Fall 2019


Bill Carraro

In Lockdown Under Maximum Security

By Brandon Kyle Goco

UPM Bill Carraro met his biggest challenge yet on Ben Stiller's Showtime limited series Escape at Dannemora, about a real-life prison escape in Upstate New York.

"It was tough logistically and ambitious schedulewise," says Carraro. The crew wasn't entirely sure if they could film at Clinton Correctional Facility, the actual prison where the story is set. "I sat down with the [prison] superintendent several times to answer their many questions," says Carraro. "You are basically requesting to show up with your three-ring circus and conform to the restrictions going into an active maximum security prison."

With permissions granted, production had its own logistical challenges. "[The crew] was welcomed into the prison as a unit and had to enter together," recalls Carraro. "They would do a headcount. We did our work in designated areas." While inside, the crew had no way out and absolutely no contact with the inmates. "As they described it, we were in lockdown from the prison, and the prison was in lockdown from us."

After they finished each day, Carraro, along with the entire cast and crew, was processed out the same way. "It was basically like being checked in for the long haul… other than being given designated clothing."

(Photo: Audra Melton)

At Work With

Short profiles of Guild members in all categories sharing their experiences at work.

More from this issue
The latest DGA Quarterly is the Conversations issue, featuring discussions about filmmaking history and craft between directors Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, Pamela Fryman and Mark Cendrowski, Kasi Lemmons and Ed Zwick and Bo Burnham and Olivia Wilde.