Deja vu in Dannemora as prison break series is filmed

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DANNEMORA, N.Y. (WCAX) Anyone driving through Dannemora Monday might have experienced a bit of déjà vu. There were multiple roadblocks set up through the main part of the village, many of which were guarded by New York State Police.

"Blocking the roads and stuff, it's all like deja vu. Definitely a deja vu from blocking the things, but you gotta stop, talk to people. The only thing is they don't search your vehicle," said Lou Nielson of Dannemora.

Two years ago, there were similar roadblocks all through town after two convicted murderers, Richard Matt and David Sweat, escaped from the maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility. This time, the roads were closed for a TV show being filmed based on the real life escape.

"I think it's sorta cool that they brought a little Hollywood here to upper state New York, the Adirondack Mountains that no one's ever been there. This is a fantastic place to be. I think it's exciting for the town that they get to see how movies are made," said Rob Bacon of Toledo, Ohio.

Ben Stiller is directing and producing the miniseries called "Escape At Dannemora." Monday afternoon, a fleet of actors dressed as prison guards, police and even reporters could be seen walking through the streets. Almost an entire neighborhood was blocked off for the production.

"It's been full of excitement. Never know when something's gonna show up," Nielson said. "We got a saying in our house now, 'Ben's on the block.' So everybody comes to the window and watches what he's doing. Try not to interrupt anything, because he's got a job to do, but very friendly guy."

Crews would not allow us to get video of the actual filming but did let us near some of the sites while they were on a break. We found several mock news vehicles set up outside the prison, most likely showing how the escape earned the attention of the national media.

"My husband and I are here. We're actually just visiting in the area. We're housesitting, and when we got here, we found out that they were filming this movie this summer, so we're always excited to watch. It's really a fun, enjoyable thing to see how they produce movies," said Donna Bacon of Toledo, Ohio.

Bringing the manhunt and prison break back to life in the North Country.