Chicago has served as the backdrop for blockbuster films like “The Blues Brothers,” “The Dark Knight,” and “The Break-Up.” But just when did Chicago, sometimes referred to as the “Hollywood of the Midwest,” first become a go-to location for film and TV producers? The answer goes all the way back to the silent film era of the early 1900s when the Essanay Film Manufacturing Co. produced thousands of films from 1907 to 1917 and William Foster debuted “The Railroad Porter” in 1913. Productions shot on location in Chicago ebbed and flowed in the years that followed as Hollywood became a film and television hub. But as of September 2021, a record 15 TV shows were filming here. And with so many things being filmed here, we get asked a lot of questions about what makes certain locations popular for movie shoots? Matt Sigur tracks down some answers for us.