Power Ranger energizes TV project

Published 11:39 pm Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Lakeland High School graduate trying to launch a TV series named after his alma mater received a lucky break after the blue Power Ranger came to the rescue.

Michael Copon, a Chesapeake actor and producer who starred as the blue superhero in the television series “Power Rangers: Time Force,” agreed to take on Suffolk’s Le’Auntray Burch’s project after the two got together on Twitter, Burch said.

“About four weeks ago, I got on Twitter … (and) he (Copon) posted he’d be answering fan questions for the next 20 minutes while taking a break on a project he’s currently filming,” Burch said.

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Tweeting Copon, Burch asked how he could get involved with his new studio. “Thousands of fans were hitting him up, and I was thinking, ‘What are the odds he would respond to me?’” Burch said.

But Copon tweeted Burch back, asking him for his contact information, and next thing he knew, after first meeting with his assistant to pitch “Lakeland,” Burch was face-to-face with Copon at his Greenbrier studio, talking production.

“He will now serve as producer in a partnership with me to make ‘Lakeland’ at an even higher quality using his production studio, cameras, building sets, and thinking bigger than airing locally,” Burch wrote in an email.

While Burch’s previous target was to get the teen drama on local television station CW-27, he stated that he and Copon would “possibly (be) exploring other options that could include a web series and national syndication.”

He and Copon hosted a public event at the Cinema Café at Greenbrier Mall on Monday giving folks an in-depth look at the show, Burch said.

It included screenings from the pilot episode, which was mostly shot at Lakeland High, as well as interviews with cast members, and gave folks a chance to meet Copon, who spoke after the screenings, according to Burch.

The pilot is currently being polished, including some re-filming, to appeal to larger networks, he stated.

“The cast and myself are all excited about this new opportunity and it only makes us want to work even harder to make the best product we can,” Burch wrote, pointing out Copon established a relationship with CW playing Felix on “One Tree Hill.”

“I never imagined that tweeting Michael on Twitter would lead to all of this, but I’m excited about what’s to come. It’s like all of the hard work is starting to pay off.”

Burch graduated from Lakeland in 2009.