Written by on Jul 31, 2015. Posted in On Location

Slavery drama Underground films in Louisiana

Slavery drama Underground is among the latest TV series to film in Louisiana. The ten-part miniseries is one of several US productions tackling the issue of slavery in America before the Civil War of the 1860s. A remake of classic drama Roots will also be shot in Louisiana.

Underground tells the story of the so-called Underground Railroad, a secret network of abolitionists who, by 1850, had helped smuggle as many as 100,000 slaves out of the American South and to freedom. Most ended up settling in Ontario.

Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave (right) has been the highest-profile recent production on this part of American history and won three Oscars.

Underground has been filming in Baton Rouge and is scheduled to wrap in the next few weeks, according to NOLA.com.

“I think there are two (factors) that relate to the state where the show lives,” said Matt Cherniss, president of cable channel WGN America, in comments to the outlet.

“One is [you need] the authenticity of plantation life [and] what that actually meant. We've all seen the grand houses, but where did the slaves live? What were their lifestyles like? You have that part, but then you need an environment that can basically work for all 600 miles north to freedom.

“You need an environment that has a lot of unique terrain. You need swamps, you need rivers, you need forests and mountains. You need everything to really explore what that journey was like. That was one of the reasons we choose Louisiana.”

Several movies and TV dramas exploring America’s history of slavery are currently in production. Louisiana is an obvious filming location offering period authenticity and generous filming incentives.


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