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About The Production
An action-packed film set primarily in a remote island prison, the production of Half Past Dead isolated its American cast and crew just like the maximum-security prisoners in the script. Shot on location in Berlin, Germany starting on October 9, 2001, the cast had to contend with both the bitter cold of a German winter and the absence of friends and family members during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Although the film is set on Alcatraz Island, an abandoned prison in land-locked Berlin played host to the cast and crew of Half Past Dead. The director, Don Michael Paul, relished in the opportunity to make movie magic overseas. "That was what made it exciting,” said Paul, "You go ‘OK, how can I fake out the millions of people that are going to watch this movie and make them believe that we're actually on Alcatraz.' ”

After a long, intensive search ("We dug around, turned over every stone to find the right location,” said Paul), the director found a suitable substitute for "The Rock.” Once used by the Stasi, the infamous and feared East German police, the film was shot in a cavernous, dark Berlin prison which was a perfect doppelganger for America's most storied jail.

Ja Rule on filming in Germany: "It was this real experience working in Berlin, you know. I'd never been outside of the country longer than maybe a week, so working in Germany for two months was really a new experience. There's a lot of things that you had to adapt to, but, I'm a nomad, I adapt quickly. Wherever I go, I can make my home, so I came. So, I had a good time here.”

Peeples also enjoyed the German city during filming. "Berlin to me was a wonderful place to work. Everything is so new in Berlin. You have everything you need right there. So I enjoyed it and even learned to speak a little bit of German. Toiletten. Where's the toilet?!”

Kurupt's memories of Germany are not so much based on location as they are based on the group of people with whom he worked. "It was a gorgeous atmosphere. School for some, practice for others. And it was just plain fun for all of us. Going to Germany was a great experience. Don put a perfect team of actors together. For this to be my second film, it was the greatest thing to me.”

With the location set for the film, producers had to put together a crew to make the film a reality. "We assembled a really terrific, hard-working German crew that got behind the concept of the film,” beams Paul.

As dedicated and hard working as the crew was, the language barrier of an American production based in Germany still existed. Although most of the German crewmembers were multilingual, some key members had difficulty communicating on set.

"Steven Seagal's stunt double, and also one of his acting doubles did not speak English,” remembers Paul. "The stand-in was Polish, and the stunt double was German. So to try to tell an acting double where to move or how to move when he doesn't speak English or German isn't easy. Because the stunt double didn't speak English, I had to speak through a translator, being as careful with my wording as I could, because the stunt guy was doing some dangerous stuff.”

Chestnut recalls the challenges of the language barriers on set: "For me, it was very interesting. We were in Germany shooting this movie and it's a lot different. Although most of the crew speaks English, some of them don't speak English that well. And for me it was somewhat hard to develop that chemistry. I got along with all of them, but it was difficult to build that camaraderie like I am accustomed to when filming (in America).”

Michael "Bear” Taliferro, turned out to be a rather "big” problem for the German crew to contend with. Due to the language barrier, the crew would have to use physical signals to get the actor in the right place. "If I was in their space, they moved me,” chuc


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