Is it possible to turn a back alley in downtown Knoxville into an accurate representation of an ancient Roman marketplace? Well, The History Channel thought so, and that’s exactly what they did by cramming live chickens, fruit, produce, hay, gladiators, pottery and wagons, into a narrow alley behind an abandoned warehouse. The result? Ancient Rome in Knoxville, Tennessee. GX Media’s Brian Greer was hired as a freelance video production assistant for the two-day shoot and got to take part in the filming of “Ancient Crime: Rome,” fascinating look into Ancient Roman law, order, and justice. Knoxville-based Jupiter Entertainment was in charge of production as Brian and other members of the crew put in back-to-back 18-hour days assisting in many aspects of the production.
The first day of shooting began Saturday morning at the 17-million dollar Coneley Home on Lyons View Pike. The architecture of the home matched that of Roman times, so with clever camera angles, a luxurious modern home was transformed into an exterior Roman courthouse. After production wrapped at the Coneley home, the crew moved downtown to begin setting the scene for the next day’s exterior scenes.
Sunday’s outdoor scenes were filmed in an alley behind the Fire Street Lofts on West Jackson Avenue. The interior shots were filmed in the abandoned building that Knoxvillians may remember as the old club “The Underground.” Many extras were cast and then dressed in authentic Roman garb to complete the look and feel of having an ancient civilization right in your own backyard.
About The Show
The show features gladiator battles, slaves being tortured, a mock trial, and naturally, a recreation of the murder of Julius Caesar. “Ancient Crime” aired briefly on The History Channel in 2005, under the new title “Criminal History: Ancient Rome.” You can view production photos GX Media took on location to get an idea of just how elaborate the production design really was.
Criminal History: Ancient Rome Photography by GX Media
GX Media production credits: Photography by George Rogers. Website design by Brian Greer. Copyright 2004 GX Media.