I got the chance to work with the creator of a new series that will be premiering on the CW27 affiliate in April called Lakeland, and they were nice enough to give me a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create a new television series! The show is directed by Reggie Felipe, Ryan Felipe, and Roland Felipe (who are also known as the Felipe Brothers).
The creator, head writer and executive producer, Le’Auntray Burch, described Lakeland for us as the following:
“‘Lakeland’ follows the lives of several diverse students from each high school clique. There lives intertwine and each of there stories begin to connect after the mysterious death of head cheerleader Hailey Graham. Beyond the waters and walkways and past the white picket fences and closed shutters of thy neighbor, secrets lie hidden in the city of Suffolk, VA. The mysteries thought buried are ready to bubble to the surface and destroy the lives of all those involved, all starting within the home of the Cavaliers, Lakeland High.”
Intrigued? Read on to hear more from Mr. Burch!
What projects are you currently working on?
As of right now I’m in post-production for the studios first two original series, ‘Hot Video Countdown,’ a music video show that gives exposure to the hottest up and coming indie artists and ‘Lakeland,’ a teen drama that explores issues that affect most teens in high school today, but make it fun with a splash of supernatural elements that add to the entertainment value.
Can you tell our readers more about Lakeland and what inspired you to write it?
As a 2009 graduate of the real Lakeland High School in Suffolk, VA, the original concept actually came to me senior year. I thought it would be cool to take my love of film and create a school short film that spoofed Kevin Williamson’s “The Faculty”. Since then there have been a lot of changes to the script and it has morphed into what it is today. I look up to Kevin as inspiration, having fallen in love with his work since the original 1996 Scream. He’s my favorite screenwriter and kind of has this dark John Hughes thing going on that I love.
What’s a typical day filming day?
A typical film day starts with me waking up and realizing that this is it, and today’s the day the vision I’ve had on paper is finally about to be reality on screen. The ride to set usually finds me a bundle of nerves but once I find the cast is all there and getting settled into makeup I take that sigh of relief that this isn’t a dream and we’re about to make magic.
The energy on set is so infectious and everyone from the entire cast to the Felipe Brothers to our ladies in hair and makeup have managed to become a family. We are a family away from our actual families which you can’t help when you love the people you work with, and that helps especially when a typical day on set lasts about 10 hours! Of course breaks are set aside and being tired starts to set in but everyone continues to rock it till we’re wrapped.
How do you balance your time between working and the production?
It’s not easy at all, especially since I take classes online with Full Sail University as well, so juggling priorities is very important. I usually take a look a look at my work schedule working at the movie theatre for the week and then start to place everything else accordingly, however sometimes it becomes an issue of give and take and what’s more important.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years my hope is that The BWE Studios is celebrating its 5th anniversary and still bringing exposure to the very best in indie music through ‘Hot Video Countdown’, that fans are hooked on the drama and supernatural shenanigans happening on ‘Lakeland’ and waiting anxiously for the next episode. I hope to be picked up fully by The CW Network so everyone across the country can enjoy the shows, and hopefully have the company financially set and able to produce more original programming and content, maybe even one day becoming our own network further down the line as The BWE Network, reminiscent to “The N” before it switched over to TeenNick.
What are some fun facts about yourself you’d like our readers to know about you?
Working in the entertainment industry has always been a passion of mine since a little kid. I loved movies and TV shows, I also liked writing so why not write for TV and film? That has never changed and now I’m living the dream.
I can resite the entire opening scene with Casey Becker and ghost face from Scream and just about the rest of the film. Am a big fan of the franchise.
What is your spirit animal and what is its significance to BWE Studios?
When I was younger I received a plaque with the meaning of my name on it. It had a picture of a tiger lying in water and my name meant that I was ‘the guardian of wealth with the energy of a breaking wave.’ Long story short, I guess my spirit animal would be a tiger and that’s how I got the title for the studio, (B)reaking (W)ave (E)ntertainment.