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Chicago Fire: Behind the Scenes

Tue, 2 Oct 2012|

Fire Engineering Editorial Board Member Forest Reeder talks to some of the actors from the NBC series "Chicago Fire."



[MUSIC] Spencer starting in NBC NBC new drama called Chicago Fire Jesse's playing let's get this right lieutenant thirty one we got a great opportunity to come here and talk with You and some of the members of the cast, a little bit about your experience in, you know, playing a firefighter? >> Yeah. >> A little bit about hopefully what that for you as as an actor as well as what it's gonna do for us as a fire service. >> Right. >> And if you've got a couple minutes, what would you like to, you know, tell the fire fighters about you know, the job and, and what maybe the public's perception about what we do and those types of things. Anything there, you'd like to. You know, kind of pass along about your observations about working as an actor in our world. And, and you know, what we really do. >> In terms of fighting building fires, this is completely new to me. But what the one thing that really struck. You know, that I've, I've picked up straight off the bat was. You know, these, these guys are really, I mean they're really open honest, really lovely guys, you know, they're, they're patient. You know, I think in terms of people that have to deal with stressful situations, I think there's a certain personality type you know, that has to be able to deal with that. And And these, these guys are just really, really lovely open guys you know and you know their personalities and their sense of humor really is really magnetic and you could, you know, you know we love em. They're our boys now. [LAUGH] >> Okay, still on the set here at Chicago Fire. Got a great opportunity to sit down and talk with the engineer of truck 81. When you leave the set and, and talk to, you know, Hollywood or family or friends that aren't in the fire service, what do you tell them about the experiences that you're gaining from this in terms of what maybe the public or Hollywood's perception about being a firefighter and, and working in our [INAUDIBLE] versus what they may have seen on TV. You were in the movies before. >> One of the actual firefighters that's on set with us, shared with me the other day, he was saying how he was at a house, and there was a big fire burning, and they knew that they had a three year old kid somewhere in that building, and there was no way to get in, there was no decent entry point, they were waiting on hoses, and finally they get the water going,. And they go inside and the kid doesn't make it. And then, he has to go home to his three year old daughter. After having just pulled this, this young lady, girl, you know, ,this three year old girl out of a fire, who didn't make it. And, be able to keep that in himself, and not bring that out to his wife. And not you know, not trying like, upset her even more. And you know, I, you know, to kinda, to hold that kinda thing, you know as actors, we all have our own personal problems, we all have things that we hold in, but like, I think the beauty of being a performer is that you get the opportunity kinda to vent that frustration through a different outlet. Your know through a different human being. And then that way, you know, you get, it, I, a, a, I think it's kinda healthy, a healthy exercise of release. And. With a lot of you guys you know, I was, I was asking myself, well how do you compensate for something like that you know. Like how do you even, how do you, how do you like, how do you reconcile that in your head. You know, and and, and he was like you know, we were, we happened to be at a, at a baseball game and he was like. You do stuff like this, ya know? And it's like you hang out with your boys. You go out to games. You forget about things. You try and just kinda get through the day. And I think that that is almost as important to being a firefighter as actually fighting the fire. The fact that, you know you have each other for those moments that no one else will understand and no one else will be able to kind of Fully realize for themselves. And it's why I think it's like, it's, it's easily the most significant brotherhood of men and women that I've ever had the pleasure of being around. >> All right Charlie, thanks for taking some time out of the, out of the set and work here to come spend a little bit of time with Fire Engineering to kind of talk about the show a little bit. And we've had a real fun day kind of talking to some of the other cast members about some of their roles and things like that, but You get to be that guy. You get to be the candidate. >> Yeah. >> You get to be the new guy, all the guy that all the nicknames. >> Fresh meat, candy i get a lot. What are the other ones. It goes on and on. >> I think the fire service is unique from other businesses. >> Absolutely. [CROSSTALK] >> Fire fighter is. I mean, he's the ultimate hero. And selfless completely beyond belief. I mean, you're literally going in to a burning building where people could be hurt or dying, risking your own life to take them out. And that's, I mean, that's the bottom line of the job. That, I don't know, I don't know any other job like that. I mean, other than being, being in, being in the military, you know. sure maybe ok yea its its i think is one of the most selfless acts it is ok continue the special on some of the guests and very important people in the state of Chicago fire chief if you can just give us a little more into what you're role is i bet you that's kind of a challenge trying to into the real world having fun here yea im having a blast is a really because I, because I'm a writer, and that's what that's what I do and, and here I'm a story line consultant and I work with both the writers and with the actors. Hand on and physical with the training all the way from the story line development to make sure it's It, it's real somewhat. Almost every story comes from, it was inspired by real life stories throughout my career and careers of others that I've witnessed. But we made changes, it's not about the, the, the, just the story, or the action. It's about the firefighters and the paramedics. And I think I think the average firefighter, or medic around the country, is going to be impressed. They're going to be represented well, going to be represented as hardworking, noble people with the cause yet there's it's reality. You know, different types of personality, and personal problems. That, that pop up. But the action is gonna be real good and the emotion. Even more powerful than the action I think, is the emotion. You'll notice that there's a lot more cop shows than there is fire shows, because fire shows are more expensive to make. The elaborate sets that are needed for each show and much higher special effects budget. So that's kind of slowed down the number of fire shows throughout the years. So John Q. Public, they know what police officers do for a living, and they really don't know what firefighters do. There's been comedic shows there really hasn't, I don't think there's ever been anything like what we're doing. It's a **** Wolf production. It's second to none in, in, In just the money spent, the the special effects. The, the stunt crews, the, the cast. It's bringing what we do. To the public. They're gonna be able to see through firefighters eyes, and kind of We know, and you know Forrest when we go to work we're working with 1,300 degree temperatures over our head, we're working in zero visibility. On NBC every Wednesday night people will be able to see what we're doing. [MUSIC]

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