Direct Misdirection: A closer look at Atlanta’s production set signage

Direct Misdirection: A Closer Look at Atlanta’s Production Set Signage
Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 11:20 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - With tens upon hundreds of productions going on across the state of Georgia at any given moment, it is common to walk or drive past a bright yellow sign with black initials or lettering and a black arrow pointing traffic into a certain direction.

These neon signs are used to guide the cast and crew to the set of production without giving away the title and protecting the security of the set from unwanted onlookers and fans.

“The signs are meant to sort of fly under the radar and really just stand out to people who are in the know in the film industry,” said Mac Grant, vice-president and co-owner of Resolve Media, a production company in Atlanta. “It’s so you don’t get a crowd at a set. You can’t put a sign up that says ‘this way to the avengers set.”

Georgia has a long list of A-list moving filmings ranging from Marvel to “Stranger Things” and everything in between. Production teams often refrain from listing addresses out to the hundreds of members on a production to prevent the location from getting leaked and instead utilize strategically placed signage with a “coded” message that only the cast and crew recognize. CBS46 found several of these signs currently posted up around Atlanta with lettering reading “INN”, “TRT,” “TR” and “EYE,” all coded initials for films, tv, and commercial filming sets.

“You’re trying to keep looki-loos, you’re trying to keep people away from the set,” said Brian Gallagher, President of Pitch 5 Productions. “That’s the whole mystery of the sign. Why is it there? You know something’s going on but you don’t know what.”

Another reason production crews utilize signage is that sometimes, the location of filming doesn’t have an “address,” such as a field in the middle of a forest.

“I could use an example that we’ve dealt with where our location is in a cemetery,” said Grant. “It’s a large plot of land and you need people to go to a certain spot.”

The next time you pass one, you could have just passed the first arrow to your favorite tv or movie set.

Photos provided by Filming in Georgia and ATL Film/TV Production Codes