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Palm Springs, Calif., July 17, 2015

With three dogs in tow, Kristen Wiig walks along a lonely and windy desert road with twirling windmills and burly mountains in the background.

Laying half-naked with a toy Chihuahua on her back, Sofia Vergara poses in a pristine backyard with the San Jacinto Mountains and palm trees behind her.

Inside the perfectly manicured walls of a huge chain resort, “Saturday Night Live” alum Andy Samberg and “Game of Thrones” hunk Kit Harington play tennis on grass courts, sweating under the searing summer sun.

And at the edge of a bedroom community where city life gives way to desert and farmland, Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj shimmy and shake under a green city limits sign tucked between railroad trucks and a clunky industrial factory.

All these scenes filmed and photographed in locations across the Coachella Valley are part of the quiet but slowly growing industry that over the years has helped spark interest in the area as a tourism destination and production location.

An exhaustive Desert Sun review of film permit applications across the valley since 2010 shows that production companies, big and small, head to the Coachella Valley resorts, mid-century modern homes, streets and landmarks as backdrops for fashion shoots, commercials, television and feature films.

“We are Hollywood’s backlot,” said Sheri Davis, director of the Greater Palm Springs Film Office, and former director of the Inland Empire Film Commission. It’s her job to work with location scouts to promote all types of filming in the desert and provide… Read full story

Read the whole story:

The Desert Sun


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