How Did Code 58 End Up Shooting In Dallas? Because It Looks Like a '70s Cop Show Set.
|All photos by Patrick Michels|
|Matt Nix, Code 58's writer and creator, with director Tim Matheson on the set this morning|
Nix, creator of USA's Burn Notice, has been writing and rewriting this series for kicks for almost a decade; it was initially set in Los Angeles, matter of fact, before FOX signed off on shooting and setting its initial 13-episode run in Dallas. I asked Nix how they settled here.
|Bradley Whitford's Dan is a stuck-in-the-'70s Dallas cop -- hence, the mustache and various shades of brown clothing|
"So you look for a city where you can shoot quick and cheap. FOX came up with a list of cities with tax incentives, the infrastructure. There are places with great tax incentives but no crews, and vice-versa. And once Dallas got on the list, I fought very hard for Dallas."
I ask him, Why Dallas?
"One thing was Fair Park," he said. "To say the city was film-friendly would be a wild understatement. Fair Park makes it possible to put so much more awesomeness on the screen it's not even funny. The other thing is, the look of Dallas. It's important it be a cosmopolitan enough city to justify a wide variety of crime. And, this is a throwback to the classic cop shows, and Dallas has the look of those shows. I kept saying to people, 'If we shoot this in the suburbs, it'll look wrong. We need power cables.'"
|Colin Hanks as Jack, who's considerably more buttoned-up than his partner|
"I kept saying, the conceit of the show is kind of old school meets new school," Nix said. "Dan has all the powers of a '70s, '80s television cop paired with a guy [Jack] who has the power of a modern-day TV cop. And Dallas has that in spades. It's got old brick buildings and streets you can chase around on, and it's got a brand-new modern opera house, so it's exactly that. Honestly, I came here to scout, and it far exceeded my expectations."
We spoke for a long time, about half an hour; Matheson too went on and on about how much he liked shooting here. They both couldn't stop talking about Fair Park and the surrounding neighborhoods, which will factor heavily into the series. Said Matheson, who's been here since January 5 and leaves Thursday to begin editing the pilot in L.A., "I like the roughness of Dallas -- the rough, urban aspect of what I've seen. It's not a city that's been shot to death, either. Miami's like Vegas, but Dallas has real character."
As we were sitting on the set, waiting for Matheson to finish blocking a shot set inside a sound-stage whorehouse, Nix went on and on about the possibilities of shooting at Fair Park -- the fact he can stage chases without ever leaving the set. And the Cotton Bowl ... and Hall of State ...
"This place ...," he said, looking around and sizing up the possible. "I could kiss the mayor." He laughs. "Just like a guy kiss, nothing that would make him uncomfortable."
Have you met him yet?
"No, but I met Chief Kunkle," Nix says. "He was very cool. He's got a big office."