[StBernard] 'The Colony' Reality Show To Film In Chalmette

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Thu Mar 4 09:43:09 EST 2010

'The Colony' Reality Show To Film In Chalmette
Discovery Channel Show To Begin Filming In April

CHALMETTE, La. -- Reality TV is coming to Chalmette.

A show with a post-apocalyptic feel will begin filming next month, and it
will mean some serious dollars for the still-recovering parish.

Filming for Discovery Channel's "The Colony" will cover about 5,000 square
feet near Judge Perez and De La Ronde drives in the Village Square area.

Two blocks of abandoned, broken down apartments will be known as home to the
participants of the show.

"This is a naturally occurring set," said St. Bernard Parish President Craig
P. Taffaro. "There are no modifications to it."

"The Colony" is a controlled experiment to see what it would take to survive
and rebuild after a global catastrophe. For 10 weeks, 10 volunteers are
isolated and forced to create a livable society.

The first season was set in a Los Angeles warehouse, but this season takes
things a step further and puts the group right in the middle of a real
disaster zone.

When the cast arrives, they'll be dropped in by a helicopter. Then, once on
the ground, they have to make do with the things they find, like these empty
buildings for shelter and mattresses they could use to sleep. All they have
to do after that is survive for two months.

They'll have no power and no running water, and they'll be scavenging for
food and supplies -- all things that were real life occurrences for the
people of St. Bernard Parish post-Katrina. But the show has promised not to
make it seem like the entire area still looks destroyed.

"That's not at all where we are in our recovery, and it's not at all what we
represent as a community," Taffaro said. "This is a segment of a
disaster-stricken area that will be cleaned up at the end of this, but the
reality is this is what happened as a result of Katrina."

Locals will be hired to work on the production, and the crew spending money
in the community will mean about a $5 million windfall.

"It's terrific. It will really be wonderful," said Sen. Ann Marie Duplessis.
"I'm glad to be back home. It will be a wonderful thing, and maybe something
like this will help some people come back home."

Filming on the second season of "The Colony" begins next month. The premiere
will likely be sometime this summer.

All the apartments being used on the show will be torn down, and the area
will be cleared at the end of filming. The parish is still entertaining
different ideas for what will eventually end up there.

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