Lights! Camera! Action! A Behind-The-Scenes Tour

by Timothy Blankenship

LOS ANGELES – Did you ever wonder what goes into making an award winning television series?  The EPIC News Network traveled to the set of the award-winning drama series “How to Get Away With Murder” to see the behind the scenes work that makes the series work. 

How to Get Away with Murder” is a series that premiered on ABC in 2014.  You can now watch it on popular streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu.  The show is about a group of students and their criminal professor. They get caught in murder plots that take them on thrilling adventures. 

A behind-the-scenes tour of the set in Los Angeles took ENN to a large indoor studio.  While the action of the scene took place in a single house, the “house” was actually several smaller set parts cut up in different parts of the same studio.

For the newcomer to television production it can be disorienting.  For example, the hallway that leads to a bedroom on air could actually be on one side of the studio and the bedroom could be several feet away on the other side of the studio space.

One of the key differences between shooting a television series and movies are deadlines. “With movies you get a bigger budget and more time unlike TV series which need to be finished before a certain time,” Kenny Cooper, a member of the production team, said.

Cooper works to make the show look real, by providing the little details you may not notice if you are casually watching a television show or movie.  However, if those details are not there you would certainly notice their absence and the production would lose illusion of reality.

One example of this is what shows up outside a window.  The “house” is a set inside a studio, but on your television it looks like it is in the middle of a neighborhood.  Behind each window is a picture of the outside. This filler picture creates the illusion of the neighborhood.  

In fact, many scenes that appear to be at night are shot during daylight hours.  However, sometimes there is no substitute for reality. “If it’s a big scene of a house or a car then yes [it is shot at night],” Cooper said.

Cooper added that at the end of each day, the production team is also responsible for putting away everything they spent their day setting up to create the elaborate illusions.  With a few exceptions. “Usually [they are put away], but if we do a scene and we can’t get it right we’ll keep them up and start first thing tomorrow.”

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