Season 04 > On The Set > August 02, 2012
Season 04 > On The Set > August 11, 2012 – Central Park, New York
Season 04 > On The Set > August 11, 2012 – Greenwich Village, New York
Season 04 > On The Set > August 11, 2012 – Washington Square Park, New York
Season 04 > On The Set > August 11, 2012 – West Village, New York
Season 04 > On The Set > August 12, 2012 – Battery Park, New York
Season 04 > On The Set > August 12, 2012 – City Hall Park, New York
Season 04 > On The Set > August 12, 2012 – West Village, New York
Season 04 > On The Set > November 18, 2012 – Manhattan, New York
Season 04 > On The Set > November 18, 2012 – New York Public Library, New York
Season 04 > On The Set > November 19, 2012 – Bryant Park Ice Rink
Season 04 > On The Set > November 19, 2012 – Radio City Music Hall
Season 04 > On The Set > December 12, 2012 – Downtown, Los Angeles
Season 04 > On The Set > December 18, 2012 – New York
Season 04 > On The Set > January 18, 2013
Season 04 > On The Set > January 21, 2013
Season 04 > On The Set > April 10, 2013 – Los Angeles
Fox debated slotting the show as a midseason replacement in the spring, but instead took a gamble: The network would air the show once, following the 2009 American Idol finale in May, and then properly launch the show in September after a summer of hype that included having the pilot up on every digital platform available. It was a gamble that paid off. In no time at all, Glee went from a novel new TV idea to a global phenomenon, and changed the life of its cast and crew.
Zach Woodlee (Choreographer): The first time we showed a test group, I remember that was so scary. It was in North Hollywood, and you’re behind a two-way mirror. They have three televisions set up high. Ryan, myself, and a couple other people are back there. Everyone has this dial, and there’s two colored lines for male and female. They turn it up when they like it, and down when they don’t. To have your work judged immediately in front of you, and they don’t know you’re there, is so scary. That was the most fearful time during that pilot process. Being a fly on the wall and watching people judge your work.
Lea Michele: I watched the pilot with Ryan for the first time in the editors suite a few weeks after we finished filming. Just me and Ryan. It was amazing.
Chris Colfer: After we wrapped the pilot, I went to visit Lea and Jenna in New York (it was my first trip there). Lea had a “secret” copy and we must’ve watched it a hundred times. There is nothing worse than seeing yourself on camera for the first time. It took a few viewings for me to focus on anything else. We got chills every time we heard the opening notes of “Don’t Stop Believin’ ”. Still do actually.
As ready as they were going to be after weeks of rehearsal, Glee began filming in late in 2008, using two actual schools for production: one was Long Beach’s Cabrillo High, the other was Burbank’s John Burroughs High School. Glee’s production team later faithfully recreated those locations on the stages of Paramount Studios, but with just a pilot on order borrowed sets were more cost effective. For many actors, it was their first time on a proper set of any kind, while others had extensive experience, but felt like Glee was something special and different right from the start.
Stephen Tobolowsky (Sandy Ryerson): This was not like any television experience I’d ever had in my life. But, it was very much like many theater experiences I had in my life. It was very much like doing summer stock, it was very much like doing reparatory theory around the country. There was a camaraderie with everyone. No one was on iPhone or iPads, people were getting in corners practicing a song or a dance. It was an exciting environment to be a part of I have rarely been in shows where that existed and the shows are not successful. When there’s that kind of work ethic on the set, it is almost always a sign that the show will be successful.
Lea Michele (Rachel Berry): I remember being very nervous. My first scene I shot was just a scene by myself. But Ryan told me after that I did a great job and I felt so much better.
Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina Cohen-Chang): “For Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat,” we had polished it, I felt. And when we got to the shoot Ryan said, “Now be as bad as you possibly can.” That was the first day on set. We just couldn’t stop laughing at ourselves.