Piper Perabo is no stranger to big-budget films, but for her current project–TV’s Covert Affairs–filming is a much different process, and for good reason.
(This article contains some spoilers, so read ahead at your own risk.)
The show has taken the actress to locations all over the world–Medellin, Colombia, Rome, Vienna, Copenhagen, and Hong Kong, to name a few–but in order to keep things under budget, the crew is required to have a DIY attitude.
“We had a real serious conversation about how do we create a model to film in almost an indie hand-held style that is mobile and small enough that we can take it foreign and afford to do it,” Perabo said. “We don’t use lights when we’re foreign. We don’t have trailers. Everybody carries their own equipment. If you want water you carry it yourself. It’s so bare bones and we all pile in the same van and we all eat lunch together. It doesn’t look like a movie set and it’s required if you want to be able to go to these places. If you wanted to bring trailers and cranes and movie lights, you could never do it.”
Of course, that type of low-fanfare filming comes with drawbacks, as well. For instance, Perabo says that bystanders often don’t realize they’re shooting, so when an action scene comes up, they have to be careful about attracting attention.
“A bad guy steals this folder that I have of top-secret paperwork and so I have to chase him through the streets of Venice. … Three men were sitting at outdoor tables. …You see them look and get up and start chasing the guy with the folder! They think I’m like some chick that got her bag stolen or something and he’s a pickpocket,” Perabo said.
The show has seen some changes recently after Auggie (Chris Gorham) decided to leave the agency, but co-creator Matt Corman says that the sixth season won’t exclude him.
“Oh, he’ll be in it. It’s a slightly different dynamic for him at the outset. I think for now he’s trying this, trying something different. It’s interesting, he’s been so defined by his job. He has the CIA so dialed that for him, maybe more than any of our other characters, stepping out of that workplace is gonna be a real shift,” Corman told Entertainment Weekly.