Anyone who has watched Saturday Night Live will have heard of MacGruber and Will Forte, the actor behind the creation. But this week sees MacGruber make the leap to the big screen, which rather funny consequences.

MacGruber was shot in the heat of Albuquerque, New Mexico with a tight shooting schedule of just 28 days.  Production designer Robb Wilson-King and his team had their work cut out for them every day, with much, according to King, 'creative problem solving' happening at every turn.

Although they’ve been friends for a long time, Forte admits that he wasn’t sure of the look that Taccone had in store for the film.  While the audience is used to seeing the SNL cast in a sketch with three walls, Forte reflects, "This movie looks like a big-budget action movie.  It’s all because of Jorma and DP Brandon Trost."

Location scouts were extremely busy during pre-production as they kept everyone on the move to search for ideal locales. "We needed a lonely Russian road where a convoy of military transports would be brutally held up," explains Wilson. "We also needed a South American monastery where MacGruber, deep in prayer and meditation, would be called back into action. 

"There was that sea cliff wedding location to deal with; the Pentagon; a Washington, D.C., suburban house; a D.C. urban coffee shop; and more."  The crew joked that because of the many locations required, Wilson-King needed a fresh location scout every few hours.

Forte had costuming issues of his own as the cast and crew baked in the hot Albuquerque sun. "This was supposed to be the ’90s, and I had to wear a long-sleeve undershirt, flannel shirt and a vest every day then I had to wear a wig. It got very hot."
The first day of filming took place at a huge gypsum mine located on the Zia Pueblo.  North of Albuquerque, this served as the setting for the film’s Russian road, the place where Cunth’s men do their dastardly deeds.  Designed for moving enormous mine machinery, the wide road had no vegetation and offered shallow ponds of water that provided visual interest for the director and DP. 

The crew drove before sunrise into an overly lit base camp and found white dust covering everything in sight.  As the sun rose, it revealed the smoking Russian military trucks, scattered dead soldiers, Cunth and his tattooed bad guys, as well as a huge truck carrying the deadly nuclear missile. 

The next day took cast and crew to the 'monastery' set, which was actually El Rancho de las Golondrinas near Santa Fe, a museum that includes buildings dating back to the early 1700s. 
The Pentagon, where Colonel Faith holds tense briefings, was a combination of the old marble-walled Bernalillo courthouse and the Emergency Operations Center, operated by FEMA, the state of New Mexico and the city of Albuquerque.  This high-tech command center had never been used for filming, and King and his team were thrilled to receive approvals for the shoot.
The location for Dieter Von Cunth’s compound was actually a power plant owned by the Public Utility of New Mexico (PNM).  Generously, Malcolm Long of PNM allowed the crew to build a mock missile on top of one of the older generators.  King and his construction crew spent weeks creating the sets within the power plant, and the neighbors surrounding the plant were kind enough to put up with the explosions and gunfire that occurred during night filming.
The Las Vegas club scenes in which MacGruber confronts his nemesis were shot at the Isleta Casino & Resort, a beautiful new casino and club in the area.  Next up, the D.C. coffee shop in which Vicki (dressed as MacGruber) goes ballistic was lensed in the popular Gold Street Caffè in downtown Albuquerque.

King and his team had scouted the Albuquerque Botanic Garden for other films, but this time they discovered a Japanese garden hidden at the back of the property, the perfect spot to shoot the film’s signature wedding.

The spectacular van explosion, in which MacGruber realizes his old crew may not be able to make it to the next mission, took place at the Albuquerque airport. 

The production team posted signs along the nearby freeway in both directions to warn people that pyrotechnics were being deployed.  The crew didn’t want emergency services swamped with hundreds of phone calls about a plane crash, especially since there were fake body parts littering a runway.

"We were shooting digital, and at warp speed," explains producer Michaels. "The level of production is as good as anything I’ve ever worked on. There’s also something special about how the picture looks, because of the light in Albuquerque and because of all the amazing locations we were able to find."

MacGruber is released 18th June