EUE/Screen Gems Press Conference in a Nut Shell

screengemspodium

The press conference started of with EUE/Screen Gem’s Bill Vassar diffusing any rumors that the studios were in danger. “No we are NOT closing Screen Gems,” Vassar said. He explained that we have weathered storms before and we will weather it again.”

Vice Chair of the NHC Commissioners, Beth Dawson came out and expressed that the City of Wilmington along with New Hanover County, the film commission as well as the tourism board are all banning together to show great support for the film industry here in Wilmington.  They are doing everything they can and are working very hard with our legislators to ensure that we increase the grant so that North Carolina is still a strong viable option for film production.

Mayor Bill Saffo of course reinterated the city’s support and noted that in 2014, film spending was at $170M. But this year they are estimating around $40M. Saffo also gave us more data. He said that we have seen a 70% drop in inquiries for film projects. At this time last year they had seen at least 15 healthy inquiries, but this year, they had only about 3 thus far.

UPM, Chris Bromley was in attendance, and when Dawson asked for questions and comment, he reminded everyone to reach out to small businesses who are affected and benefit from film and make sure they become a member at smallbusinessforfilm.com.  He said that we have 489 small businesses all across North Carolina that have already joined.  It is free to sign up and takes only 30 seconds to fill out.

So all in all, it was nothing we didn’t already know, however, if we don’t remind folks Under the Dome in Raleigh, it will be swept under the rug.  Great job everyone!

HERE IS THE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:

WILMINGTON FILM AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY UNIFIED BEHIND EXPANDING AND IMPROVING THE FILM GRANT PROGRAM

Wilmington, NC, February 19th – The film and television industry in Wilmington is unified in supporting the efforts of our local legislative delegation to expand and improve the film grant program created by the General Assembly last year.

The Wilmington Regional Film Commission, EUE Screen Gems Studios, City of Wilmington, New Hanover County, and the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce are working in partnership with elected officials from this region to ensure that the film and television industry remains viable and continues to support thousands of jobs in the regional economy.

The film and television grant program was created by the North Carolina General Assembly last year to replace the highly successful tax credit policy that had helped propel the thirty year statewide industry’s rapid growth in recent years. We are working closely with our Representatives and Senators to increase the funding in the grant program to a level that will continue to retain our current employment and recruit new projects and the jobs they will create.

On behalf of the film and television industry and the thousands of people employed, we want to thank our local legislative delegation–particularly Representatives Ted Davis, Susie Hamilton, Frank Iler and Senators Bill Rabon and Michael Lee–for their continued support.

AUDITIONS: Stunt Work for Under the Dome Season 3

under-the-dome-cbs

Stunt Coordinator Peter King is back for Season Three of Under the  Dome shooting in Wilmington, NC. He is focusing on local and regional hires for this season.

AUDITIONS: Peter would like to meet all stunt people who are interested this Tuesday at 10am at EUE/Screen Gems Studios.  Peter would like to see you in person even if you have auditioned before or have worked on last season.  They will also be sizing folks up for stunt doubles as well. (serious inquiries only).

If you would like to attend (and already have a stunt resume), please SAVE YOUR QUESTIONS FOR TUESDAY.  Please email Jimmie Lee Sessoms: NCstunts@yahoo.com to confirm your spot. Your name MUST be on the list in order for you to audition.

REQUIREMENTS:
-Bring your RECENT headshot and stunt resume with you.
-Must be SAG or SAG Eligible.
-Must email to reserve your spot. You will not get in unless your name is on the list.
-Please inquire ONLY if you already have stunt experience.

Park outside of the studio (right side), and walk to the guard shack.

Tuesday, February 24th
TIME: 10am
Screen Gems Studios
1223 N 23rd St.
Wilmington, NC 28405
Sound Stage 3

Press Conference at EUE/Screen Gems set for tomorrow

Image Credit: David Pascua. Courtesy of EUE/ Screen Gems Studios
Image Credit: David Pascua. Courtesy of EUE/ Screen Gems Studios

A press conference will be held tomorrow at EUE/Screen Gems studios at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, February 19th in regards to film. Mayor Billy Saffo, Bill Vassar, Johnny Griffith, and Beth Dawson among others will be in attendance to make an announcement. What that announcement is, no one is saying! Stay tuned! I will be attending the press conference and will keep you posted!

Sooo, what do I think they are going to say?  I have two theories.

1) The City/County are putting together there own “incentive packages” to entice film production here in Wilmywood.
2) That 5 % chance of Sleepy Hollow staying will pan out.

Take that with a HUGE grain of salt. Hell, a whole salt lick!  I am totally guessing.  What do you think the announcement will bring us?  Comment below!

