Hollywood Comes to Oxy
Watch your back – the bodies are piling up at Occidental. Normally a refuge from mayhem, the producers of the CBS cop series “Criminal Minds” had other ideas for the College during a March 13-16 film shoot.
The show, which investigates fictional serial crime, will feature extensive campus shots and more than a little disquiet when it airs at 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 18.
“The premise of this episode is there are women being killed by a serial knifist, if that’s even the correct term,” said location manager Walter Roshetski, who assures the jittery that “the killer is caught, but in a little bit of a different style for our show. Everything will be resolved, but I’m not going to give away the ending.”
Occidental is standing in – sans pine trees – for the fictional Arizona College of Flagstaff, envisioned as a large state school. The program will focus on two of the killings, one in which a body is found in the olive grove north of Samuelson Pavilion. A second corpse turns up in Newcomb Hall. The college was chosen because “visually, it photographs very nicely,” Roshetski said. “Without question, it’s a photogenic campus.” The timing also was right, as students were away on spring break while filming took place.
“Criminal Minds” is in its second season and features Mandy Patinkin as part of an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the country’s most twisted criminals while anticipating their next moves.
Filming is nothing new at Occidental, which since 1919 has been used for television programs and movies that include the Marx Brothers’ “Horse Feathers” (1929), “Pat and Mike” (1952) with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, “Real Genius” (1985) with Val Kilmer, and more recently, “Orange County” (2002) with Jack Black, and “The Holiday” (2006) with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet. Over the past year, TV shows filmed at Occidental include “The Riches,” “The L Word” and “Monk.”