Filmmakers have wrapped up three days of work in Hammond this week on segments of NBC's true crime drama about the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria in St. Louis.

"The Thing About Pam," a six-part television series, details the murder, the wrongful conviction of Faria's husband and an alleged scheme involving "serial killer" Pam Hupp, played by Renée Zellweger. Josh Duhamel plays the husband's defense attorney Joel Schwartz.

Delayed by Hurricane Ida, the series has been filming in the New Orleans area since the first week of October.

Locally, most of the activity took place at the City of Hammond governmental complex. Production vehicles lined the streets surrounding the block. Some crew members and extras sat under tents in a city hall parking lot, while others with headsets and filming equipment swarmed all about the block to perform their jobs.

The actual filming was mostly at the city courthouse on East Thomas Street, but Clerk of Court Guy Recotta Jr. said the courthouse was able to remain open all week except Thursday.  

While the usual traffic on busy Thomas Street was not affected, passersby were intrigued by the sight of vehicles marked as police cars and media vehicles parked in front of the Leon Ford Justice Building. Library patrons had a good view of the activity from across the street.

The courthouse was temporarily renamed "Lincoln County Justice Building" for the shoot.

Filming also took place down the street at the Mariner's Inn restaurant, at a local church and at Greenlawn Cemetery.

"Hammond fit the bill for what we were looking for," said Location Manager Leonard Reynolds.

Numerous local people served as extras, with some scenes requiring as many as 20 or 30, he said.

The parking lot of the new swimming pool at Zemurray Park served as the production company's base camp, Reynolds said. Some of the crew stayed in vans there while others stayed in local lodging, he said.

A release date has not been announced, but sometime next year is said to be likely.

In addition to Zellweger and Duhamel, noted cast members include Gideon Adlon as Mariah Day, Sean Bridgers as Mark Hupp, Mac Brandt as Detective McCarrick, Judy Greer as Leah Askey, Glenn Fleshler as Russ Faria, Katy Mixon as Faria, and Suanne Spoke as Janet.

According to media reports, Faria's murder has been the focus of five Dateline NBC episodes airing from 2014 to 2019. The case was also covered by the inaugural Dateline NBC true-crime podcast, which remains one of the most downloaded podcasts on iTunes.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.