MacGyver knows: GWCCA’s campus is a hidden gem for TV productions

Fall is officially here, bringing the 2018-2019 TV season along with it. Broadcast networks have been rolling out their fall line-ups with big prime time premieres and as we make our way through what’s known in the industry as “premiere week,” there’s one show that we are particularly excited to see. Tonight, we’ll be watching the CBS action drama “MacGyver.”

Why? Because parts of the television series were filmed right here at the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) campus.

A reboot of the classic series, “MacGyver” centers on Angus “Mac” MacGyver, a crafty U.S. operative who works for a covert agency (the Phoenix Foundation) alongside his partner, former CIA agent Jack Dalton.

Promotional photo for season 3 of “MacGyver.”

In July, the “MacGyver” production crew took over sections of the Georgia World Congress Center to shoot a scene for the show’s third season. More than 100 crew and extras were on campus to film an airport scene for one of the upcoming episodes. The team shot for seven hours and used the main entrance lobby and the International Lounge in Building A to stage the airport. And this isn’t the first time “MacGyver” has used our campus to film for the show.

“We have shot several scenes at GWCC over the past three seasons of MacGyver,” said Mac Gordon, the show’s location manager. “We’ve shot it as an airport, a foreign bunker, and an underground lab. The ease of filming there and the staff make it a pleasure to return each time.”

The production has also utilized our campus as basecamp – a TV and film term meaning the area where all production trailers (cast, makeup, hair, wardrobe, etc.) and vehicles are kept.

Heather Kulla, a GWCCA Senior Event Coordinator, worked with the “MacGvyer” team on its latest shoot as well as other shows that have filmed on the GWCCA campus. Kulla has seen first-hand the effort it takes to bring scenes to life.

“It’s amazing how much time and resources go into a production for what is sometimes only a few seconds on screen,” she said.

Live shot of “MacGvyer” filming at the Georgia World Congress Center.

TV shows, like “MacGvyer,” require quite a bit of coordination to accommodate the complicated technical and logistical demands of a production. No matter the size of the project, there are several moving parts involved to successfully organize this sort of shoot.

“There are a lot of logistics that are not typical. The space that they are in often involves lots of changes from removing things from our ceiling and walls to adjusting lights in odd places,” Kulla said.

Fortunately, the Authority has blossomed into a film-and-TV-friendly campus and become home to several television productions and commercials over the last few years. We’ve even hosted a few feature films, as we’ve chronicled before in unConventional blog posts. As we upgrade and enhance our campus, the GWCCA is able to offer a wide array of shooting locations, a quality that attracts producers and scouts. This, paired with our growing relationship with the entertainment industry and the top-notch customer service provided by staff, makes the GWCCA a viable competitor for productions looking for dynamic location to shoot scenes.

So tonight our focus is on “MacGyver.” Be sure to tune in at 8 p.m. on CBS – you just might catch a glimpse of our dynamic GWCCA campus.