Faced with extreme situations, desperate solutions. The popular saying could be a good starting point for delving into the series great escapeswhich History premieres this Saturday at 10pm The actor Morgan Freemanidentified with the theme of his work onwards Dreams of freedom (Shawshank’s redemption1994), serves as a presenter for eight chapters, starting with the multiple leaks of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmanthe escape remembered by Alcatraz in 1962 or, further back in time, the escape of two men from Clinton prison in Dannemora.
“With this show you get an idea of how dedicated, courageous and resourceful people can be in desperate situations,” explained the actor. invincible in dialogue with César Sabroso, Senior VP Marketing of the signal-. If you tell me that you put a person in a situation of impossible escape and he runs away, he succeeds, my main interest is to know how he did it. We will be on the side of boldness, of heroic effort, no matter who or what. We can’t believe he did it. Whenever they get to a point where they are stuck, they become your heroes. How will they solve this problem? Because we all know they got out, but how did they do it?“.
Freeman came to the project through his company Revelations Entertainment. “In my company we have this documentary department which is actually run by James Younger and Geoffrey Sharp. I’m constantly looking for things to do, documentaries to create and present. I happen to have this reputation for presenting, I think, and that’s why I was called to be a part of this project. And I couldn’t resist, “explained the 84-year-old actor.
In addition to archival images and recreations with the actors of the key moments of each story, great escapes It benefits from a simulation technology based on the Unreal Engine platform, the same used in a large number of video games. In this way, through the digital and 3D layout, it is possible to acquire a real awareness of what each of those leaks was. James Younger explains: “All the surrounding architecture provides high quality work. We have thus been able to reproduce the escape route in many cases. For example the ventilation tunnels in the cells, in the ceiling. And how this was done with the actors is very interesting, because sometimes it was easier perhaps to build the physical cell and put them and Morgan in there to create the connection between the world than what is called. CGI (Computer Generated Image) and the real situation“.
Each of the eight episodes that make up great escapes It is based on an exhaustive investigation, which not only investigated the historical facts, but also spoke with some of the protagonists: «It took a long time. We have a team of producers, researchers and associate producers who send emails, call each other on the phone, make calls themselves to a number of people who can’t imagine each of the stories. Also, from the “escape report”. After the escape, the authorities create a document that records what happened, what went wrong, why the person escaped. So we investigated it, we also read it in order to create the narrative, and then reproduce it. We asked a lot of questions, we went on the Internet, we looked for relatives, guards, people who worked in prisons. Our producers, for the most part, have experience in research. This was the basis for uncovering the facts and then figuring out how to turn them into compelling and dramatic stories at the same time, “says Geoffrey Sharp.
The rigor with which the previous work was carried out allows you to follow the alternatives of each chapter as if it were a suspense film. “We will show how they did it – explains Freeman-, step by step, the details at any time, day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year. Escaping a maximum security prison is probably one of the boldest attempts a human being can afford. And the percentage of ingenuity, courage, perseverance, and the importance of sticking to an activity required to do something like this is probably one of the most fascinating things about human nature when locked up in prison.“.
And although the opening chapter carefully follows the alternatives of Chapo Guzmán’s three escape plans, for the driver it was not history that struck him the most: “El Chapo had a lot of money to waste, and this made him build the tunnels. That money also allowed him to use GPS positioning to get his people to the right place, under the prison, so they could enter his cell directly. Much money. It’s different from doing it yourself from the inside. “
Inevitably, the theme of the program led to a deepening of the rumors for and against the prison system. In this respect, Freeman was blunt: “I think we need a place to host people, let me tell you: they’re antisocial. Because the criminal mind is above all antisocial. But I don’t know, you know what prisons and prisons are, they are punishments. If you do something bad you will be punished, you will pay for it. And you will lose your freedom, you will lose the privileges of a free human being. Well, I think we need it. It’s used improperly, but what isn’t?