I'm happy to announce the release of the Fourth Edition of "A Guidebook To 'Breaking Bad' Filming Locations: Albuquerque as Physical Setting and Indispensable Character." The Fourth Edition updates filming locations in the genre of Vince Gilligan's Albuquerque-based television shows, through mid-year 2017. Vince Gilligan's Albuquerque closely-resembles the real Albuquerque, but in fact it's an artistic creation - a remapping, a kind of projection or hologram, that endlessly fascinates. Understanding the Albuquerque hologram requires an understanding of the real city - this book can help - but that's only the beginning of the process. There are deeper processes and ambitions at work - and this book can help that understanding too. This 'Guidebook' provides a systematic approach to visiting Albuquerque-area filming locations. Sites are presented by neighborhood and in circuits that exploit their order and proximity for efficient personal tours. Personal reminisces and anecdotes are interspersed with historical information regarding Albuquerque and its complicated interactions with the television series, particularly the influence of Southwestern Native American history (e.g., Chaco Canyon, the impact of Spanish Conquistadors, the Great Walk, and the enduring heritage of the Pueblos). Also new to the Fourth Edition of the 'Guidebook' is an extended discussion of the use of Albuquerque's architecture. Through visual style, sets and architecture convey a common vision and tone, but the creative teams are far more ambitious than that. The architecture itself is telling plot-supporting stories and influencing the filming-location-selection process. It is possible to "read" the background of scenes and catch subtle revelations, even years in advance of the plot. Puzzling location-selection decisions can finally be understood. One such story is a cautionary tale about the excesses and corruptions of modern life, as refracted through the history of the City of Chicago, particularly its "Century of Progress." In their different ways, both Walter White and Saul Goodman are perfect children of Chicago's "Century of Progress." As it happens, Albuquerque received many of its architectural features straight from Chicago, so the city can serve as an effective showcase of Chicago's influence on America and the world. Another story concerns window technology. The television shows recapitulate the recent history of how glass windows were modified to introduce more sunlight into the recesses of large buildings, and reciprocally, once electrical lighting technology improved, how large buildings became beacons and lanterns in the night. The City of Chicago had an out-sized role in this process. Private worlds were rendered less private, turning even inner life into a kind of theatrical performance, with all the attendant temptations and dangers. Among these widespread window innovations in Albuquerque, and useful as Chicago callbacks, are Glass Block Windows and Luxfer Prismatic Tile Windows. Even plate glass windows have their place. The creative teams also use Albuquerque's Pueblo Deco architecture, particularly archways and ceilings, as foreshadowing elements. Traditional church architecture, such as clerestory windows, are also used, as are other Christian symbols. Understanding the crystalline labyrinth of Vince Gilligan's Albuquerque deepens one's appreciation for the real city: the Aged Sapphire of the Southwest. Pick up the Fourth Edition soon 88,737 words, 382 pages, 30 maps, 451 Figures.]
Marc P. Valdez was an Air Quality Dispersion Meteorologist at an air pollution consulting firm called Sierra Research, but these days, he's semi-retired. He has lived in Sacramento California since 1990. Marc Valdez was born in Albuquerque, NM, in 1956 and is a 1974 graduate of West Mesa High School (go Mustangs!) After leaving Albuquerque in 1980, Marc Valdez obtained M.S. (1985) and Ph.D. (1987) degrees in Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and also held post-doctoral positions in Tempe, AZ (1988: Arizona State University) and Salt Lake City, UT (1989: University of Utah). Marc Valdez volunteers with community musical theater and dance groups, and is affiliated with Tucson Regional Ballet (1985-1988), Woodland Opera House (1997-2001), and Davis Musical Theatre Company (2000-current). Among other ventures, Marc Valdez ran in the 2003 California Gubernatorial Recall Election. Of 135 candidates, he placed 41st.