Dirty Dancing Reboot coming to North Carolina as TV Movie

dirty-dancing-1

The 1987 romance that made Lake Lure in Western NC famous might be headed back to the very same place for the reboot of Dirty Dancing. This flick is for the small screen this time around, so don’t be looking for a theatrical release or an $8M budget.  No, we won’t be getting any medium to large budget films until the NCGA fixes the incentive mess, but at least a few of our film friends in the West can get 6-8 weeks of work!  We definitely know it will not be shot in Wilmywood and we think it will be back in the Asheville area again.  That, however, is yet to be confirmed.

Coming from Allison Shearmur productions and ABC (along with Lionsgate) is the remake of the 1987 romance film Dirty Dancing, a coming-of-age drama that documents a young debutante’s rebellion against her father by starting a relationship with a dance instructor during a family summer vacation.  Projected shoot dates are April 6th – May 28th, however, after speaking with the a production company team member, it might be pushed a little further down the way. Producing is Alli Shearmur and Steven Meinen.  The reboot screenplay comes from Jessica Sharzer.  The director as well as the cast has yet to be named.

Production offices will be opening next month.  More details to come.

STATUS: Development / Pre-Production
LOCATION: North Carolina
PRODUCERS: Alli Shearmur, Steven Meinen
WRITERS: Jessica Sharzer
DIRECTOR: TBD

NC FILM Update: New House Bill Includes Film Incentives.

HB89

The Omnibus Economic Development Improvements Bill aka HB 89 was filed today and was sponsored by House Reps Susi Hamilton (New Hanover, Brunswick) and Rodney Moore (Mecklenburg). This house bill is an act to restore various tax credits such as the jobs catalyst fund, the Mill Property Rehabilitation Tax Credit, Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits and yes the North Carolina Film Incentives.  You heard me right.  Not the grant.  The film Incentives.  That’s what the language certainly looks like.

At first glance, starting on page 20, HB 89 is reverting to the 25% film incentive we had in previous years, with some very minor changes.  Minimum would revert back to $250,000 and the cap again on the 25% back would be $20 million.  Slight changes such as certified CPAs to audit instead on IRS, and other minor details have been added.  The sunset proposed is January 1, 2020.

Take a look and see what other differences you can find.  I wouldn’t get your hopes up too high, but I am glad that Susi and Rodney have gotten the ball rolling.  We gotta start somewhere in this fight to keep NC Film.

We know recently, Small Business for Film has collected more than 450 memberships statewide in less than 30 days and Governor Pat McCrory has recently stated the urgency for JDIG to be reinstated.

Of course, it was proven that when the film incentive is gone, production companies with medium to large budgets will not come to North Carolina to employ film workers and inject money in the local economy.  We have seen two existing shows with big budgets (Banshee and Sleepy Hollow) cease to return.  And of course, still a sore subject, Danny McBride and Jody Hill’s latest HBO show, Vice Principals setting up shop in South Carolina.

Now, it’s between the House and the Senate to decide on the “state of the slate.”

READ HB 89 NOW: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2015/Bills/House/PDF/H89v0.pdf

Wilmywood shot ‘The Squeeze’ gets a release date.

Make poster from this

ARC Entertainment has acquired all North American rights to the golf caper, The Squeeze which was shot right here in Wilmywood in the fall of 2013.

The feature stars Christopher McDonald, Jeremy Sumpter, Jillian Murray and Michael Nouri, along with some of our local actors including Michael Rosander, David Andrews, and Logan Siu to name a few.

ARC Entertainment will be releasing The Squeeze on premium VOD and in select markets in 12 top markets in the U.S. on April 17, 2015 (Friday after The Masters).

The Squeeze is a true story about a young man from a small southern town who gets caught in between two notorious gamblers, until the stakes become a matter of life or death. The film has been submitted to the Toronto Film Festival in September.

According to a press release, Jack Nicklaus, Winner of 18 Major Golf Championship really enjoyed the movie.  “I watched THE SQUEEZE and really enjoyed it. It’s a fun movie that tells an interesting story, and the golf elements are so real you actually believe it could happen.”

The Squeeze was produced by Anne Archer, Terry Jastrow, Brian McCormack, Michael Doven, and George Parra and executive produced by Brian McCormack, Simon Horsman and Milton Kim.

WILMINGTON, NC: The 8th Woman now accepting crew resumes.

8thwoman

The 8th Woman, a small production coming from BET will be opening offices and will begin production in April here in Wilmington.  It will run for 4th weeks. CREW RESUMES ONLY!!  Please send your resumes to:  the8thwoman@gmail.com.

All I got for now.  More details to come.

The Eighth Woman
STATUS: Pre-production
WRITER: Kevin Green, Kilby O’Rourke
DIRECTOR: Marquand Ragland
PRODUCERS: Charles Blanks, Tasha Williams, Marquand Ragland
CAST: Quinten Johnson, Vonna Woodard, Isaac Williams, Rayshawn Smith
CREW RESUMES TO: the8thwoman@gmail.com