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Oprah Winfrey Network to film TV drama in Florida

Moonlight

The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is to film a drama series in Orlando, Florida, from this summer, with Winfrey herself involved as an executive producer.

David Makes Man tells the story of a teen prodigy from Florida’s housing projects who relies on his mother to work the family out of poverty.

The drama is written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, who won an Oscar last year for co-writing the Florida-set movie Moonlight (pictured).

Production for David Makes Man will be based at Universal Studios in Orlando using facilities described as “newly renovated”, according to a statement from Orlando Economic Partnership. Filmmaker Wayne Morris, an Orlando resident, will direct.

“Universal Studios in Orlando is thrilled to host this dynamic new series,” said Pamela Tuscany, vice president and general manager of Universal Studios Florida Production Group. 

“The production will be supported by two sound stages (16,500 sq ft each) and a number of back lot locations to fit the creative developed for the project. This production is ideally suited for our sustaining production community, which will create jobs and impact the local economy through spending to support the needs of a production of this size.”

Florida’s production industry has suffered in recent years following the collapse of the state’s formal filming incentive support and the rapid rise of neighbouring Georgia as one of America’s main production hubs.

Sheena Fowler, Orlando’s film commissioner, stated that OWN’s decision to shoot in her city demonstrates that filming incentives are not always a driving factor in location decisions.

See KFTV's production guide for more on filming in Florida.

Main page image: FreeImages.com/Justin Haworth. Moonlight image: David Bornfriend