[John] Roman, who's produced episodes of "Chicago Fire" since its first season last year, called upon the museum once again as the series returned for a second season. "Chicago Fire" premiered Monday.The museum is well-known to ferroequinologists and movie producers. To local residents, it may still be a secret.
The television series based on the firefighters and drama surrounding the fictitious Chicago Firehouse 51 will film an accident scene in Union.
Roman wouldn't reveal much more about the scene to prevent from spoiling the upcoming season for fans, but a call is out for roughly 150 extras to be available Oct. 4-10.
"We're looking for people who live in the western suburbs," Roman said.
The extras, adults and children, would take on non-speaking roles acting as victims, pedestrians, workers and such, said Joan Philo, the extras casting director for the upcoming episode.
Museum officials always are eager to welcome film crews, having served as a setting for other projects, including 1992's "A League of Their Own.” The museum is closed during the week and only on the weekends during the fall season so filming does not impact museum-goers.I get the bit about residents not visiting local tourist attractions. Sixteen years in Milwaukee, and nary a brewery tour (in those days, three or four were available).
No filming for "Chicago Fire" will take place during the weekend.
"We welcome it. We solicit it," said Nick Kallas, the museum's executive director. "It's a nice boost to income. . . Look at 'Groundhog Day' and the carry-over for Woodstock. So I think that's a good thing for the county, and you can hang your hat on that."
Of the scene, he said it definitely would involve railroad cars, "But the whole thing is still to be determined, you know."
Along with being known in the film world as an ideal location for scenes involving trains, the museum is known worldwide as the largest of its kind in the country.
"The other day, we had a visitor from Australia," Kallas said.
Oddly enough, though, many in McHenry County fail to visit because the museum is in their back yard, he said.
"You go to stuff miles away," he said. "That's human nature, I think . . . The people that are coming as extras and all of that, they'll at least find out where we're located."
I wonder what the scenario for the train wreck will be. The firehouse in the show appears to be on the near southwest side, possibly west of the Dan Ryan, but south of the UIC campus. There are a lot of potential places for trains to get into trouble near there (although crews from this firehouse wind up all over Chicago, not that coastal viewers will notice).
I can depend, though, on character development being interrupted by the alarm. "Chicago Fire" is a soap opera with heavier machinery than "General Hospital" would feature. There is, however, an intriguing sub-plot this year, featuring a ball-busting consultant who has probably never handled anything pressurized higher than a garden hose, but who gets to pick several firehouses to close, and to harass the battalion chiefs into filling in information for some kind of firehouse management system.
Intrusive REMFs are the same the world over. It's easier, however, to turn a business consultant into a figure of fun than it would be an assessment coordinator.