PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A local man played a key role in making the Mister Rogers movie as authentic as possible.
To make “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” realistic, the movie studio turned to Frank Warninsky, who has spent 50 years at WQED.
He helped create the world of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as a worker on the show for about 25 years. He was the lighting director and worked with set pieces.
Now he is helping to continue the legacy of Fred Rogers on the big screen.
“I never thought I would see the setup again, the same way it was,” Warninsky said. “It was amazing to see it there.”
When Sony Pictures used the WQED studios in Oakland for the film, Warninsky was called to work once again.
He dug up the old light and floor plans he saved and went to work.
Production lasted about six weeks, and Warninsky was one of the few people who worked on the original show that was with the production team the entire time.
“It was amazing to see a recreated neighborhood of make-believe and the living room and kitchen and porch,” Warninsky said.
Years later, Warninsky still has vivid memories of the songs Mister Rogers would sing, especially when they pertained to things going on in his life at the time.
“I remember weeping at the light board because it sunk it,” Warninskysaid. “It was perfect timing. I’ll never forget that.”
Warninsky will get the chance to see an early viewing of the movie this week.
The film will be released on Nov. 22.