Business: To the Heartland, with Cameras

Movie crews pour cash into Midwest

From Hollywood, a boom town with a village psychology, film producers have long been roaming the world searching for unusual locations that will jolt the jaded eyes of moviegoers. Having dispatched camera crews from Abidjan to Zempoaltepec, movie moguls are now discovering an inviting area closer to home: the U.S. Midwest. In the view of film executives, America's heartland is "virgin territory" on the screen, unknown even to many Americans—not to mention foreign movie buffs. It also offers the stark authenticity that many current movies demand: steel...

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