Ever wonder who the person is behind those fun-to-watch behind the scenes extras on the One Tree Hill dvds? It’s the shows’ associate producer Steven Goldfried, who has been there and seen it all with One Tree Hill since it premiered back in 2003. Most recently Goldfried was in Park City, Utah with the cast capturing all the great moments for the One Tree Hill twitter! During our interview, he shared with me the significance of Park City for this season’s finale, as well as his perspectives on the evolution of One Tree Hill’s cast and storylines throughout its seven seasons.
One Tree Hill filmed its season finale in Park City, Utah this year, how was that experience and being away from Wilmington?
Goldfried-Filming in Utah was great. It was hard work, it was a little treacherous at times, but it was fun. We had a great time playing in the snow and being out there. It was a little bittersweet in a way just because this is the first time we haven’t finished our season in Wilmington and not all the cast and crew got to go with us, so that was a little sad. But once we got there and started working it was really fun. I think everyone had a great time and the film came out really good, which is the most important thing.
Why was it so vital for the episode to film in Park City and not just do it in Wilmington or somewhere in North Carolina, and make it seem like Park City?
Goldfried-It actually could not have been done anywhere else and you’ll see when you see the episode. Some of the shots we got and some of the views that we’re looking at are pretty unique to the Utah mountains and to park city. And the other reason was just for authenticity. Sun-dance film festival takes place there and we’re doing a fictional film festival but it’s kind of understood that it’s supposed to be like Sun-dance. And the other reason is just Mark Schwahn worked at Sun-dance, at a film in Sun-dance, and thought it would be a cool little thing to sort of come full circle and do a week there for One Tree Hill.
The Utah Twitter videos with the cast have been really fun to watch. How did that idea come about to do them?
Goldfried-Yeah that’s actually one of my jobs as the associate producer, I handle a lot of marketing and promotions. I’m the guy who for seven years has shot almost every frame of behind the scenes footage that you’ve seen and I’ve been carrying a camera around with me the entire time. Shooting those videos in Utah was really fun because I just had a little flip cam with me instead of the big bulky expensive video camera because I knew that we were gonna be in the snow and possibly getting wet and cold. The one where Jana [Kramer] and Sophia [Bush] throw a snowball, they threw that right at the lens right at me and that was fun to shoot. That was something we probably couldn’t have done with my normal camera just because it’s an expensive piece of gear so we wouldn’t want it get wet. But since I had those flip cams it was really easy and really cool to be able to play in the snow along with everybody else and shoot some footage. I’ve seen really good responses which is great. I’m really glad the fans are liking those. We have this long hiatus and we wanted to just give some people some fresh content while they wait for new episodes to come on.
We’ve always been a show that has taken pride in the relationship that we’ve built with the fans, especially online, and taken proud in keeping them connected. In a way those videos are a way to say hey you’re here with us in Utah also, we’re thinking of you, and we’re all in this together.
What’s a typical day for you like when you’re working in Wilmington?
Goldfried-When I’m in Wilmington it’s a lot of shooting behind the scenes footage. I often will go their with Mark Schwahn and Joe Davola, our executive producers. If there’s anything while I’m there I’m kind of their right hand man to be there. But it’s mostly promotional stuff. Trying to get actors on tape. Like for example right now if we have a long hiatus I’ll get all of them doing little tags that say hey we’re coming back or just shout outs to the fans on that little video you see. Obviously I filmed a lot of stuff in Park City and it’s the same kind of deal when I’m in Wilmington, I shoot a lot of stuff. So when I’m there I’ll try to shoot a bunch of stuff then come back to LA and cut it together and cut them into little segments and post them online.
This season there were many changes made to One Tree Hill. There were the departures of Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton, as well as the gain of new cast members such as Rob Buckley, Jana Kramer, and Shantel VanSanten. How was that process of making their three characters really fit into the lives and plot lines of the original characters, in order to fit with the show? I think it’s been done very well.
Goldfried-Most of that credit if not all goes to Mark for coming up with fresh storylines and being able to transition. This is not the first time we’ve had to transition into new storylines. We jumped the show four years ahead at season five and then jumped it ahead this season, and sort of had to not fill the shoes of Chad and Hilarie but bring in some new characters and some new life to the show. We’re all thankful and appreciative of all the hard work Chad and Hilarie did in the six years we’ve had with them. But with that said, in the beginning of this season the new characters, Robert Buckley, Shantel VanSanten, and Jana Kramer, they all came in and meshed with us so well and easily and perfectly. It’s always been a show that we the cast and crew have always felt like a big family and those three came in and it seems like they’ve been with the family their entire lives. They really meshed well and it wasn’t a very difficult transition.
I’ve spoken with Rob, Shantel, and Jana, and they’ve all had nothing but great things to say about how happy they are to be a part of One Tree Hill and how welcoming the original cast has been with them. I also think they’ve fit in really well with everyone else.
Goldfried-Well they’re all really cool people too. I mean that’s why they meshed so well and get along with everyone. It’s just because they came in and they were ready to work, but they were also just fun to be around.
