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

Chicago 2 TDK Shoot Report

The following is a report of TDK shoot in Chicago on July 15, 2007 from "Bat-Ror." FYI: Some may consider the info SPOILERISH, but it is blacked out.

“Yo Jett! Yup, it is ‘Bat-Ror’ yet again. And I have an ‘explosive’ set report for you.

Got down to Wacker around 8PM this evening (7/15). The Bat-Crew was already there setting everything up for the evenings shoot. I walked across the river and found a good spot to watch the festivities. They had a Gotham Swat truck positioned at an angle next to a cement barrier. Behind it was a garbage truck.

(Highlight to read) I talked to one of the PA's to confirm my suspicion of the SWAT vehicle launching into the river: he said yes, they would be shooting that. I sat and waited for a bit, meanwhile a very large crowd of about 80 people gathered around to watch.

The black camera copter and GPD copter swooped down very low over the river, spotlight on, and then BANG!!!!!! The Swat vehicle was launched right through the barrier and splashed into the river. It sank pretty quickly. They sent a diver down to hook a cable onto a crane and then slowly pulled it up, putting it on the bed of a truck on Wacker Dr.

I actually got the entire thing on film (I was told it was alright for film/video without flash) but then another PA came over after and would not let me leave until he witnessed me deleting all of files/film from the camera (this being my first negative experience with a PA, he was not very nice about it either). I complied because I respect what they are doing and so forth, but I'm not sure they are allowed to do that since I was not told to do that in advance, nor was I on private property (but, that is another argument for another time). Oh well.

Needless to say, the entire thing was great to see. I also spied three tumblers under tarps, looks like some more tumbler and Joker semi stuff for the rest of the evening."

(Contintued after the pics)

“After going down to see the SWAT action, I decided to head back down to Wacker at around 11PM. And I am glad that I did.

As I got there I perched myself on another bridge to watch the action. The Joker's 18-wheeler was back out again and Ledger was standing next to it. The crew had set up large mats next to the truck and were rehearsing a stunt scene. Basically (and Ledger was doing his own stunts for this) the truck would start up and rumble forward with a driver. The Joker would enter through the passenger's side from the median and push the driver out onto the mats. They did this for quite a while and then seemed to take an extended break, everyone moving down Wacker.

(Highlight to read) I walked down the road a bit to the next bridge and got a good view of what was going on. They had set up a ramp on a car and brought the tumbler down. I talked to one of the PA's (who I became very friendly with) and asked him what they were doing. He told me that The Tumbler was going to jump that car and there would be a gigantic explosion. And he wasn't kidding.

During the set-up I and a few other people were treated to quite the sight. Ledger stuck around the set and was walking around talking to various crew people, right on the river walk without his hood. He had a skateboard which he played with for a bit. And then my night got amazing. Ledger hopped on the skateboard and zoomed right down towards the bridge I was standing on. It was the closest he had ever come to the crowd in full make-up. He stopped right in front of the bridge on the river walk, looked up at all of us and the zoomed off again.

(Highlight to read) At this point the jump was ready. The crew (who were really cool with the handful of us that early in the morning) shouted up ‘You guys got a good view!?’ We did. The PA walked over and told us that when ‘rolling’ was yelled, we had to cover our ears because the explosion would be incredibly loud. I crouched down and had a great view. The camera cars raced by and the Tumbler jumped over the car. Just as it hit the top of the ramp, the afterburner on the back went off and there was a HUGE explosion that rained fire everywhere. It looked so great! Everyone on the bridge gave a hearty round of applause.

The crew went back to shooting more with The Joker's semi and an armored car. I left the set at about 5:30 AM.”

Again, thanks to "Bat-Ror" for sending in this report!

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