Production of the Film “Night Train” Showcases Rejuvenated Downtown Elgin
Blue Damen Pictures will be producing their first feature film “Night Train” right in downtown Elgin this Memorial Day Weekend. Shot entirely on location in a single weekend “Night Train” will feature local businesses and Elgin’s revitalized parks, Main Street and riverfront in the story of two strangers waiting for the morning train.
The story of “Night Train” is about a young woman who takes the last train out of Chicago one night and sleeps through her station and ends up at the end of the line in Elgin where she meets a guy at the train station who offers to keep her company until the morning train. It was a visit to Elgin that inspired director Gwydhar Gebien to develop the story for production when she saw the range of moods and settings that Elgin could provide.
A self-described “mumblecore” film, “Night Train” is an ultra-low budget style of filmmaking that emphasizes the relationship between the characters. Most notably, “Night Train” has no script: The actors Amy Karen (the Gal) and Elgin native Pete Garlock (the Guy) are developing their own characters and will be improvising each scene. As Garlock puts it: “As one of the lead actors in this production, I’m excited and nervous, because it’s such a ground-breaking approach we’re taking to tell this story, and I don’t know what to expect. And as someone who works and lives in Elgin, I’m excited to show the world how beautiful my city is!”
Garlock isn’t the only one excited to show off Elgin to the world: the outpouring of local support has been astounding. Thanks to the City Manager’s office of Elgin most of the scenes will take place in public parks and along the river. Several local businesses will also make appearances onscreen in the film including the Douglas Street Sports Bar which became part of the project when Doree Haight, owner of the property, heard about Blue Damen Pictures and contacted Gwydhar to suggest that the property could be a great film location.
“Night Train” is even drawing out of town filmmakers to Elgin. One of the producers, Daniel Vendt, is even flying in from Los Angeles for the production: “Normally, I’ve been the composer for our projects, but after several intense years of industry experience, I’m able to bring a lot more to the team.” Elgin, it seems, is ready for its close-up.