Hell on Wheels: Season 2 in production

From the Calgary Herald, an update on the filming (just started) of the second season of Hell on Wheels (click on the excerpt to go to full article):

Shot on the Tsuu T’ina Nation last year, the look of Season 1 was at least partially defined by the big-skied wonder of Alberta’s wilderness, despite being shot just 10 minutes outside of Calgary. It was also defined, at least for cast and crew, by some ill-tempered weather that rained down on the production and made the already-hellish tent city even more hellish.

The production returned last week to a new Alberta location, with bigger sets and an even darker story that will continue to follow the men and women who built the Transcontinental Railroad as it snakes further west, an enterprise that was dangerous, dramatic and marred by political corruption and racism.

New this year, however, is the location, which will allow for even bigger sets than the sprawling, filthy tent city and movable, smoke-billowing train that was built last year. Calgary producer Chad Oakes of Nomadic Pictures said cast and crew are busy filming at an expansive location 30 minutes southeast of the city along the Bow River. He said interior shots will be done at a 56,000-square-foot makeshift studio in Calgary’s northeast near the airport. Season 2’s 10 episodes are expected to take 80 days to finish, employing anywhere from 130 to 160 crew members and as many as 300 extras per episode, Oakes says.

More racial strife, scarier battles with the Native Americans and a further development of the prickly relationship between Elam and Cullen will also be on full display in Season 2 he says. “We want to escalate the danger of Hell on Wheels, the danger of building this railroad,” he says. “It was a race against the rival Central Pacific. It was basically an urban slum on the Prairie and people died daily. Not only was it a tough job and the railway work very dangerous, but the town itself was very dangerous. That’s our No. 1 priority this year, to make it a bigger, badder Hell on Wheels that our characters have to swim through and deal with.”



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