Filmmaking is a long, tough and sometimes frustrating process, and though the Dreamers crew is strong and mighty, we could not make all of the magic happen without the help of friends, family, fans, incredible talent, and the support of local businesses in Chicago. A special thank you to all of the extras that came out for this episode to help make our scenes look realistic and bustling! We could not pull it off without all of you. It has been an incredible journey thus far filming our 2nd Season and I cannot wait for all of you to see what we’ve been creating. You’ll be hearing from me very soon, as I will be making my television directing debut on Episode 207! Make sure to grab your Season Pass so you have all of Season 2 at your fingertips when it is released and you don’t miss a single minute of all things Dreamers.
As the saying goes, Minnesotans have more fun….or at least that was the case this past week as we filmed our 5th episode, “FARGONE,” written by Matt Brassil. In this episode we are reunited with the beloved Eliza, following her acclimation into the world of her new job at WCTV. As always, it was such a joy to work with the lovely Callie Stephens, who is so professional and positive on set. Joining her on this episode were some newcomers to the Dreamers world, including Adam Huizenga (Doug), Zachary Finch (Roger) and Doug Schuetz (Desmond), along with a teaser appearance from Craig Deering, who plays Eliza’s love interest, Sawyer, in Season 1. I’ll be honest, being boom operator and listening to this group of hilariously talented actors in my ears all week was not the worst problem to have; I could barely keep myself from laughing at times while recording. So just how much fun did we have? Let me fill you in on all of the details...
The week started off with a bang on Monday as we filmed some of our first scenes at the ever-welcoming Black Rock Bar (a Dreamers staple). Eliza takes her co-workers, Doug and Roger, out for a night they will never forget, though parts of it maybe a bit fuzzy. Along with our three musketeers, we were joined by the talented Grant Johnson and Kirsty Engelhardt who made a special appearance for one of our bar scenes. This episode was special for me because I was able to step into the role of director that Monday evening, while Kelsey spoke on an indie film panel. Luckily for me, the footage that night didn’t require sound so my arms got to rest. With Director of Photography, Dane Ohlrogge, and our lighting guru, Thomas Lewis, I headed up to Niles, Illinois to film on location at Nicky’s bar. A huge thank you to Dreamer’s co-producer, Eli Taylor for finding the location for us! Filling the shoes of Kelsey for the evening was a bit nerve wracking at first (okay fine, I was terrified), but knowing that I was in the best company made my worries disappear almost immediately. We ended up getting some beautiful, super funny shots of our WCTV crew and all of their shenanigans. I’d also like to give a shout out to fan/extra/fellow filmmaker, Mike Jarzabek, for coming and shooting some awesome behind the scenes b-roll of all of us in action.
Our next main location for this episode was the WCTV offices. Finding a big office space to cheat as a newsroom is harder to find than you would think in this city. Luckily we got the hook up from Morgan Madison, who is the Associate Producer for Emerald City Theater here in Chicago. Morgan graciously let us use ECT’s administrative offices as our bullpen and graphic design lab for the other half of Episode 205. If I had to guess, Callie and Craig’s favorite part of filming there was Morgan’s adorable puppy, Lulu, which I’m pretty sure they would’ve taken home with them if no one was looking. It was also cool to have Kimberly Zamora Pearson, the real life best friend of Kelsey Jorissen and inspiration for the character of Eliza, on set with us Sunday. Kimberly gave us much needed graphic design pointers and helped with a little art decoration for the WCTV offices.
The last stop in our Minnesota journey was at the home of Callie and Craig for some more drunken mayhem scenes, a very hungover morning-after scene, and an intense phone conversation between Eliza and Sawyer. Thank you to Callie and Craig’s roommates for allowing all of us to pile in your apartment to wrap up our week!
THe Dream Team
Read the latest from the cast and crew of the award nominated indie series, THE DREAMERS.