Vampire TV series spends day shooting in Macon

pramati@macon.comFebruary 5, 2014 

A portion of Mulberry Street in front of the Grand Opera House was blocked off Wednesday to allow crew members to film scenes for an episode of the television series “The Originals.”

“The Originals” is a drama about vampires that airs on The CW network Tuesdays at 8 p.m. The series, a spinoff of the network’s hit “The Vampire Diaries,” is set in New Orleans and tells the story of three siblings who are the world’s oldest vampires.

Most of the extras for Wednesday’s shoot were dressed in tuxedos and 1920s flapper-style costumes. The extras got ready at the Library Ballroom across the street from the theater.

Mike Jones, the location manager for “The Originals,” said the network has a strict policy against talking about story lines, so he couldn’t say anything about the scenes shot downtown.

Since the show is about vampires from long ago, “The Originals” contains scenes set in different decades or centuries. Jones did say the venue has a classical look to it, which was important in choosing it for the shoot.

“We looked at a number of locations across Georgia,” he said. “We decided the most accurate one (for the episode) was the Macon theater. There’s not many theaters that look period accurate. The reason why we chose it is because of the period” in which the episode is set.

The scenes shot Wednesday are apt to air about the middle of the season, perhaps within the next couple of months.

Jones said more than 100 extras have been cast -- some from the midstate and others from the Atlanta area. The production company office is based in Conyers, so all the extras were fitted for costumes there.

Greg Morris, 33, of Snellville, was dressed as a priest for Wednesday’s shoot. He has worked on both “The Originals” and “The Vampire Diaries” as a featured extra.

“I think it’s nice,” he said of the Grand. “It’s got that old-time feeling. I think it’s great (working on the series). I enjoy working with them.”

Some TV productions based in the Atlanta area won’t shoot outside the city because of increased costs. But Jones said producers haven’t worried about the extra expense. Instead, they’ve searched for locations that best fit their scripts.

Last month, “The Originals” shot some scenes in Milledgeville, taking advantage of an empty hospital there.

“I like the fact that we’ve opened up to places like Macon and Milledgeville,” Jones said. “We can go out and shoot at certain locations. We’re not just looking at downtown.

“There are so many gems around Georgia. It’s actually our choice to feature some locations.”

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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