Chicago Med and Chicago Fire’s new directors discuss life on set

Chicago Med director SJ Main Munoz and Chicago Fire director Brenna Malloy tell One Chicago Center about filming in part two of our interview.

What’s it like to film an episode of Chicago Med or Chicago Fire during the notoriously cold winters in the city? That’s one of the questions we asked SJ Main Munoz, the director of this week’s Chicago Med episode, “In the Name of Love.”

In part two of our Female Forward interview, SJ and Chicago Fire director Brenna Malloy (who helmed last week’s episode “Protect A Child” weighed in on filming in the winter, told us how they helped each other through it, and discussed the impact of NBC’s Female Forward program on their careers.

Learn more about both SJ and Brenna in our interview below. And if you missed part one of our interview earlier this week, you can find it here.

One Chicago Center: Both of your episodes were shot during winter; you can clearly see the weather in Chicago Med and moreso on Chicago Fire. How was it for you to shoot in those conditions?

SJ Main Munoz: We worked together to prep for that.

Brenna Malloy: We gave each other tips, and I think I told SJ very early on that I was going to invest in electric socks, because I knew I’d be shooting outside a lot because Fire shoots on the streets of Chicago so much. And I think SJ thought that was funny, but did you end up getting electric socks, SJ, or electric gloves?

SMM: I got electric gloves and of course the day before our zero-degree night shoot, I think it was on Monday or Tuesday, that weekend I went out with my family and lost my gloves. All in the name of a churro. (laughs)

So I didn’t have my gloves for the big night, but I was fine. I have to say your adrenaline is pumping. It’s such an awesome opportunity to be directing a big show and I know I can speak for Brenna; we’ve both been prepping for this for so much of our lives. So to have that opportunity, it really warms your soul and warms your body, and I think you can deal with anything.

BM: I totally agree. To get the opportunity to direct an episode of Chicago Fire, I don’t care if it’s the polar vortex, I’m there. [It’s the] same [as] what SJ said about Chicago Med; Chicago Fire is a family. And when you’re welcomed into the family, even if it’s just the one episode, it’s the most joyful feeling you could imagine. And so whatever the temperature is, you put your coat on, you put your electric socks, electric gloves on, and you have a smile on your face because it’s just so wonderful.

Chicago Fire

CHICAGO FIRE — “Protect a Child” Episode 817 — Pictured: (l-r) — (Photo by: Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC)

OCC: As graduates of the Female Forward program, you’re following in the footsteps of folks like Olivia Newman, Daniela de Carlo and Christine Swanson. What did that mean for you?

BM: SJ and I have talked many times about how awesome Olivia Newman is and how we aspire to be her.

SMM: And Nicole Rubio, who’s also a hit in the [Dick] Wolf world.

OCC: Can you recommend other projects for people who have enjoyed your One Chicago episodes and want to see something else that you’ve done?

BM: You can watch my short film, which won a Student Academy Award. It’s called Rocket, and it’s available on Amazon.

SMM: I have two films distributed through Shorts International, La Cerca and Luck of the Draw. Luck of the Draw has [Chicago Justice alum] Chris Mulkey and James Duval in it. And then I have three more about to be distributed, so those will probably be coming out this year. I have a website, SJMainMunoz.com, and all my stuff’s there.

OCC: How would you describe your experience within the Female Forward program?

SMM: The Female Forward program works hard to ensure that candidates are set up for success. Sure, we have to bring the goods and the determination, but to have individuals willing to give you tips, advice, and positive reinforcement along the way is awesome.

As directors we are so committed to finding a way to work professionally and we examine how to find that success every day, but programs like Female Forward help to make that goal a reality for us, and for that, we could not be more indebted.

Next: Which Chicago Med characters might couple up?

For the latest Chicago Med season 5 spoilers and news, plus more on the entire series, follow the Chicago Med category at One Chicago Center.