Downtown Woodstock’s historic sq. will host a movie crew later this month from a brand new Amazon Prime sequence known as “Lightyears” starring J.Ok. Simmons and Sissy Spacek.
Different components of McHenry County have already got been or may quickly be shot for potential use within the present, based on native officers. Final week, crews for the present have been in Island Lake and Wauconda, taking pictures at a pharmacy and grocery retailer there.
The present’s crew shall be filming June 23 within the sq. after which June 28 in downtown Woodstock, once more on the sq. and likewise probably on Calhoun Avenue close to the sq., stated Jane Howie, town’s govt assistant to town supervisor and mayor’s places of work. The crew additionally might come again to the realm subsequent month, Howie stated, though particulars on that also are being labored out.
The occasions crews shall be utilizing the general public areas through the days are fluid, Howie stated, and will require some closures of components of the sq.. Metropolis officers shall be readily available to help with any such closures and circulation of site visitors and to assist the crew.
Plus, McHenry County Deputy Administrator Scott Hartman stated an space close to the intersection of routes 14 and 120 in unincorporated Woodstock already was shot by the crew and a few filming has both taken place or quickly will alongside a stretch of Cherry Valley Highway off Bull Valley Highway.
Native officers are excited in regards to the space getting chosen to be part of the manufacturing.
“Anytime we are able to showcase McHenry County, we’re in,” Hartman stated.
It marks the second time since 2018 a TV sequence proven on a cable channel or main streaming service similar to Amazon Prime has chosen components of McHenry County and Woodstock for filming. That 12 months, a few of HBO’s “Lovecraft Nation,” which debuted in August, was shot in Woodstock, Hebron and Marengo.
Nick Rafferty, the Chicago-based location supervisor who helped convey “Lovecraft Nation” to McHenry County to movie pictures utilized in its pilot episode, stated filmmakers have gotten extra eager about Illinois and are beginning to look farther from town of Chicago, boosting the probabilities of smaller cities and villages getting eyed by producers.
“By way of filming in McHenry County, what I’d say is that as Illinois turns into extra enticing to filmmakers, producers are casting a wider web past town of Chicago. They usually’re exploring all of the state has to supply when it comes to completely different seems and areas to set the story in,” stated Rafferty, who additionally labored on the FX sequence “Fargo,” a part of which was shot in Elgin.
Each the HBO and FX reveals, Rafferty stated, have been “in search of Americana in a manner that locations like Woodstock and McHenry County and likewise different rural components of Illinois actually have in spades.”
Howie stated the crew behind “Lightyears” was looking for a setting that may be much like the seems in cities within the northeastern area of the nation.
“Apparently, they liked the sq. a lot. It actually was conducive to precisely what their imaginative and prescient was,” Howie stated. “In order quickly as they got here right here, they have been like, ‘Yeah that is the spot.'”
Each the brick structure of downtown Woodstock buildings and its cobblestone streets, in addition to its affiliation with film historical past for being featured within the 1993 hit “Groundhog Day” starring Invoice Murray, are magnets for videographers, stated location managers primarily based in Illinois.
“So far as what McHenry County has to supply, it is positively small-town appeal. They’ve a number of these traditional locations like Woodstock the place the roads are nonetheless cobblestone and the buildings are nonetheless from a sure time interval,” stated Daniel Marcus, a Chicago-based location supervisor who helped convey a crew to McHenry County to movie a Jeep business that includes Murray that debuted on the Tremendous Bowl LIV broadcast in 2020, which coincided with Groundhog Day on Feb. 2 final 12 months.
The county’s location inside a driving distance of two city facilities in Milwaukee and Chicago additionally provides it attraction for main video initiatives, Marcus stated.
“You may pull in massive expertise and have the ability to work in the fitting location. That is a giant draw for large studios to return out right here and try this form of stuff,” Marcus stated.