CU's Building Used By TV Program

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The headquarters of FAA First FCU here is being used as the stand-in for the police headquarters in the television drama, "CSI Miami."

It isn't the first time the building has drawn attention. Kelly Chaves, a spokesperson for FAA First, noted the CU's headquarters has been featured in Architectural Digest, which may have been how the producers of "CSI Miami" got a glimpse of it.

"We're on a side street, so it is not easy to see our building," said Chaves. "Maybe they saw it in a magazine, or perhaps location scouts noticed it."

The show first turned Hawthorne, Calif. into "Miami West" in September of last year. Chaves said the building's exterior was filmed at night to create a scene-setting shot of the purported police station.

"CSI Miami" returned to FAA First on Nov. 25 to film interior and exterior daytime scenes. The crew arrived at 5 a.m. to "dress" the building appropriately.

"They didn't change the interior at all, but we have a monument sign in front with the credit union's name on it. The set designer covered our name with a sign that said 'Miami Dade Police Dept. Crime Lab.' They did such a great job, you couldn't tell it wasn't our sign," said Chaves.

The filming was not a major interruption, she reported. The interior scenes mostly took place in hallways, not business areas.

About the only problem was generated by FAA First's call center, which does not have a door, but does feature a loud printer that could be heard in the adjacent hallway. When the printer interrupted several takes, it was unplugged until the scene was finished.

Chaves said FAA First has an agreement with the show's producers not to reveal the amount paid to the CU for using the building.

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