Hit the Ground Running in Chicago…

Shooting on the rooftops of Chicago

Above, the crew prepares to shoot on a Chicago rooftop with that fabulous skyline.

At the Director’s Elbow series continues. 

Part 2–1981

Working on the TV series Chicago Story was a complete eye opener for me. Now I would be prepping with Directors, and my 1st AD on an actual TV series script. The crew was huge. 150 people or more. And because of the airdate schedule, there will be 2 crews shooting simultaneously.  The AD’s of both crews must share locations, and actors over an 11 day schedule for each episode. Meaning lots of coordination for AD’s.  Unusual for TV, this would be a 90 minute show of Doctors, Lawyers and Cops working and living in Chicago.

The cast was something spectacular—Dennis Franz, John Mahoney, Craig T. Nelson, Kris Tabori to name a few. John Malkovich is a day player in this crowd. Seriously. Kim and I (Yup. Got her to Chicago. Another story for another day…)  were going to local theater and seeing Steppenwolf shows in a storefront on benches. Joe Morton’s daughter, Amy Morton is well on her way to becoming an amazing theater actress. The 2 Tony nominations are yet to come, but by then she was in a little theater group we used to go see that included some guys named Gary Cole and Billy Peterson. They’re pretty good too. The town was exploding with acting talent. Continue reading “Hit the Ground Running in Chicago…”

The “Hollywood Life” of the Cast & Crew

Shooting Chicago Fire

As I speak about working in film and TV, I do try to impart to rookie and pro alike that for us, the filmworker– it’s not the show, but all shows…

Our lives on set are not measured by the projects we work on or the people who send us our checks. It is in the process we live. We love projects that are wonderful and perfect, but we work mostly on projects that need our help to create and bring them to life. An Actor can only effectively do one role at a time and only really concentrate on the immediate work if they want to know the scene intimately. The same is said for the Cinematographer, the focus puller and the dolly grip. Yes, they’ll talk at lunch about the big stunt coming up this weekend, but their day is locked in the day to day creative struggle to film each shot, each scene.

Getting ready to shoot

Continue reading “The “Hollywood Life” of the Cast & Crew”

So long Chicago, hello LA

House 51, Report! from Chicago Fire

In the explosion pic from the final scene of last season’s Chicago Fire finale, you can tell it’s Boden’s stunt double.  It captured the moment of the 4th floor blowing out just before the whole front blows out and envelopes Chief Kenny.  John Milinac and the Special Effects team had set up crossing mortars loaded with dust and debris.  In the heart of the cross, Chief Kenny is able to walk directly into the explosion under the strict supervision of the Stunt Coordinator Rick LeFevour. Pretty effective and scary.  Boden is left watching the horrible sight.

No longer Producing Chicago Fire, now I’m just a fan.  Very curious to see what the new season will bring – hearing great things from Chicago.  Pretty tall order for Wolf, Olmstead, Haas and Brandt. 44 hours of TV over the 2014/15 season for 2 shows, CF and Chicago PD. Continue reading “So long Chicago, hello LA”