How ‘Better Call Saul’ Created Kim Wexler Florida Life in Albuquerque
Better Call Saul showed Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) moved to Florida when she quit the New Mexico Bar and left Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk). Better Call Saul still films in Albuquerque, N.M., so they had to make it look like Florida. Producers Vince Gilligan and Diane Mercer described how they created Florida in Albuquerque.
[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Better Call Saul episode “Waterworks.”]
Mercer and Gilligan were guests on the Better Call Saul Insider podcast on Aug. 9, the day after “Waterworks” aired. Here’s how they built Florida in Albuquerque. The Better Call Saul finale airs Aug. 15 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
Kim Wexler Florida locations in Albuquerque
In her new life in Florida, Kim has a home and goes to the office of an irrigation company. Gilligan named those Albuquerque locations in Better Call Saul.
“That’s all Albuquerque, N.M.,” Gilligan said on Better Call Saul Insider. “In a nutshell, the exterior of the Palm Coast Sprinkler Co is in a business park in Albuquerque. The interior is the old Albuquerque Journal newspaper offices. And the house that Kim lives in is a house right in Albuquerque.”
Gilligan added that he considered shooting on location but it was not possible. Mercer explained why that was unfeasible.
“We did talk about going,” Mercer said. “Everything was on the table but when we really looked at how much was going to need to be outdoors, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to go there.”
‘Better Call Saul’ drove Kim Wexler down a real Florida street
While Better Call Saul can dress many locations to look like Florida, they also use visual effects to bring Florida to Albuquerque. When Kim drives, Seehorn is on a green screen. The video they lay in is a plate driving down a real Florida street.
“The first thing we did actually was we tried to find, actually, driving plates in Florida,” Mercer said. “Once we found the plate that we used for that driving scene when she’s driving to work, it’s a shot inside the car, we see her eyes in the rearview mirror and she’s driving through central Florida. We found this terrific plate. Once we found that, that was going to be the hardest thing to get. Everything else we can make.”
‘Better Call Saul’ gave Kim Wexler a backyard canal
Production designer Denise Pizzini added storm shutters to the house and put palm trees outside. They could not dig a canal behind the house, so Rodeo FX created that.
“There was a cement brick wall in the back like is very, very common out in the west,” Mercer said. “We put green fabric up there and just shot a green screen. Rodeo, we sent them a bunch of research. Then Rodeo built a little 3D canal and put the boats in there and put the people in there and put the houses across the way, the palm trees and the clouds because the clouds are very different in Florida. It’s your kind of basic digital movie magic but it all works.”