Block Club Chicago: Where Do TV Shows Film In Chicago? Pilsen, Logan Square And Wicker Park Are Hot Spots

“City neighborhoods might only be a few miles apart, but they can conjure vastly different worlds on shows like ‘The Bear’ and ‘Chicago Fire.’

“Pilsen, Logan Square and Wicker Park are hot spots for TV filming because they’re close to local studios and they have different appearances, said Mono Wilborn, the locations manager for NBC’s ‘Chicago Fire.’

That said, TV shows regularly film in other neighborhoods around the city, Wilborn said. Four major shows set in Chicago — ‘The Chi’ and NBC’s Chicago franchise, ‘Chicago Fire,’ ‘Chicago Med’ and “Chicago P.D.” — are filming here in January, for example.

“‘Location choices are driven by what is called for in the script and by the creative choices of the production team,’ according to a Chicago Film Office statement.

“Wilborn said location teams will look for neighborhoods with specific types of houses that match descriptions in the script. When the teams find houses that match what they’re looking for, they drop leaflets in the mailboxes or on doors with the location scout’s information and a description of the filming to ask the homeowners to film there.

“TV shows set in Chicago also film indoor scenes at studios like Cinespace and Chicago Studio City on the West Side. Another studio — The Fields — is set to open this spring with nine sound stages at the border of Logan Square and Avondale.

“Cinespace has 36 stages that are used for TV shows, films and commercials. Productions that film in Chicago often use the stages for their sets and can rent equipment from Cinespace, said Jane Williamson, head of operations and client services at Cinespace Chicago.

“‘The stages are a blank canvas and can be used to stand in for any location needed by producers and/or show runners based on their script,’ Williamson said.

“TV shows being filmed around Chicago can provide insights to people outside of the city about what Chicago is actually like.’Film and television definitely showcases our city and draws tourists from around the world,’ according to the Chicago Film Office.

“Wilborn, a Chicago native, said it’s important to him that the city is represented correctly in film and television, and that TV shows set in Chicago actually film in the city instead of in places like New York or Los Angeles.

“Williamson said filming in Chicago is also about bringing jobs to Chicago, including through Cinespace’s workforce training program.

“’We are proud to be an important part of Chicago’s thriving production industry that is supported by a talented workforce, a variety of locations, and the state’s incentives,’ Williamson said.” (Mulima, Block Club Chicago, 1/11/24)

Read the full story at Block Club Chicago

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