DOWNTOWN — Two filmmakers knew they were going to be homesick when they had to leave Chicago for work. So, they got to filming.
Rick Wayne, 26, of Lakeview, and Brad Johnson, 28, of South Loop, took their video business, Underscore Films, to the West Coast a month ago "to expand our roots," Wayne said. But, before they left, they used a drone to film footage of the city. They tried to cover as many neighborhoods as possible and wanted to focus on the people from the city so they could "really" represent Chicago.
"As we were leaving we realized this was us pouring our hearts out into the places that we love most," Wayne said. "It's even hard to kind of watch it now, being away from home and away from family."
The video, called "Homesick for Chicago," uses a drone to capture sweeping views of the city's beaches and harbors, skyline, busy streets and Lake Michigan. But, it also focuses on people grabbing a hot dog, playing in fire hydrants, enjoying ice cream at Tastee Freez and hanging out in the park.
Wayne and Johnson turned to friends and family when trying to figure out where to film. They asked where people had "intimate memories" and trekked to places that are "near and dear to our hearts," Wayne said.
"Not just Millennium Park and the places everybody knows so well, but ice cream stands, dive bars and the places most people wouldn't know of, but if you're from Chicago it will hold a place in your heart," Wayne said.
They also tried to focus on the city's people just as much as its architecture.
"That's really what makes [Chicago], outside of the architecture and everything like that," Wayne said. "We just wanted to showcase some diversity and friends and family."
The video also showcases the capabilities of drones and "their beauty," Wayne said, in part because the filmmakers wanted to show the audience what drones can do in light of questions about "whether they're safe or if they're good for the general public."
Feedback on the video has been "tremendous," Wayne said, with people calling for a sequel or asking them to film in other cities. Johnson and Wayne are back in town this week, filming the Chicago Architecture Biennial, and they hope to return to Chicago this winter for another video that would showcase the city (if they're not too busy doing work for Trump Hotels or Nike, among other clients).
"It's a whole other side of Chicago. It's just absolutely beautiful when everything is frozen over with fresh powder," Wayne said. "It just shows a different perspective that you don't get during the summer."
In the future, the duo hopes to spend "at least" half of the year in Chicago, Wayne said.
"Because this is undoubtedly the greatest city in the world," Wayne said, "but it does get a little cold."
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