Note: this is a post about civic data and the promise of machine learning disguised as a post about a really good TV show. Here are some more unnaturally-detailed posts along the same lines as this one and a good primer on the overall concept here.
I like Boss, the Kelsey Grammer vehicle about a ruthless Chicago mayor. Good show, and season two begins this Friday night, August 17. I also like civic data, like Public Right-of-Way Use Permits published by the City of Chicago.
I was recently reviewing this new data set and saw that film permits are a subset of Public Right-of-Way Permits, so I made a Custom view using the Socrata data display system to filter for only permits related to the filming of Boss. I used the Permit Type Code of “Filming”, the Company of Boss Kane Productions (they even have a Yelp page), and a Date of after 3/1/12 (because otherwise I’d be catching Season 1 filmings as well).
Next I exported this data and imported it into a Google Fusion Table so I could make a quick map. Here it is:
So let’s take a look at some of the locations to see what to look out for come Friday.
One chunk of filmings centers just east of Douglas Park, near 16th and Rockwell. There are 12 filmings up and down California, including down to the Cook County Jail and Courthouse at 26th and California. This set of filmings is at or near the Cinespace Chicago studio.
This is also the address listed for Boss Kane Productions, which (I think) is where the interior action is shot. My guess is when they need a generic outdoor location, they pull a film permit to go outside and shoot.
There’s another set of filmings (six) in the Pilsen area, scattered around Halsted, 18th, and Roosevelt.
One of the locations is 1733 S. Halsted, which is the address for Kristoffer’s Cake and Bakery.
There’s a set of eight filmings in the Kenwood neighborhood, most of them in a particularly green region bounded by Drexel, 47th, Lake Park, and 50th. This includes one permit at the Drexel Towers, 4825 South Drexel Boulevard.
There are two film permits in the Illinois Medical District, including one at 1750 West Harrison Street, the Rush University Medical Center Jelke Building. Here it is from 1960:
On July 10 of this year they worked on Northerly Island.
I would also expect to see a shot this year with Buckingham Fountain (500 S. Columbus Drive) in the background. Maybe it will be a Married With Children spoof.
There’s a permit for 125 E. Monroe, which is basically the Crown Fountain.
They’ve also got the obligatory City Hall shoot (121 N. LaSalle), a “beneath the train tracks” shot on Lake Street between Wabash and State, and two downtown shots at Monroe and Dearborn. You can also expect to see a shot of 225 N. Michigan, a nifty Mies Van der Rohe edifice. At some point there should be a riverwalk shot on or about 70 E. Wacker. Here’s Boss Kane in the City Hall Roof Garden from a new season trailer:
Here’s the tracks:
And looks like there’s a scuffle at Monroe and Dearborn:
Speaking of the river, there is a permit at 333 N. Canal, the Riverbend Condominiums, and one at 300 North Canal, Left Bank at Kinzie Station. I’ll be looking for those exteriors in upcoming episodes— let me know if I miss it (@juggernautco).
Since there is a permit for 702 W. Fulton Market, we can expect to see some dining going on at Carnivale at some point this season (careful– restaurant Web site sound explosion upon click).
There’s a clump of filmings around Franklin and Chicago:
If you see a set of row houses, that would be the Cabrini Row Houses north of Chicago Avenue– four filmings there, including 850 North Cleveland Avenue.
This looks like T.I. is out in front of that place:
There are four Gold Coast filmings, including one outside of the Drake Hotel.
West of the Kennedy, there’s a single filming at 2214 W. Walton
…and one at 835 N. Wood.
All of this info was made possible by civic data, Google search, and a connection to the Internet. What if there was a machine that could do this for me? God bless us all.
Data, Tools, and Methods
- Socrata: Search the City of Chicago’s data.cityofchicago.org system: start at Public Right-of-Way Use Permits and sort for film permits by the Boss production company during the Season Two time period. Save this view using my account on the City Web site
- Google Fusion Tables: Upload data, deselect extraneous fields, map by “latitude” field
- Google and Google Maps: search for specific addresses, looking for relevant bits. Screenshot interesting things. This, along with reviewing Starz marketing content, might be the hardest part for a machine to do
- Flickr: upload screenshots to Flickr for use in this blog post, organized geographically, with an introduction
- WordPress: write up blog post on WordPress hosted on Hostmonster
- Starz’ Boss Web site: review video content for exterior locations, match them up to film permits and existing screenshots, and associate them together in blog post