.
Mr Norris added: “I think you could make Carrizozo look like anything.”
Michael Dellheim, location manager for The Book of Eli, explained that a block in the town underwent extensive refurbishment for the shoot.
He said: “[The town was] already somewhat run down [and] an existing bypass allowed us to close the main street for nearly two months to allow for extensive construction, set dressing and restoration.”