TV production featuring pyrotechnics, special effects filming in Bowie

Posted at 3:34 PM, Jul 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-12 18:14:58-04

If you’re driving down Route 50 this week and see a thick column of smoke and some flames, don’t panic.

It’s just a Maryland-based production company re-creating a plane crash for a TV series.

Sirens Media of Silver Spring will be filming between Wednesday and Friday in the Bowie area, and smoke and pyrotechnics will be seen and heard along Route 50 and in the areas surrounding Freeway Airport, said Mark Brady, a spokesman for the Prince George’s County Fire Department.  

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Brady said movie and TV productions are not uncommon in Prince George’s County.

“This one’s a little bit unusual, with the pyrotechnics,” he said.

Brady said first responders are expecting an influx of  911 calls from concerned citizens, and the fire department has alerted the Maryland State Police, Prince George’s County Police, Bowie Police and the county’s Public Safety Commission.

Filming and special effects will take place between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Officials from the fire department’s Office of the Fire Marshal will be on location, as well as a fully staffed piece of fire apparatus. Members of the public won’t be allowed near the production because of safety concerns.

Brady said the department has worked with Sirens before, most recently on a cable TV production about arson.

Sirens specializes in crime and investigation television shows for channels including Investigation Discovery, A&E, MSNBC and truTV, according to its website. Sirens has also produced other reality TV shows, including the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

A spokeswoman for Sirens declined to comment on the filming in Bowie.

Maryland is no stranger to film and TV productions, said Jack Gerbes, director of the Maryland Film Office.

“Maryland is an active location,” Gerbes said. “There’s strong crew here, diversity of locations and a very talented acting base here for a lot of the shows.”

The popular Netflix series House of Cards is filmed in Maryland, and numerous movies have been filmed in the state over the years.

“At any given time, there is a series that being filmed,” Gerbes said. “A lot of it is reality-based.”

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