Kirsten Vangsness plays computer wiz Penelope Garcia who witnesses a murder in a scene filmed at the Mil Potrero Y, west of Cuddy Valley.
By Gary Meyer
The CBS crime drama Criminal Minds took over the mountain communities this week, as the FBI’s seven-member Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) stayed a step ahead of a serial killer who targets the fictional town of Franklin, Alaska.
One of the stars of the show, Kirsten Vangsness, who plays computer wiz Penelope Garcia, took a moment to say hello to The Mountain Enterprise: “I grew up in Porterville [north of Bakersfield] and always heard about Frazier Park and what a great place it is, but never visited here,” she said.
Production began Monday at the Mil Potrero Y, where Garcia witnesses a murder. Later Monday, BAU members discovered that they’ll have to share rooms in a tiny motel called the Tavern Inn—known locally as Alpine Plaza.
Tuesday found Mt. Pinos Way in Frazier Park full of production vehicles and actors brandishing weapons at Sue’s Tavern—no shots were fired. Then the Assembly of God church became an Alaskan schoolhouse.
Thursday The Mountain Enterprise office became the town’s sheriff’s station—be sure to dial 911 in an emergency, not the newspaper.
Other locations included Big John’s Restaurant, a house on Harriet Road, a house on Pomona Trail and a patch of Glendale Trail behind Alpine Plaza.
According to Location Manager Jeff Spellman, two teams work simultaneously— one taking the even numbered episodes and the other taking the odd numbers—to prepare locations for filming. The production cycle is eight days per episode.
Asked on Monday whether the snowstorm forecast for Wednesday and Thursday was in the script, Spellman said, “No, but we’ll take it, no problem.”
They expected the snowstorm to add even more Alaskan appeal to the look.
The episode is scheduled to air on Wednesday, May 12.
This is part of the April 02, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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