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Echo 3 Creator Mark Boal Reveals Difficulties of Shooting the Series in Colombia (Exclusive)

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The US State Department has dire warnings for citizens that want to travel to Colombia, noting that “Violent crime, including armed robbery and homicide, is widespread” in some specific locations, including active terrorist groups. That hasn’t stopped film and television productions from setting up shop there however, including new Apple TV+ series Echo 3. Speaking with’s Chris Killian ahead of the show’s premiere, series creator Mark Boal opened up about working in Colombia for the entireity of the shoot. When we asked if there was ever a time they were nervous about working in the South American country, the answer was surprsiing.

“No, I mean actually we shot during the pandemic. So the biggest issue was COVID precautions and making sure that the crew was safe from the same thing that everybody else was dealing with all around the world,” the Academy Award winner confirmed. “Colombia has a bit of a reputation as being, you know, as having a safety issue. But we didn’t really encounter that. I mean we took some precautions but we didn’t have any issues on that front. It was mostly the mosquitoes and COVID.”

Boal went on to elaborate how his decisions as showrunner for the series, and his own taste in television stories, evolved the concept of Echo 3 episode to episode, and how Colombia helped it out in that regard as well.

I’m not really that into tv shows where every episode’s exactly the same mix of dialogue and violence and the exact same actors over and over again. So the world just kind of like in a in a movie, the world keeps expanding and shifting. And that was super fun to work on and obviously, or maybe not obviously, but also just a kind of a big challenge logistically. We shot all in Colombia after the pilot. The whole rest of the series takes place in Colombia, which is a beautiful country but also kind of arduous when you’re when you’re dealing with the diverse geography there. We went down to beaches. We were also in the like teeming city of Bogota and in the jungle itself. That was great for the camera and great looking and kind of a character in itself, but it’s a hard physical environment to be in. 

The first three episodes of Echo 3 will premiere on Apple TV+ on Wednesday, November 23, with new episodes following weekly. Luke Evans leads the cast for the series which is based on the award-winning series “When Heroes Fly,” created by Omri Givon and inspired by the eponymous novel by Amir Gutfreund. Apple TV+ describes it as follows:

“Set in South America, the action-packed thriller follows Amber Chesborough, a brilliant young scientist who is the emotional heart of a small American family. When Amber goes missing along the Colombia-Venezuela border her brother, Bambi, and her husband, Prince — two men with deep military experience and complicated pasts — struggle to find her in a layered personal drama, set against the explosive backdrop of a secret war.”

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