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A Deep Dive into Episode 13 of "John McGivern's Main Streets" Virtual Production

Behind the scenes of Episode 13 of John McGivern's Main Streets


Season 3 of "John McGivern's Main Streets" continued to captivate audiences by taking our viewers to 12 fantastic upper Midwest communities. But the 13th episode didn’t explore a community, it explored the show itself.

John and Emmy in front of LED screen

Producer Director Lois Maurer explains why.  

“The folks who follow us on social media are treated to behind-the-scenes video clips as we shoot the season, and they love them. But our TV viewers never get to see them. So our goal for this episode was to find a fun, creative way to share the behind-the-scenes content and the fun things that happen while we’re shooting that we all think are funny.”   

A Technological Twist

using a virtual production backdrop

"Clipsville," as we fondly call the last episode of season 3, was filmed in Plum Media's LED studio, which apparently John McGivern loves. “It’s like a giant blank canvas that can become anything you want. It can be moving video, animations, graphics, anything. And best of all, it’s never raining, there aren't trucks roaring by and it’s always a comfortable 68 degrees! I want to shoot all the episodes in there!” 

This particular episode served multiple purposes. First, it provided a change of pace and format for both the audience and for the crew.  Second, using the LED wall and an on-set monitor as storytelling tools allowed the team to come in from the field, and we proved to ourselves that we could be creative and innovative in a situation that isn’t our norm. And third, John and Emmy were interacting in real time with all of the elements in front of the LED wall. The crew didn’t travel for four days. We shot this episode in one afternoon. And since everything was done in real time, it cut down time in post-production. Yay again!  

And let’s not forget about the Main Streets mobile! It’s a huge part of production so we couldn’t leave it out of “Clipsville”.  The LED studio is laid out in such a way that the team was able to pull the SUV right into the studio and park it in front of the wall.  

A vehicle in front of the virtual production background

Reflecting on the Journey 

"Clipsville" offers an inside look at the making of "John McGivern's Main Streets and proves that our show has always been about more than the destinations. It’s about the stories, people and shared experiences that connect us all. You see a glimpse of the work that goes into filming at locations, crafting narratives, and bringing the character of each town to life through our characters. We had so much fun making this episode. We can only hope you have fun watching it.  

The John McGyver Main Street crew in front of the LED screen

Watch the full episode on-demand

The episode is now available to watch on-demand on the PBS video app and YouTube wherever you stream programming.



Six-time Emmy Award winning actor/host John McGivern learned about the world growing up on his main street, which was Oakland Avenue on Milwaukee’s east side. As the third of six kids in a working-class Irish-Catholic family, his memories as a middle child are personal, funny, and relatable. He built a career on stage sharing stories about his family and the people in his neighborhood.


Plum Media is an award-winning media and events production company located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We’ve produced hundreds of events and thousands of videos. Our team specializes in all levels of video production, live/virtual/hybrid events. We concept. We collaborate. We produce.