We asked you on Facebook to send us any questions you had for the filmmakers of THE CONSPIRATOR. Here are some more of the answers! Keep asking questions, as we’ll be answering more in the coming weeks.
Megan Hardgrave asked…
Why did the film not explicitly state John Surratt’s whereabouts when it has been stated as fact that he left for Montreal, Canada days before April 14, and then fled to Europe?
While the film suggests that John Surratt fled to Canada, we do not explicitly state his whereabouts because his location was left unknown to our central characters. The film is essentially told through the eyes of Frederick Aiken, who did not know where John was hiding – and wanted nothing more than to find him and bring him to justice.
Ames Tolbert asked…
After watching the film, I went online and found photos of the execution. Everything in the film seemed to match the photo exactly…did you shoot at the actual fort?
We did not shoot the execution scene at the real Arsenal Penitentiary in Washington, as the penitentiary no longer exists. It is now the site of the National Defense University in Washington, DC. Instead, we replicated the scene at Fort Pulaski in Savannah, GA.
Additionally, our production designer, Kalina Ivanov, and the rest of the crew took great pains to recreate this pivotal scene as closely as possible. They were aided by all of the photos taken by Alexander Gardner that day.
Adam Carman asked…
Where did you get the idea that the actors from the theatre were incarcerated?
Many actors and people associated with the theater were questioned and detained at the Old Capitol Prison, according to our consulting historian Dr. Thomas Turner. For example, actor John Ford was definitely held in the prison and Laura Keene was arrested in Pennsylvania and held in Cincinnati after leaving Washington.
Hundreds of people were detained during the manhunt that occurred after the assassination and the Ford’s Theatre actors were just a few.