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New Mexico filming breaks spending record

New Mexico’s popularity as a filming location has helped set a new spending record for the south-west US state over the past year.

Nearly $290m has been spent on filming projects in the state so far in the 2015 financial year, according to the New Mexico Film Office. Twenty-five major productions filmed locally and shooting budgets soared by more than 70%.

New Mexico is clearly a top-notch location for film and television production,” said Nick Maniatis, director of the New Mexico Film Office. “We’re pleased to see that our film industry partners continue to help grow and diversify our economy. We’re looking forward to continuing to support and work with them to showcase what New Mexico has to offer.”

A generous filming incentive programme has helped turn New Mexico into the most popular part of the US for desert locations, and a handy double for Afghanistan-set war dramas. Features shooting in New Mexico can get a 25% tax credit, a figure that rises to 30% for TV shoots.

High-profile recent features have included the alien invasion sequel Independence Day Resurgence and a remake of classic western The Magnificent Seven. Breaking Bad prequel series Better Call Saul (pictured) has started filming a second season from its Albuquerque base.

Last month, Santa Fe Studios announced plans to expand its sound stage facilities, a move which could help New Mexico compete with Los Angeles.

California and New Mexico are competitive once again, after the west coast state boosted its filming tax credit support. Together, they are the only parts of the US to offer desert locales at a reasonable cost for filmmakers.

For more on filming in New Mexico, check our production guide.