Last week a location scout for CSI: Miami contacted me about shooting part of an episode in our studio. After visits by location scouts, directors, and finally the entire production team, our space was selected for filming. The production crew came by on Tuesday morning to dress the set. On Wednesday morning at 6:00 a.m. I opened our gate and the crew began to enter our space.
Although the producers were really cool and let me take photos, I spent most of my time worrying about the crew so my photographic coverage was limited since I spent most of my time managing the site. That being said, even though I was awfully distracted, I think I took enough photos to tell the true story of the day. If you want to watch the episode, look for Episode #714 titled “Smoke Gets in Your CSIs” written by Krystal Houghton and directed by Joe Chappelle.
All of these photographs were captured using natural light only and without a camera blimp (silencer). Because I didn’t have a blimp, I only took photos between takes and when the photos wouldn’t prove distracting for actors or crew.
#1 – (TUESDAY) The prop truck backs up to the rear door of our studio while security stands guard.
#2 – The set dressers test a chandelier they plan to hang from our lighting platforms. The funny thing is that when the director walks in the next day, the chandeliers and living room furniture are removed first thing.
#3 – The set dressers hang wire around the bottom of our mezzanine so that they can hang plastic curtains.
#4 – – The chandelier is repaired whiled two supervisors watch and relax in the “prop” living room (which is later removed).
#5 – The plastic is hung. On the day of shooting, they decided at the last minute to paint the plastic to make it look dirty. The prop guys mentioned that the plastic was $1,200 and the person charged them $500 more for the rush to get them made for the next day.
#6 – The chandelier was really nice. I wish they would have “forgotten it” when they took it down on Wednesday morning.
#7 – This is what the “operating room” looked like once the set was dressed. They only left the big props. The smaller props were to arrive on Wednesda
#8 – The “CSI Hummer” arrives on South Avenue 21 along with two police car
#9 – In this view of the Hummer you can see “video village” trailers lining the street in the background.
#10 – Bad boys, bad boys, coming for you …
#11 – (WEDNESDAY) Action!
#12 – The monitors on this cart show the scene they are setting up at the rear door of our studio. In this scene, David Caruso (Lieutenant Horatio Caine) and Jonathan Togo (Ryan Wolfe) enter the studio via our roll up door.
#13 – The sound engineer John Bauman watches his video and sound monitors. Note the Caruso bobble head on top of his workstation.
#14 – As a photographer, I was very interested in the crew’s cameras and lenses.
#15 – Jonathan Togo seemed like a really cool guy. He was always joking with the crew and was super nice to everyone.
#16 – The crews set up cameras in preparation for some close ups on Caruso and Togo. Stand ins can almost be seen in the far background.
#17 – I grabbed this quick shot of David Caruso between takes. I was kind of worried about photographing him as I didn’t want to cause a problem on the set, but it turns out he was really approachable. Just a few minutes after this photo, he walked over, introduced himself, and asked if the set was our space. He then made some really generous comments about our studio space. We started talking about the history of our building which led to some discussions about Los Angeles architecture. In my short conversation with him, I found him to be a really warm and genuine guy.
#18 – The script supervisor Will Alovis and one of the co-producers looks on the monitors as Caruso delivers his lines.
#19 – The second camera operator talks about a big fish he caught the previous weekend (not really).
#20 – Jonathan Togo and a David Caruso stand in prepare for a scene.
#21 – David Caruso and director Joe Chappelle chat outside our rear studio door. They’re standing in front of the CSI Hummer while the crew sets up for another scene. The flare on the right side of the door is from one of the huge lights the crew staged outside.
#22 – The director of photography Charles Mills stands high on a ladder outside our studio to set the framing for a shot where Jonathan Togo’s character arrives on the scene.
#23 – In this photo, the script supervisor Will Alovis is in the foreground while in the background director Joe Chappelle talks on his cell phone. If you look on the video monitor, you’ll see the cool angles they used when photographing the back of our studio. It was super interesting to see how they lit scenes and set up cameras to achieve maximum impact.
#24 – The second camera operator and his assistant perch on the high ladder in preparation to shooting the scene. My neighbor’s raised steel Jacuzzi is in the near right foreground.
#25 – Jonathan Togo stands next to the physician’s Mercedes in preparation for the scene.
#26 – The director of photography Charles Mills (foreground) watches the camera monitors while the script supervisor Will Alovis and a member of the crew look on in the background.
#27 – In this photo, the script supervisor Will Alovis watches a monitor showing Jonathan Togo reaching for the remote control used to open the roll up door to our space.
#28 – Joe Chappelle (director) watches Jonathan Togo through the monitor with Charles Mills and Will Alovis at his side.
#29 – The image shows the font of our studio after the crew turned on a huge crane mounted light outside our windows. They mention that the rental fee for the light us $15,000 per day!
