BATMAN ON FILM, 'The Dark Knight Fansite!' Est. 1998.

Chicago 2 TDK Shoot Report

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The following is a "spoiler-free" report of TDK shoot in Chicago on June 23, 2007.

"Some friends and I took a day trip to Chicago yesterday, and of course one of the main things on our agenda was trying to find THE DARK KNIGHT set. After wandering the city all day, we eventually stumbled across the massive perimeter set up for "Rory's First Kiss" somewhere around 6 PM. We went up into one of the tall parking garages next to the set and watched them set up for awhile. I don't have any pictures I can show you, as we made a point not to take any. Our main goal, other than getting a glimpse of Batman or The Joker, was to not get arrested while doing it.

After talking with a few really cool security guards, we learned that they've been having a lot of problems with people taking pictures of the set during the last few days (surprise, surprise). I can tell you, though, that the top of the parking garage is divided up into two sets - the Gotham City Police Department roof, complete with The Batsignal, and a regular parking garage with breakaway walls set up for some kind of car chase. As the sun was setting and we were getting closer to them actually shooting, they brought two white vans onto the roof - one to run through a shot where it looked like the van would plow through a wall, and another to leave on the top of the roof that it looked like they were filling with something (pyrotechnics?).

We also spied an animal trainer working with an attack dog. For what purpose, I don't know, but it was pretty crazy to see this dog run over and tear into a stunt man, and to see the stunt man whip the dog around.

After about an hour or so on this parking garage, someone from the production came over and told us we had to move. She said they were doing stunts with the Batmobile tonight, and that we couldn't be where we were as we'd be in a few of their shots. She pointed out another garage on the opposite end of the set that we could hang out in and should be fine. After moving over there, we could get a better angle on the entire building. The roof was being used for the two aforementioned sets, and the floor right below it was definitely being used for filming as well. Eventually, someone dressed as Batman (minus the cowl) made his way to the roof. From the distance we were at, it was impossible to tell if it was Bale or a stuntman, but it was definitely Batman. Just as it looked like they were about to get into heavy shooting, some more production people came over to us and kicked us out. We pointed out that we weren't taking pictures, and that we were also told it was fine for us to be there, but were quickly called liars and sent packing.

From our new vantage point, we did see a *ton* of people across the way on other floors of the garage we came from, including one with what looked like a high end video camera. Don't be surprised when you find some kind of video in your mailbox soon.

Kinda bummed, we cut across the ground floor of the perimeter to try to get away from the set so we could find some food. For as secretive as they were being about what was going on on that roof, they were (hilariously) less secretive about what was labeled on the doors of extras trailers that we and anyone else could have walked past. We walked past half a dozen trailers, all labeled "Xxxxxxxxx Gang", with character names. We also walked past a trailer labeled "Xxxx Batman", with a character name that I unfortunately can't remember. This could have easily been a stuntman's trailer, OR, it could have been some character they're referring to as "Xxxx Batman" for the time.

Thanks to "Stephen L. & Friends!"

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