Behind the scenes of PlayStation Networks’ original series

By TYLER BUNKLEY

Thomas Wohlford, assistant location manager PlayStation Networks. Photo by Tyler Bunkley.
Thomas Wohlford, assistant location manager PlayStation Networks. Photo by Tyler Bunkley.

Georgia is quickly growing as one of the most popular states in which to film. From movies like “Fast and the Furious” to television shows like “Powers,” Georgia film is on the rise. Months of man hours go into each project and the production team are the unsung heroes.

People like Thomas Wohlford and Joshua Jones keep the gears running, so Georgia can be home to some of the most cutting-edge entertainment today. Wohlford is a key assistant location manager and Jones works with him as an assistant in production for Mesquite Productions Inc./PlayStation Network. They have worked on projects such as; Big Mama’s House Two, The 3 Stooges, Trouble with the Curve, and the two seasons of Teen Wolf.

A Typical Week

“The workday can be over 12 hours long,” said Wolhlford. First, he goes to a location to scout out the area. He takes photos and talks to property managers; then, shows the pictures to management. Once he has confirmation that the location is suitable, the real work begins.

An average week of shooting breaks down about the same each time. Recently, Wolhford and Jones filmed at Atlanta Tech Village for an episode of “Powers.” Every aspect of the location had to be taken into account. “We always have a prep day before we go in, to make sure we are welcome and the location is solid,” said Wohlford. The first day is all about parking and logistics. Where can people go? Where can deliveries go? “The hardest part is dealing with a city with so many permits,” said Wohlford.

The next day is spent installing lights, sound equipment, and ultimately building the sets. “This is a productive day, we have to make sure we are ready for our shoot day,” said Jones. “The next day will be spent shooting the office that will be used in the show and a terrace we turned into a café.”

The final day is spent restoring the location to its original state. This can be an arduous process, which resembles the pre-production. Instead of getting permits, the team gets inspected to make sure they abided by all the rules.

This process happens in multiple locations, with different crews to stay on a tight schedule so the finished content can be delivered by the deadline.

Perks of the Job

For a show like “Powers,” being behind the scenes can have some interesting perks. There are the obvious perks like craft services and there are others like getting to see stunts. “I once got to see a car jump off a building,” said Wolhford. Other times, he is able to see how they would set up the rigging and safety features for a fight scene.

As viewers demand newer and more original programming, PlayStation delivers with its new superhero themed adventure, “Powers,” shot in Georgia.

“Powers” is a television adaptation of a comic book series of the same name, created by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. It will be the first original program produced by the entertainment conglomerate, Sony, as well as the first original series produced exclusively through a gaming network.

The premise of the series is a world where superpowers are a real thing that needs to be regulated. The narrative follows detectives Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim as they solve cases in a special homicide department dedicated to crimes involving superpowers.

Key assistant location manager for the show, Thomas Wohlford, sees the value of original content programming. “There will be a place for classic television, but single providers are the future,” said Wohlford. As a member of the support team for the show, Wohlford has behind the scenes look at all the hard work that goes into something new. “It’s unlike other shows I’ve worked on,” said Wolhford “I really want to see where it goes.”

In the past two years, Netflix alone has had eight original programs and has renewed several previously network syndicated shows. In the next two years, they have plans to expand that list even more with remakes and totally original content. Georgia will certainly make itself part of that growth.

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