Filming for OWN's 'David Makes Man' underway in Orlando

1950s apartment complex set built at Doctor Phillips High School

ORLANDO, Fla. – A new television show slated to air in 2019 on the Oprah Winfrey Network is shooting throughout parts of Central Florida.

"David Makes Man" is a coming-of-age drama series set in South Florida, about a 14-year-old prodigy searching for a way out of poverty.

A 1950s style apartment complex has been built on Doctor Phillips High School property as part of the project, and the neighboring Orange Tree community.

"It was surprising," said Courtney Waller, Orange Tree community association manager. "We have a couple homes they're using for exterior shots, as well as our main road, which they're using for a bus stop." 

The show is also utilizing the now-closed Durrance Elementary School property, as well as two sound stages at Universal Studios.

“Universal Studios in Orlando is thrilled to host this dynamic new series,” Universal Studios Florida Production Group vice president and general manager Pamela Tuscany said in a news release. “The production will be supported by two Soundstages (16,500 sf each) and a number of backlot 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.”

The show stars Phylicia Rashad and has Michael B Jordan and Oprah Winfrey as executive producers. The show is written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, who was part of the writing team for the Academy Award-winning "Moonlight."

Orlando film commissioner Sheena Fowler hopes this television series will attract other projects to add on top of what is already a busy commercial shooting market. In the previous fiscal year, the region recorded $7 million in local economic spending because of film shoots, according to the Orlando Economic Partnership.

"It hires a lot of people and more importantly than employing the workforce, is the spider effort of production," Fowler said. "We hire gas stations and laundromats and all these other industries that get the cash influx from this type of production." 

Production for "David Makes Man" is scheduled through the end of the year.

About the Author:

It has been an absolute pleasure for Clay LePard living and working in Orlando since he joined News 6 in July 2017. Previously, Clay worked at WNEP TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he brought viewers along to witness everything from unprecedented access to the Tobyhanna Army Depot to an interview with convicted double-murderer Hugo Selenski.