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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Oprah TV series builds set at high school near Universal Orlando

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2018 at 2:38 PM

click to enlarge Aerial shot of a set being built in Orlando for a new series on Oprah Winfrey's TV network - PHOTO BY @BIORECONSTRUCT/TWITTER
  • photo by @bioreconstruct/Twitter
  • Aerial shot of a set being built in Orlando for a new series on Oprah Winfrey's TV network
A new drama series for the Oprah Winfrey Network has built an elaborate pink set on the grounds of a high school near Universal Orlando Resort.

The TV series, David Makes Man, started filming recently in neighborhoods near Universal’s theme parks. Set builders created a mockup of a motel or apartment building on the grounds of Dr. Phillips High School. It looks like a 1950s-style complex with a thick coat of ultra pink paint, accented with decorative white faux-concrete blocks.

The school has a magnet program in visual and performing arts, so students at the school may get a chance to work on the project. Film crews also took over part of the gated community nearby, called Orange Tree, to film on Monday and Tuesday morning.

“The amount of crew and vehicles was alarming to some people,” Courtney Waller, community association manager for Orange Tree, says. “But it’s all very cool, and it’s an exciting opportunity for the residents here to have their homes featured and for the students here.”

The series is set in the Miami area. Waller says film crews wanted “a colorful Florida landscape that evoked Miami.” She says the landscaping in Orange Tree sufficed, but some additional palm trees were added.

Filming of the series in Orlando was considered a big get, since Florida no longer offers a special incentive program dedicated to attracting film and television production.

click to enlarge The set is being built near Universal Orlando Resort for a drama series called "David Makes Man" - PHOTO BY @BIORECONSTRUCT/TWITTER
  • photo by @bioreconstruct/Twitter
  • The set is being built near Universal Orlando Resort for a drama series called "David Makes Man"
David Makes Man will star Akili McDowell as a teenager struggling with the loss of his best friend. Deadline reported that David Makes Man “centers on a 14-year-old prodigy from the projects who is haunted by the death of his closest friend and relied on by his hardworking mother to find a way out of poverty. He must choose between the streets that raised him or the higher
education that may offer him a way out.”

Photos from @bioreconstruct on Twitter show details being installed on
the outdoor set, like clothing lines and potted tropical plants.

The series is written by Academy Award-winner Tarell Alvin McCraney, co-writer of Moonlight. The series stars Phylicia Rashad; executive
producers are Oprah, Michael B. Jordan, Mike Kelley and Melissa Loy. According to, in the pre-production period, casting directors sought local actors, models and other talent to work on scenes filming in Orlando.

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