Filmmaker to shoot on location near Seymour

SEYMOUR — With the permission of Champaign County, filmmakers will shut down a mile of County Road 6 south of Seymour this weekend to film a scene for the independent movie, "Road."

The mile adjoins another mile of road closed by the county because of a bridge closure, said Michael Kilcullen, the location manager for the feature-length movie, co-directed by Andrew Gleason of Champaign.

The stretch of highway will be closed through Monday and be the scene for a 10-car crash. Tatman's Towing of Urbana is providing the crash cars free of charge, Kilcullen said.

The scene to be shot this weekend depicts two women — both portrayed by Chicago actresses — fleeing something (Kilcullen is not sure what) and who come upon the multi-car crash south of Seymour.

Because the feature-length movie is about apocalyptic occurrences, the filmmakers wanted the scene to take place on an isolated stretch of road.

"For this particular scene, we wanted the look to be brown and gray and dead," Kilcullen said. "No houses. No people. Very isolated looking. We don't want any snow."

The filmmakers — a producer lives in Chicago and the other director in southern Illinois — had also scouted for highways near Chicago but could not find anything suitable, Kilcullen said.

Kilcullen had found another possible road to use near Ivesdale. But he said Champaign County officials wanted him to use County Highway 6 at 1200 N, because the adjoining mile was already closed.

Champaign County engineer Jeff Blue worked with the filmmakers, contacting the state's attorney's office about the issue of liability insurance. The filmmakers took out a $2 million policy for the scene. Blue also notified the sheriff's department and Champaign County METCAD, a dispatch service that answers most area emergency 911 calls, about the location shoot this weekend.

The biggest issue, though, is that the filmmakers don't want anyone crashing through the barricades while they are shooting the scene.

"We want only 10 cars crashing," Kilcullen said.

He said the remaining scenes for "Road" will be shot this spring; he's not sure whether any further scenes will be shot in this area. Kilcullen said no big-name actors are involved in the movie.

"It's intended for the festival circuit," he said of "Road." "If it gets distribution, it would be intended for theaters like the Art" in Champaign.

Kilcullen worked for Amtrak and other transportation agencies before coming to the University of Illinois to obtain a degree in traffic planning. After getting his degree last year, he stayed and now lives in Urbana.

He also has worked with the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District. Because of his background, filmmakers call upon him to work as a location manager for transportation scenes, he said.

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