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Other Public Enemies locations included a number of towns and cities in Wisconsin, including Columbus, Milwaukee, Madison, Darlington, Oshkosh and others. For the shoot, both Mann and Crowley kept a close eye out for period structures and streets that could be transformed into 1933–'34.

In the cases of Oshkosh and Columbus, filming took on a more expansive approach; complete blocks of downtown areas were redressed for the shoot. All of the work was accomplished with the cooperation of the respective cities' managers and property owners. While the filming schedule was much longer in these locales, potential logistical problems were kept to a minimum.

The production designer elaborates: "Dillinger raided banks in small towns, so we needed some small places that hadn't been modernized or had big chain stores that would be hard to take out.

Columbus is very proud of its historic downtown area, and we turned the clock back on it. That meant everything: cobblestones, traffic lights, signage and facades.

"We had 30-odd stores to deal with in Columbus, so we were really looking for a place that was willing to help and wanted us there,” Crowley adds.

Similarly, an elaborate bank heist was staged both inside and outside of a building in Oshkosh. Because the scene involved a getaway, several storefronts were dressed accordingly.

During his spree, Dillinger was a frequent visitor to Chicago; therefore, a number of scenes were filmed there. Most of the office scenes, as well as various apartments, were accurately depicted in Chicago. The production went to several of the same neighborhoods to capture the look and feel. For example, the arrival of the Dallas field agents was staged at Chicago's train terminal, with an actual period steam engine train used for the shoot. Crowley shares: "We shot some big streets in Chicago to get some scale to the big city.”

It was crucial to Mann and his five-time collaborator, cinematographer Dante Spinotti, to lens a drama set in the '30s while not making it seem as if it's a period piece. The director explains: "What I try to do in Public Enemies is avoid anything that feels like the convention of a nostalgic filter, of making things looking old. If you're alive on Tuesday morning of March 17, 1934, things are very immediate; they're right in your face. It's a cold, rainy day, and it's in Chicago and it's in color. It seems to be very Purvis and his agents move in on Dillinger at the Biograph Theater. vibrant, and not a lot has changed. That took me to imagining being right there and then.”

While in Chicago (and throughout the course of production) Spinotti and Mann used multiple HD cameras for almost every scene they shot. This equipment included four of Sony's new HDC-F23s and the XDCAM-EX1s. DP Spinotti offers: "There's a combination of a handheld, very close approach to the faces of the actors, all shot with long lenses. But in the same setup, we really captured at least one side of the scene.

That offers a real-time immediacy and a sense of witnessing whatever is happening, which was a very important part of the way we shot this film.”

This sense of immediacy extended to their thoughts on lighting scenes; it was just as important to light the environment as it was the specific actors. Spinotti elaborates:

"We always kept in mind an extreme realism of the situation. We wanted to represent, in an aggressive, real way, what the time was and what the scene is. So, we lit the whole scene, but we rarely lit the shot. The actors have to look properly correct when they end up in their close-up, which is recorded by a camera on the close-up while another camera is getting the reverse close-up on the other actor or actress.”

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