Since you’ve been a part of the show since day one, is there a specific storyline that truly stands out to you? What is about One Tree Hill you think that has allowed it to go on as long as it has?
Goldfried-Well I won’t say a specific storyline because they’re all so good. I mean I think one of the reason’s it’s stayed on for so long is just the heart in general and just that the storylines have so much heart. The young people can relate to them and older people even. I mean my mom watches the show. I think it’s just a show that people can relate to that seems real and has a lot of heart. I think it’s been like that since the beginning.
What would you say each of the core cast members, James Lafferty, Austin Nichols, Sophia Bush, and Bethany Joy Galeotti, bring to the set everyday?
Goldfried-James is just a good guy. He’s a real guy. He doesn’t put up any fronts or fake anything and he’s just a really solid person. Just a great guy to be around. And Austin I’d say pretty much the same thing. Austin’s a very thoughtful person, very interesting guy to talk to. Sophia is a constant professional. I mean when she directed her episode she was the most prepared I’ve ever seen anybody. She comes to set ready to go and ready to work and always is on her game. She’s amazing to watch work because she’s a great example of what a professional actress can accomplish. And Joy I would say is one of the most talented people I’ve ever been around. I mean she’s the triple threat; the acting, singing, songwriting, and playing music. She’s an amazing talent to be around and just soak in her creative genius.
The city of Wilmington has become the backdrop for One Tree Hill. The show uses so many locations for filming. When you’re there, you feel like you’re in ‘Tree Hill’. Especially the downtown area, now just down the street from ‘Clothes over Bros’ you have Quinn’s studio. Is it difficult to rent spaces or find locations that would work?
Goldfried-It’s not too difficult. Wilmington’s a good place for filming because every thing’s so close like you said. So it doesn’t take us a long time to do what we call a company move, which is if we have to shoot two different locations on one day there’s a company move in between that you have to allot the time for and make sure it all fits within your schedule and budget. Wilmington’s good because it only takes five minutes to get from location to location and so it’s nice because of that. And the studio space is great. Everyone in the town is so cooperative. I mean you don’t have too many people complaining about us shutting down the streets for a couple of hours if we need to or making noise late at night or shining lights in their windows. We don’t hear too much complaints. It seems like everybody is happy to have us there so that part’s pretty nice.
What’s the best part about working on One Tree Hill for you?
Goldfried-Wow! Well personally I like to travel so it’s cool that I’ve gotten to travel a lot. When we went out to Honey Grove, TX, that was a lot of fun, and going to Park City was fun. We’ve done road trips within North Carolina to Raleigh, Charlotte, and Jacksonville for the big USO show. All that stuff was fun traveling and seeing new places. And then just as far as the show goes my favorite part has been working for Mark and Joe because those two are not just my bosses but also mentors to me. I’ve been on the show for the entire seven years and I’ve learned a lot from both of them. I’ve been really lucky to be able to learn from them and work for them.
What do you think about all the things the fans have been doing to keep the show from being canceled, with all the letters, postcards, etc?
Goldfried-I think it’s great. Our fans have always rallied around the show and helped us through all the years where we’ve been ‘on the bubble’ ,and the fans have had save our show campaigns before and I think it makes a difference. The network is recognizing that we have such a strong fan base and just how dedicated and passionate they are. We may not have the biggest numbers but our numbers do well for the CW. The numbers that we do have, we know those people are very passionate about it. It’s almost like each fan of ours count as two because they’re so passionate. I think it’s great that they took the initiative on their own to start sending postcards and gift baskets to the CW and making phone calls and blowing up the CW’s switchboards and just letting the network know that they want another season. The fans should never underestimate their power. It’s working. I can tell you that right now we’ve heard from the network that they’re getting postcards and they’re getting gift baskets and it’s making a difference and the president of the network and the people who have to make the decision to bring us back or not are aware of it. I just wanna say to the fans right now to keep doing it, keep up the great work.
Since you also do the gag reels, fans want to know which cast member would you say messes up the most?
Goldfried- Honestly those gag reels that you see are almost all the mess ups from the entire season. I don’t really leave anything off of there. Our cast doesn’t really mess up that often. You know those gag reels are only like three to four minutes long and that’s like everybody messing up from the whole year. Everyone comes to work pretty prepared. So I don’t think there’s one person who messes up more than anyone else to be honest. I guess if you really wanted to know you could just watch the gag reel and count how many times each person has a mess up. But no they’re all pretty good and they don’t screw up to often. If they do though, you can bet it will be on the gag reel.
Is there a final message you would like to say to the fans?
Goldfried-We’re back with new episodes on April 26th. We’re gonna run all four of our final episodes of this season in a row. We’re all still hoping for season eight. No decision has been made yet, so fans keep sending in your postcards and your gift cards. Keep making phone calls, keep emailing and just do whatever to make sure the network knows that you wanna a season eight, because they have not decided yet. Watch on April 26th and hopefully we’ll see everyone back again next season!
Next an exclusive interview with Stephen Colletti who plays Chase on One Tree Hill!
Click here to learn how you can meet and see Jana Kramer perform live at a very special show this month!
All photos are copyright of Fred Norrs and The CW Television network.