Written by on Sep 25, 2014. Posted in On Location

Filming for new TV drama Stanistan to double New Mexico for Middle East

New TV drama Stanistan will film on location in New Mexico and will use the south-western US state as a stand-in for the fictional Middle Eastern country. Mark Wahlberg previously doubled the mountains of New Mexico for Afghanistan in the true-life war drama Lone Survivor.

Stanistan will follow the exploits of American staff in a remote US Embassy in a politically troubled region not unlike Afghanistan. New Mexico filming will run through to mid-October, involving local crew and hundreds of extras.

New Mexico is a popular filming location in the US. Producers can access striking desert visuals and a generous filming incentive programme that rose to 30% for TV production following the international success of crime drama Breaking Bad.

The state is an obvious and cost-effective double for Middle Eastern locations, as Mark Wahlberg and filmmaker Peter Berg demonstrated with Lone Survivor. Albuquerque became the back-up filming location this summer for the Jerusalem-set TV drama Dig when the show relocated from Israel following renewed violence in the region.

New Mexico’s production community will gather in Albuquerque in the first week of October for a Film & Media Education Summit, where the future of the state’s film industry will be discussed.

The state faced the prospect this year of new competition from Nevada when the state launched a new filming incentive in January, but after less than 12 months the state has largely defunded its programme as its incentives priorities changed. Instead, New Mexico faces a much stiffer challenge from California, which is set to more than triple its annual film fund from next year and will expand its incentive support to big-budget features and TV dramas.

(Lone Survivor images: Greg Peters/Universal Pictures)


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