Illinois 66 "A-Buzz" with Film Making

By Marty and Geri Bilecki

Yes, that’s right, another film company is using the Mother Road and the cameras are churning. Rattlesnake Film Studio, a Chicago based TV and film company is cruising the Illinois Mother Road and filming a “shocker” called “The Nest”. The film will be shown at upcoming national film fests – such as Sundance and the Chicago Film Fest. The company and it’s director, Tim Zwica, hope to have the film released in 2009. It will be available on DVD and also for TV programming

We had an opportunity to visit filming sessions on three separate occasions. The first was on the grounds of the historic Riviera Road House in Gardner. This was complete with the Route 66 Streetcar Café and stage props being utilized as the story full of suspense unfolds. This is a story in the spirit of a 50’s and 60’s Hitchcock drama. A story of greed, selfishness and violence erupts almost instantly in the setting of a small Midwest community and family diner business. To say more would reveal the plot.

Riviera Diner Filming

Another scene takes place in a vintage horse barn in rural Gardner, a short distance from 66, on the Kurt and Betty Mathes farm. Filming was in the barn complete with their two horses. One horse was neighing like “Mr. Ed” from the old TV show – showing his annoyance with the whole production!!! Several surrounding areas in and around Gardner were also used in the filming.

We had an opportunity to interview the Director and story writer, Tim Zwica, and several of the actors. Lead actress is Jamie Newell. We are told she has made appearances in the Chicago theater circuit and also has appeared on several TV dramas. Other cast members include – Adam Shalzi, Adam Di Giovonni, Scott Lynch, Jennifer Scott, Molly Bina.

We were amazed to see how much detail goes into the filming and how long each scene takes. Very impressive!!! Judging from the activity that we observed and the context of the story it should be worth viewing. Look for the title – “The Nest” – no, not birds, but KILLER BEES!!!!

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