Reality TV producers are giving viewers a chance to participate in a first-of-its-kind U.S. show being filmed in Santa Clarita.
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“Utopia” is trying to create an uncharted universe for the show’s contestants to explore, in the Santa Clarita Valley at Sable Ranch off Sand Canyon Road, according to officials.
Starting Friday night, viewers can watch live streams from the Sand Canyon movie ranch, which was the result of more than five months of effort between the Santa Clarita Film Office and several production companies that worked on the show, said Russell Sypowicz, an administrator with the city of Santa Clarita’s film office.
“Utopians” will have to decide on how they will choose to live and work within the society they forge on the 400-acre movie ranch, according to the show’s website.
“Utopia” is based on a hit Dutch TV program, consisting of 15 “pioneering” Americans who are waving goodbye to their conventional everyday lives in hopes of creating a new society from scratch, according to the Utopian website.
The questions posed to the show’s contestants will range from their form of government to how they will organize their 15-person society.
Because the show sought to create a new world and then follow its pioneers, it created unique demands that Santa Clarita Film Office employees were eager to help solve with the production companies, he said.
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“This is one is extremely unique because it required them to go into a movie ranch, which is zoned and used for filming, but they were constructing buildings that people were going to live in for up to a year,” Sypowicz said. “We also had discussions about a lot of different activities they were doing.”
There was already a pond at the ranch, he said, but film officials worked with the show’s producers on finding the right permits for stocking the pond with fish. There were also waste disposal concerns that were addressed with help from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
The city is very supportive of the local filming that takes place in Santa Clarita because it provides more than 6,000 jobs and $30 million to the city’s economy, Sypowicz said.
Viewers can follow the show’s contestants around the clock and register online from the “Utopia” website and obtain a “Utopia passport” for the show, which will premiere on Fox with a two-hour event Sept. 7 from 8-10 p.m.
There’s also a mobile app, according to the show’s website.
“We’re really excited,” Sypowicz said. “We’re looking forward to the airing tonight of the hard work that everyone has put into this show.”
Source: Santa Clarita News