#30 – This photo features a cameraman with “Season 7” stitched on his cap while our “smoked up” studio is seen in the background.
#31 – On the left hand side of this screen you can see a fan blowing lots of smoke into our studio. They filled our space with smoke so high power lights streaming through the front windows would show up visible beams of light. In the near foreground you’ll see that the wardrobe guy’s hat is showing off a neat rim light
#32 – Somebody opened the floodgates and the promised rain finally arrived. It was fortunate that the downpour only lasted for a few minutes! In this photo, one of the crew is standing outside the back door testing his rain suit.
#33 – Cameramen and a member of the crew take a break and watch the rain
#34 – Jonathan Togo’s hair stylist.
#35 – This photo shows some of the surgical instruments used as props. I regret I wasn’t able to get a photo of the motorized circular bone saw!
#36 – Jonathan Togo and David Caruso’s body double wait before they to begin a scene.
#37 – The lead cameraman perches high atop a ladder in our studio.
#38 – Eva La Rue (Natalia Boa Vista) jokes with the crew as she rehearses her scene. It was kind of chilly in the studio so she and Togo wore parkas when they weren’t actually performing scenes.
#39 – Eva La Rue & Jonathan Togo rehearse a scene.
#40 – Eva La Rue flashes a winning smile and wishes me a Happy Thanksgiving as she leaves the set for the day.
#41 – I wish I had remembered to ask for a director chair!
#42 – Peter Lavin’s character (Dr. Donald Phelps) shows his syringe to the camera during rehearsal. The nurse (extra) in the background watches me.
#43 – Peter Lavin talks to the director (out of frame) as the “blood guy” and Josh Stewart (from the TV series Dirt) look on in the background.
#44 – Things start to get bloody.
#45 – Two camera crews shoot in tandem under our studio’s mezzanine.
#46 – Peter Lavin finishes delivering his lines. After shooting this scene, they decide a little less blood is in order.
#47 – Peter Lavin showing he’s an evil but happy doctor!
#48 – One of the crew applies a liberal helping of blood to the patient.
#49 – Peter Lavin and Josh Stewart rehearse a scene.
#50 – Joe Chappelle provides Josh Stewart and Peter Lavin with some direction.
#51 – Peter Lavin’s character shoots “heroin” between his toes. The lead cameraman is shooting the close up while a crew member watches in the background.
#52 – I snapped a super quick portrait of Josh Stewart. It was really great to chat with Josh as I loved his work on the TV series Dirt.
And here’s a portrait of Peter Lavin. Both were really cool guys.
25 thoughts on “Brewery Studio CSI Miami Episode”
Wow, what a day! Great photos, Rob, no apologies needed. You really covered the day, and looks like everyone was happy to be in your space. Congratulations! I’m jealous!!
That is soo cool Rob. You delivered more than enough images from the shoot to satisfied me. Thanks for sharing and I can’t wait to see the episode on tv!
Great Job, I home the production team put everything back in it’s place. Let us know when the air date, we all await to watch the show.
These are great, Rob! Looks like it was a cool couple of days at your studio! I look forward to watching the episode to see if I recognize your place at all!
Very impressive Rob.
So they did all the shooting in one day?
I am sure it won’t be the last time.
I knew your place looks like a supervillain or mad scientist’s lair!
Seriously, congratulations and great job on the photo-documentation of the shoot.
Congratulations, Rob! This is a wonderful opportunity! It’s great when the famous people are really friendly.
Nice job capturing the behind the scenes. It looks like fun!
Hi Rob, You have an awesome studio and I’d love to visit next time I’m near Pasadena. Kudos on the killer space!
Wow! Fabulous job documenting the event – really really beautiful images!
Hay Rob, Great job that was awesome.
WOW I love these pictures you really were able to catch some amazing moments!!
Wow! Very cool! I can’t wait to see the episode. If you find out when it airs, let me know! Great work! You’re very talented!
These are great shots!! The whole family is standing over my shoulder ooh and ahhing. Thanks for sharing!! Job well done = )
I’m not a fan of Miami, but I like the photo’s!
Interesting photo’s, yes I do love that chandalier. David Caruso is so cool. Great to see my neighbor Peter Lavin……..I look forward to seeing it all on tv.
Jonathan Togo is soo cute but they have to stop jelling his hair back
Great photo’s – grew up with Peter love CSI let us know when the episode airs in England
That is super cool!
This is sooo amazing.
It must have been quite the experience.
Just today i walked down the road and i saw that they were filming down there again.
I had to go to UPS and i always turn to see the big building beside it and the other places beside it. It looks really awesome.
I’m a nerd, i know but it’s really cool.
I hope i get to go to the brewery walk. I’ve never done anything really arty before so i’m anticipating it.
nice nice and very smart of you to document the day .
Was Jonathan’s hair stylist named Scott Williams??