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Mindhunter Filming Locations

August 11, 2020
3 min read

Mindhunter’ on Netflix is based on the book called ‘Manhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit’ by John E. Douglas (a former FBI agent) and Mark Olshaker (an author). Since then, the series has gone on to captivate many viewers with a well-written script and scrupulous cinematography.

The premise of the show is that two special agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench, in the FBI’s behavioral science unit, travel the country and interview incarcerated serial killers to gain a better perception of their psychology and criminal instinct. It differs from its counterparts in the true-crime genre because most shows discuss the events and their aftermath, whereas Mindhunter actively explores the cognizance of those behind bars.

Where Is Mindhunter Filmed?

Mindhunter season 1 and season 2 have been primarily shot in Pennsylvania, especially Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Washington, and Monroeville. There are a few other locations such as Moundsville, West Virginia, that have also made an appearance. 

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

Most of the show has been shot in and around Pittsburgh. Producer David Fincher was quoted saying, “We went looking for a place that could give us a lot of different looks: flatlands, farms, downtowns, urban areas under bridges and we all converged on Pittsburgh.”

In the show, the agents travel across the country to talk to some of the most infamous criminals. However, the production team has cleverly worked within the city to achieve the desired results. Many sets were built on 31st Studio Street, including Agent Holden Ford’s apartment and the interiors of the FBI’s headquarters. 

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In episode 8 of season 1, Agent Ford is invited to an elementary school to give a speech. The school was called Shaffer Elementary (it is now permanently closed.) It was located in Garden Terrace. In the same episode, Carnegie Mellon University makes an apt facade for the late-1970s George Washington University.

Allegheny County, Pennsylvania 

For the car chase in the last episode thus far, one has to look no further than Hamilton Ave in Homewood. The press conference held in Atlanta’s city hall was actually shot in the Allegheny County courthouse. A borough in the county called Wilkinsburg is also featured in season 2. Mount Lebanon is where Agent Tench’s house is located. Massart’s Restaurant and Pollock Lodge (Tarentum) were also used as filming locations. 

Washington, Pennsylvania 

There are many scenes that have been shot at the Washington and Jefferson College in Washington. In the very first episode of the series, Agent Holden Ford travels to Charlottesville, which was shot on campus. Apart from this, the John A. Swanson Science Center was altered to appear as a college in Boston, and the Lazear Hall was also featured. In the first episode of the show, when Debbie and Holden leave together, the building showed was the George Washington Hotel at S. Main St and Cherry St.

Monroeville, Pennsylvania 

In season 2, the fifth episode has Agent Tench flying back home for some work. The San Francisco terminal was juxtaposed on top of the Monroeville Mall for this scene. Coincidently, this mall is also famous for being a location where the original ‘Dawn of the Dead’ (1978) was shot.

In fact, replacements seems to be the recurring practice for the show. Many correctional facilities in and around the area of Pennsylvania have been doubled up as another jail, including the State Correctional Institution in Greensburg (as the Salem Oregon State Penitentiary) and the West Virginia State Penitentiary in Moundsville (as the Joliet Correctional Center in Illinois).

Read More: Mindhunter Season 2 Ending, Explained

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