Andrew Furlong And John Musikka: Searching The GTA For The Gritty Locations Of Titans Season 3

The third season of the hit DC Comics show – and DGC Ontario Production – Titans arrives on August 12th on HBO Max. In advance of the season premiere, we spoke to DGC Ontario Location Managers John Musikka and Andrew Furlong about the process of finding Toronto locations with depth and control, the abandoned structures that reflected the show’s grit and depth, satisfying the loyal DC fanbase, combining logistical and creative capabilities, and more.

How did you become involved with Titans?

John Musikka: My availability for Titans was all timing. I had left a show just as Titans was crewing. It was a perfect door closes/door opens scenario. My colleague John Rakich recommended me to Season 1 Producer Robert Ortiz.

Andrew Furlong: I’ve been with Titans from the beginning of the show. John Musikka brought me on as an Assistant Location Manager and I was lucky enough to get upgraded to Location Manager when needed. I continued in this hybrid role in season 2 and was fully upgraded for season 3.

Location scouting - Photo courtesy of DGC Ontario Director Boris Mojsovski
Photo courtesy of DGC Ontario Director Boris Mojsovski

How did you decide what locations were right for the look of the show?

JM: Titans and WB do not accept locations that are just ‘good enough’ for productions based on popular superhero comics. Titans is beautifully shot and demanding creatively, and logistically, we dress big, light big and stunt big. Locations that are presented must consider story and action in many different scripted places – for both real locations and fictional, often iconic DC Comics locations, which are anticipated and scrutinized by a loyal fan base.

AF: Titans is all about the grit, so much so that the word mostly lost its meaning. We knew to avoid white walls like the plague or we would suffer the wrath of our DoP (turned DGC Ontario Director for Titans Seasons 2 and 3), Boris Mojsovski. Every location we showed needed to have depth and complete lighting control, which helped narrow down our search for better or worse.

Location scouting - Photo courtesy of DGC Ontario Director Boris Mojsovski
Photo courtesy of DGC Ontario Director Boris Mojsovski

What made abandoned locations like the Hearn Generating Station perfect for Titans?

AF: The show demanded large, imposing, dark structures with a serious amount of control, so we spent a huge amount of time living in Stelco (Hamilton) and the Hearn (Toronto). If the Lever Brothers Factory was still available to us, I’m sure we would’ve spent some real time there as well.

JM: Action and superhero productions love ‘cool industrial spaces’. Hearn Generating Station and Skylight Steelworks are among the best that the GTA has to offer – big, beautiful and versatile, they are visual action playgrounds that allow productions to make them anything they need. During COVID, it was helpful to find multiple scripted locations in one place to avoid unit moves.

Location scouting - Photo courtesy of DGC Ontario Director Boris Mojsovski
Photo courtesy of DGC Ontario Director Boris Mojsovski

Can you speak more about how collaborating with DGC Production Designer Ian Brock and the entire Art Department allows you to combine your artistic and logistical capabilities?

JM: We have had the pleasure of working with many talented Designers and Art Directors on Titans. Ian Brock is an amazing ‘mad scientist’ Production Designer with vast experience, and we communicated regularly, brainstorming and trading ideas. From there my team worked to provide the best control and access to realize his vision.

AF: Ian Brock is a wild man and a superhero in his own right. We experienced no shortage of chaos over season 3, but when the dust settled we were still standing, nervously smiling at each other and hoping it all worked out. I’ve known him since Lost Girl, he has a keen eye for everything film and an almost overwhelming interest in every step of the process. I’d be happy to work with him again.

Location Manager John Musikka
Location Manager John Musikka

What do you love about Toronto/GTHA/Ontario locations?

AF: I was born and raised in a small Ontario town. I’ve spent my adult years in Toronto, Mississauga and now Hamilton. I’ve really come to love the less polished parts of our cities as they seem to typically be full of the most interesting people and locations.

JM: The best thing about Locations here in the GTA is also simply the best thing about the GTA, diversity! We can be anything and anywhere! We have excellent support from all levels of government and government agencies. Our cities and communities continue to expand location availability and add new locations for our growing industry.

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