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‘Criminal Minds’ Filming Locations

January 13, 2020
4 min read

‘Criminal Minds’ is a prolific crime drama series that has been running for fifteen seasons. It follows a team of FBI agents working for the fictional Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) who use profiling to solve multiple criminal cases.

As the characters also address their personal conflicts, they generally solve a single case each episode. The cases take them to multiple places in the country. The show has been quite successful despite its long run. It has been praised for its lucid pacing, gripping characterization and an effective atmosphere apart from the acting, writing and direction.

Where Was Criminal Minds Filmed?

Many of you might be wondering where ‘Criminal Minds’ is filmed. The story mainly takes place at the Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU) at Quantico. However, the show takes its characters to multiple places all around the country to investigate the cases that they are assigned. Because of this reason, the series has been filmed in multiple cities, on location. However, its permanent set for shooting interior scenes remains to be their most frequent filming location.

Quixote Studios, California

‘Criminal Minds’ is principally shot at sound-stages and constructed sets at Quixote Studios. Often described as Hollywood’s premier production studio, Quixote Studios is located on 1011 N Fuller Avenue in West Hollywood, California.

You can check out the following set visit that takes viewers inside the reel Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU). Especially constructed for the show, the set features the offices where the characters often work. Apart from looking at some interesting set pieces, the video also reveals its Wi-Fi password. In case you are interested, it is “HotchSmellsLikeFreedom.” The show’s viewers will definitely get the reference

What is remarkable is the fact that the crew managed to build the exact same set at Quixote Studios since the show used to be filmed at Culver City initially. Moreover, the production designers put in a lot of thought about each and every item that is included or excluded on the set.

For instance, there are replicas of official awards and certificates that the characters have been awarded. The character, SSA David Rossi, for example has a certificate from Bill Clinton (not real, of course), recognizing his expertise in the field and that certificate has been framed on the set. Furthermore, every character’s desk has been made to appear “lived.” There are family photos and toys that the show’s characters would keep on their desk, humanizing them further. For a list of all the cool items that is present on the set, check out this article.

Others Regions in California

Apart from Quixote Studios, ‘Criminal Minds’ has also been filmed on multiple real-life locations in California. This is generally done for the exterior shots. For example, the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Brentwood was utilized to shoot Harrison’s funeral. The scene employed various real-life Vietnam War veterans as extras.

Apart from that, the show has also been filmed in Glendale. To be more precise, a few scenes had been shot outside the Glendale City Hall and the Glendale Police Department in 2012. In fact, the show films extensively in Glendale. Many residents, like the one whose post has been included below have noticed familiar locations that appear on the series:

Additionally, the show had also been filmed at California State University in Northridge.

Moreover, the tenth episode of the show’s ninth season, ‘The Caller’ was filmed at Altadena, California which doubled as St. Louis, Missouri. Furthermore, the seventh episode of the eighth season of the show is titled ‘The Fallen’ and features several important scenes set in Vietnam.

However, that episode was not actually filmed in Vietnam. Instead, Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles doubled up as the Asian country. The location has been utilized for shows like ‘CSI: Miami’ and ‘Dexter’ as well.

Moreover, the final season had multiple scenes that were filmed at Old Town Newhall. Specifically, the areas that were utilized for filming include Walnut Street, Main Street, 8th Street and Market Street.

As you can see, ‘Criminal Minds’ is largely filmed in California. In fact, Los Angeles is the most frequently visited city by the BAU team. Another location in the state where the show was filmed is Santa Clarita.

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