THERE are few places on earth as beautiful, otherworldly and geographically distinct as southern Utah. Red earth carved by the waters of ancient Lake Bonneville 25,000 years ago, soaring, sand-coloured cliffs and massive stone arches coexist majestically under an endless dome of sky.
Hardy desert plants like yucca, mesquite and agave dot the landscape. Aside from the physical beauty and uniqueness of this place, there are other, less tangible things in this high desert world, too — the soft smell of alkali, the sharp smell of salt-soaked earth, the sweet smell of wind-blown pollen and the pungent smell of sagebrush, rabbit brush and creosote.
All of these elements are exactly why Academy Award-winning writer/director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, Wall.E) chose Utah to shoot the exterior scenes of his first live-action film, the epic adventure sci-fi spectacle John Carter.