Creating One Set from Two Locations: How WROZ and WDAC became 'WPXT' in 'Night Voices'
Sometimes in a movie, you'll see both the exterior and interior of the same location. For example, you might see a quick shot of the exterior of a building (often referred to as an "establishing shot") where the scene is taking place—before the film cuts to the interior of what seems to be of the same building. What you may not know is that in the filmmaking process, the exterior and the interior of any given on-screen location is often shot at two or more completely different places or sets.
This was the case for the primary on-screen location in Night Voices, the fictional radio station, WPXT. Team Night Voices went location scouting in July of 2022 throughout Lancaster and Lebanon counties in south-central Pennsylvania and built a strong bond with the staff members at radio station WDAC 94.5 ("The Voice of Christian Radio") in New Providence, PA located in southern Lancaster County. WDAC CEO and General Manager, Doug Meyer, graciously offered our team to shoot all of the interior shots for the film at WDAC for two full days over Labor Day weekend in September 2022. Equally accommodating was WDAC's longtime News Director and Anchor, Greg Barton, who enthusiastically allowed Night Voices director, Bradley Hawkins, and his team to transform Barton's news desk into "Jude Wilcox's" broadcasting studio, making WDAC the absolute perfect location for the interior shots for WPXT.
In the screenplay for Night Voices, the exterior of the WPXT building is described as run-down and neglected... neither of which describe WDAC's beautiful classic early-American brick exterior. Team Night Voices agreed there had to be a better fit somewhere else for the exterior to be filmed. An answer to prayer came in the form of the abandoned WROZ radio station in Manheim, Pennsylvania.
WROZ 101 had vacated the building in 2021 which was gutted of everything except electrical support. This situation proved to be a perfect storm to create the outside atmosphere of a radio station on the verge of closing down. Team Night Voices got in touch with the current management of the former WROZ building and secured the rights to film at their abandoned location over Labor Day weekend 2022 as well.
This abandoned building had to undergo a few transformations in order to make it look inhabited, both practically on the night of filming and digitally in post-production. On the night of filming, Production Designer Avery Kellington dressed the lobby with office supplies and posters, and had a crew member's car strategically placed in the parking lot to sell that only one other person was working inside the building when Jude Wilcox drives up in his beat-up 2001 Saturn. In post-production, Digital Effects Supervisor Ryan Geesaman added what appears in the film to be three-dimensional metal lettering to the top of the building, officially branding the abandoned radio station as WPXT in our movie.
You will be able to see both the WROZ and WDAC radio station buildings double as WPXT in the finished film! Night Voices is expected to enter the film festival circuit in Spring 2023.