Entertainment mogul Tyler Perry has created something very special with Tyler Perry Studios. I’m not just talking about the 300-acre studio compound he built in Atlanta, but the workplace culture and community. Stars of Tyler Perry’s The Oval have shared why they love working with him, particularly in reference to his unique shooting style.
Tyler Perry Studios produces a very large volume of content, so filming schedules are condensed from what actors may be used to in order to achieve this. BET hit The Oval, has 25 episodes in its first season, each an hour long. The leading couple of Tyler Perry’s The Oval talked to CinemaBlend about the schedule, comparing it to running a marathon. Here’s what Ed Quinn (who plays President Hunter Franklin) shared:
We get the scripts weeks, sometimes months, in advance because we need to work so quickly. So the days and weeks leading up, we're kind of just running scenes over and over and over and over and over again, you know, like when we were on camp quarantine, we couldn't even go outside… and then the work schedule, I love it because there's something called splits and that means that you start around midday and you end around midnight, which I think is actually the most productive way to shoot a show instead of going in at 6:00 AM and you're sound asleep. So we just go and we just grind out the days and it moves at a lightning pace, but if you've done all your work ahead of time, it's kind of painless. It's like a marathon.
He’s got a point here. Working midday to midnight sounds like the dream, maybe not to all the early morning people out there, but I can see how a lot of people would be energized during that time and ready to let their creative juices flow. And like Ed Quinn said, if you’ve done the work ahead of time, it’s painless. When asked about the most challenging part of filming, he said this:
I don't find it challenging. This business is so weird that when you get on a great show that has a ton of support, not just from an incredible audience and the numbers, but the studio and the network, and there's such a synergy to it. I can't overemphasize how easy that makes everything else… all the stuff that's the biggest headache that usually makes you furious and breaks your heart, and, you know, just makes you just want to quit the business, none of that's present here. Tyler hires really, really good people, too. And I don't mean just that he hires people that work really well, but they get along and there's a hierarchy. And if you're not a good person or if you're a pain in the ass, you’re gone. Everybody knows that. And so there's this respect, there's a sense of comradery, a sense of gratitude. That's a long way of saying like the show’s a gift, you know, it really is.
Well if that’s not a glowing review for your boss, I don’t know what is! People absolutely light up when talking about working at Tyler Perry Studios and it warms my heart every time. It sounds like Ed Quinn is more than happy to be playing President Hunter Franklin for another year (and hopefully more).
It's a family, you know, we are truly a family. We trust each other. We rely on each other, we support each other and we have to because of the speed at which we film we have to have each other's backs. And so I think all of us feel comfortable in knowing that the next person or scene partner or whomever we're working with in that particular moment will be there for us. There's never a question about it. So I think that is the most amazing part of working on this particular show at the studio.