Lloyd's safety word, "Shabba," is the moniker of dancehall legend Shabba Ranks, whose song "Mr. Loverman" was a hit in the early nineties. The single was the first in which Mr. Ranks used what would become his trademark call - "Shabba!"
"Shabba" became code for more than just a sneak attack from Erica. On the set, the crew made a special effort to make sure everyone got cake and a song on their birthday - and with around 120 people on set, you're talking a whole lot of singing and eating cake. When the phrase "Shabba-Shabba" would go out over the walkie-talkies, folks would know it was time to gather for a birthday celebration.
How important were birthday celebrations on set? Malcolm Goodwin (Shea) and Serinda Swan (Erica) had to leave the set early one day. In order to get in on a birthday celebration that went down after they left, they stole a walkie-talkie from the set so they could radio-in and sing along with the crew.
More code name facts! Each cast member had their own sandwich and drink named after them by the crew. This made it easy for them to call up craft services and order a "Dom Cool Brew" - iced coffee for Domenick Lombarozzi (Ray Zancanelli) - or a "Dom Sangwich" (Domenick's pronunciation, according to the crew).
On occasion, the food and drink code names would cause some confusion. For example, Jimmi Simpson (Lloyd Lowery) took his coffee black, while Serinda Swan (Erica Reed) preferred her coffee with a hefty serving of almond milk. Trouble would start when Serinda would be sleepy and decide to order a "Jimmi Coffee" for the extra caffeine. Suddenly, Jimmi has a coffee he didn't ask for, and Serinda would find herself coffee-less. Or when Brooke Nevin would place an order for the "Serinda Granola and Yogurt" only to see her snack taken directly to the person for whom it was named.
The tunnel escape was shot on Stage 8 at Celtic Media Center in Baton Rouge, LA. There were three sets that made up the escape; the kitchen, the tunnel, and the house.
Set 1: The hole in the prison kitchen wall allowed the actors to slip out of the prison to the second set - the "underground" tunnel. Here, the actors loaded up on the sled. There was just enough track to pull the sled out of frame.
Set 2: The tunnel had one wall opened up for the camera. Approximately eighty feet of track was laid down for the dolly to run alongside the actors during their sled escape. A Canon 5D was mounted on the front of the sled for a POV shot, and then used again to shoot coverage on the actors.
Set 3: The third set, the house, was two stories tall. This allowed the camera-equipped crane to capture the sled entering frame in the tunnel below, and then pull back through the large hole into the house above.
Production notes courtesy of Mike Fischer, Vanessa Hickey, and Andrew Shepherd.