MONROE – Filming for a new original teen drama, “Salem High,” will start March 8 throughout the Charlotte region.
The show is about Conner Byrne and his circle of powerful friends. Conner is a witch who craves normalcy, but his friends, the Keepers of the Earth, must protect the planet and its magical vortex gateway from being taken over by the dark ones. They must use their powers to push back the evil while finding time to go to Friday night football games.
KP Films in Monroe is producing the series, which will film at a home on Franklin Street and Forest Hills High School in Monroe, Carrigan Farms in Mooresville and Winthrop University in Rock Hill.
Show writer and creator Eric Glawe said “Salem High” has elements of shows such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Charmed,” which use supernatural elements to explore everyday life and issues, like breaking down gender roles and racial stigmas.
“When you get into high school, at some point, your family isn’t who you thought they were. And so your friends start becoming your family,” Glawe said. “I love supernatural ideas. And with science fiction, horror and supernatural shows, it’s so easy to be able to talk about everyday life, growing up and social issues.”
The show also takes from Mesopotamian mythology, paganistic rituals and of course, the Salem Witch Trials.
“I have a whole season one arc that brings in elements of the Salem Witch Trials,” Glawe said. “Because that’s what started my inspiration, about what happened in Salem and how people can accuse anybody of anything is just horrible.”
“Salem High” will be Glawe’s first show. He has been working on the story for three years as a graduate student at the University of California in Los Angeles. While attending a writers workshop in North Carolina, Glawe met with KP Films co-owners Patti Price and Michael Klug.
“We loved the script,” Price said. “We said to ourselves, ‘Oh my gosh, this needs to be made.’ The writing was so good, and I couldn’t wait to see what happens next.”
Since opening what they thought would be a simple office space to hold their daughter’s film equipment, the husband-and-wife duo has filmed three short films and a music video that was recently accepted to a film festival. This series will be not only a first for Glawe but also KP Films, as well.
After meeting with Price and Klug, Glawe partnered with the studio along with production associates in Los Angeles.
“There are about 30 people in our film crew,” Klug said. “It’s technically a bi-coastal crew because of his connections in the LA area coming in and mixing with the North Carolina people.”
The budget is estimated to be $20,000. Klug believes they might need to go over the budget after factoring in travel and special effects. If the pilot is accepted, Glawe is hoping season one will have roughly eight to nine episodes.
“We doing a combination of practical effects, pyrotechnics, and we are combining that with computerized special effects,” Price said. “There’s so much talent in the Carolinas, and we want to show that and bring that back. A lot of things have left to go to Georgia. We want to keep people here. We want to keep producing here to help the economy in North Carolina.”
A few of the many talents in the Carolinas, includes the drama students who are attending Winthrop University. These students will portray the central circle of friends.
Glawe said he’s open to any network accepting the pilot; however, he admits the show leans more toward networks such as Free Form and The CW. If a network accepts the pilot, audiences can look forward to plenty of tongue-in-cheek dialogue, as well deeply emotional moments.