Season one of Breakout Kings used sets made to look like prisons. But the prison scenes in season two were shot on location at Louisiana's Angola Prison, an 18,000 acre fully functioning, prisoner-occupied facility. Not only was the set home to actual inmates, shooting took place in Angola's Death Row Unit.
As Angola is a fully operation facility, no cell phones or lighters were allowed on set. Ever. Additionally, background checks had to be done on every crew member before anyone could enter prison grounds.
The show's inmate wardrobe blended well with the actual Angola prisoner uniforms. Inmates were generally escorted through the set by guards, but on a couple of occasions, crew members had to actually ask inmates to step out of frame.
Damien Fontleroy (played by Jason Behr) makes his escape from Danbury Correction Facility, which lies around 1,250 miles from BOK's Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based production.
The escape attempt in this episode required bad guy Damien Fontleroy to rig a zip line off the roof of the prison. In order to capture the action at its best, a practical zip line was used, and Behr actually did the stunt himself.
For anyone out there who loves cinematography, here are a couple of bits of interesting info. To light the escape, the grip and lighting departments flew 18Ks from cranes. Those are some big ol' lights! To create a unique look for the episode, Director of Photography Fernando Arguelles used the Arri Alexa camera system and Cooke lenses to achieve a sharp, subtle, high contrast effect.
Recognize that bullpen? The original BOK headquarters set from season one was shipped in pieces all the way from Canada to the new location in Louisiana. But that doesn't mean it didn't get a few upgrades...
The BOK's headquarters had just been painted when shooting began on the new season's premiere episode, and some of the walls were still drying. Needless to say, more than one person on set ended up with a streak of "Bullpen Brown" decorating their clothes.
Other new additions to the Bullpen include a coffee nook and a couple of cozy sofas. These additions made for a happy cast, as Serinda Swan (Erica Reed) quickly determined that the coffee nook was the best place for a nap, and the sofas became an alternate resting area for the cast so they didn't have to go all the way back to the trailers between takes. The crew loved the additions as well, since it became a whole lot easier to find the cast when they were needed on set!
This isn't the first time that actors Jimmi Simpson (Lloyd Lowery) and Nate Mooney (Brent Howson) have shared the screen. Fans of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia will recognize the duo from their roles as creepy brothers Ryan and Liam McPoyle.
Production notes courtesy of Mike Fischer, Vanessa Hickey, and Andrew Shepherd.