Filming over Chicago River for ‘Office Christmas Party’
Loop North News

CHICAGO RIVER

Photo by Steven Dahlman (Left) A helicopter, filming for Transformers 4, flies low over the Clark Street Bridge on August 25, 2013.

(Click on image to view larger version.)

24-Mar-16 – Four bridges over the main branch of the Chicago River will be raised at the same time for low-altitude filming from a helicopter next month.

The shots are for Office Christmas Party, a film by DreamWorks Pictures about an office party gone awry. It stars Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, T.J. Miller of the HBO television series Silicon Valley, and Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon.

Filming will take place on April 9 between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Filmmakers need to get four shots, according to James McAllister, the film’s location manager. The first will require the helicopter to fly 100 feet over the river from LaSalle to Clark Street, then climb to 300 feet.

Then the helicopter will descend to about 40 feet over the Clark Street Bridge and ascend as the bridge is raised.

In the third shot, the helicopter will come in from the west, descend to 200 feet between Wells and LaSalle, and continue east as bridges at Clark, Dearborn, State, and Wabash are all raised. They will try that again, flying in the opposite direction.

For the last shot, the helicopter will hover over the Clark Street Bridge at an altitude of 350 feet.

The river will be closed to traffic for 15-20 minutes at time, according to the United States Coast Guard.

(Right) Kate McKinnon (NBC photo). NBC

While most of the filming has been in Atlanta, some of the production has been in Chicago since March 19. Casting agents were looking for “fraternity and sorority types” – for a scene that will be filmed on April 2 and April 5 – and for an actor to play Santa.

The film will be released on December 9.

On Friday, the city announced street and bridge closures in the Loop and River North to accommodate filming…

  • April 2 – Dearborn Street from Adams Street south to Jackson Boulevard in the Loop, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • April 3 – Dearborn Street from Monroe Street south to Jackson Boulevard in the Loop, 2 p.m. (following Shamrock Shuffle) to 2 a.m.
  • April 4 – Wabash Avenue Bridge over Chicago River, noon to 3 p.m. Also, Clark Street closed from Adams Street south to Jackson Boulevard in the Loop, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
  • April 5 – Franklin Street from Chicago Avenue south to Superior Street in River North, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
  • April 6 – Wells Street from Washington Street south to Adams Street in the Loop, 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. However, only brief closures of east-west streets that intersect with Wells. Also, Monroe Street closed from Franklin Street east to LaSalle Street, 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • April 7 – Wells Street from Washington Street south to Adams Street in the Loop, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Brief closures of east-west streets that intersect with Wells. Also, Franklin Street closed from Lake Street south to Adams Street, 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Brief closures of east-west streets that intersect with Franklin.
  • April 8 – Franklin Street from Lake Street south to Adams Street in the Loop, 8 p.m. to midnight. Brief closures of east-west streets that intersect with Franklin. Also, Clark Street closed from Lake Street north to Kinzie Street, midnight to 6 a.m. Wacker Drive closed from LaSalle Street east to Dearborn Street, midnight to 6 a.m.
  • April 9 – Clark Street from Lake Street north to Kinzie Street, 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wacker Drive from LaSalle Street east to Dearborn Street, 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | sdahlman@loopnorth.com

Published 24-Mar-16 7:13 PM

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