Wilmywood’s Joe Dunton and his successful jaunt from NC to LA.

Wilmington’s own Joe Dunton jetted west to Los Angeles  for  4 days of nonstop film fun and of course to talk serious NC Film Business on an International scale — as only Joe would do it.  As always Mr. Dunton does everything he can to keep Wilmington, NC in the forefront of Hollywood’s mind.  Here’s a ‘lil photo journal of his time in LA which was very well spent.


Joe Dunton meets with major financiers and Chinese investors interested in American properties (both film properties and the Real estate type) at the summit, as well as film producers and movie development companies targeting Chinese-American co-financing and co-productions in the United States and abroad.


Joe Dunton with Richard L. Anderson, Academy-Award nominated sound editor for Poltergeist, and Daylight, now a writer-director working with the Chinese. Richard was a keynote speaker at the Summit.


Joe Dunton talks NC Film with famed actor-producer James Hong, best known for Blade Runner, Chinatown, Big Trouble in Little China, Wayne’s World 2, and Seinfeld — among more than 500 roles in a seven-decade career.


Joe Dunton accepts special invitation to the screening of the re-mastered Blade Runner, directed by his old pal Ridley Scott, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Joe and Ridley began as “mates in the UK”, their close working and personal relationship has spanned decades.

image6Joe Dunton experienced the most advanced IMAX system in the world in 3D at the TCL Chinese Theatre. ​He was invited by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) to a technical demonstration and screening of the new Imax laser-illuminated projector and immersive-sound system (LIPS) in 3D on the Chinese Theatre’s screen — 90 feet wide and 45 feet tall, the only theatre in the U.S. to boast such as system, though more are planned, touted as “the science of cinema raised to the level of magic.”

​The lasers allow a 50 percent increase in illumination, especially noticeable in 3D. ​Joe is reported to have nodded in approval. ​He and his SMPTE friends stayed to see Fast and Furious 7 the premiere of IMAX LIPS in the U.S., financed in part by Chinese investors. F&F 7 is China’s highest grossing movie of all time.


​Joe Dunton with Natasha Braier, the internationally acclaimed cinematographer, on the set of The Neon Demon in Pasadena. ​Natasha, born in Argentina, was named one of 2013 Variety’s 10 Cinematographers to Watch and has lensed Glue, XXY, Chinese Puzzle, The Rover, and The Milk of Sorrow, winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and an Academy-Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film.

​Natasha earned her master of cinematography at the National Film and TV School in the United Kingdom, where she was a classmate and friend of Joe’s daughter, the director Erica Dunton.


​Joe is there in more than spirit: Natasha Braier, the cinematographer, is using Joe’s hand-designed specialty lenses throughout the entire shoot for The Neon Demon. ​The film stars Keanu Reeves, Elle Fanning and Christine Hendricks and is directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, who helmed the Pusher films, Valhalla Rising, Only God Forgives and the Academy Award nominated and critically acclaimed, Drive starring Ryan Gosling.


Joe received a warm on-set reception from a beaming Natasha, Elle Fanning, and a clearly impressed Nicholas Refn. Natasha made certain that Joe was on set to see the current exciting work these one of a kind Dunton lenses are producing on this very artistic, new Keanu movie.

ASHEVILLE, NC: Dirty Dancing coming this summer?

This summer don’t you dare put Baby in the corner!  The remake of Dirty Dancing which we have been talking about for a couple of months now, will indeed be heading back to the Asheville area, but when is the question.  When speaking with one of the production companies on this project, they still can’t even give a date as to when they are opening up offices in NC, citing no director or cast has even been selected yet.  Even so, it has been listed as Summer 2015. So, who knows, it could go into fall for all we know.

Although Production Weekly has Tim Bourne listed as Line Producer, don’t believe  it.  He’s currently working in Atlanta right now and is not attached to the project. I have notice that they have new producers and writers posted this time around. Producing are now Debra Martin Chase, Eleanor Bergstein and Judy Cairo.

The Citizen-Times has a little article that just came out.  They write,  “Application materials indicate the production will create an estimated 1,225 jobs in North Carolina, including 900 extras, 30 cast members and 225 “crew/full time” jobs. Total personnel is expected to be 1,300.” READ ARTICLE NOW

More details to come.

STATUS: Development / Pre-Production
LOCATION: Asheville, NC
PRODUCERS: Debra Martin Chase, Eleanor Bergstein, Judy Cairo

Coming from Martin Chase Productions, 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.

DOR releases their report for 2014 direct film spending in NC.

The Department of Revenue released their report for direct spending. Productions spent $241,372,169 in North Carolina on goods, supplies, wages and employee benefits in 2014, receiving $60,343,039 (25%) in rebates.

Just a quick clarification from the NC Film Office: the numbers released by the NCDOR reflect what productions SUBMITTED on their required forms–which they can file at any time the production is ready– and does not necessarily mean that is what was spent or jobs created that specific year. For example, the NCDOR report does not have the full season of “Secrets and Lies” and its “Sleepy Hollow” numbers are for a previous year (not 2014’s S2); thus the total number is not ALL of what was spent in 2014. There are also productions listed that filmed prior to 2014, like “Well Wishes” and “Los Jets.”

Now, that being said, taking the top spot was who we expected. Sleepy Hollow spent a hefty $43,648,743. The Fox production also took the top spot when it comes to hires. Sleepy Hollow employed 1593 folks (Season One).

Our CBS show, Under the Dome spent $35,158,244 and employed 500.


The Cinemax series Banshee brought us $35,051,297. (no employment # listed)

Homeland was not far behind, spending $31,029,540. (no employment # listed) Submitted from 2013.

Other productions of note include The Longest Ride which spent $23,345,745 and hired close to 600 people. Another big job giver was the family film Max which hits theaters in July.  They spent $18,630,757 and employed 1082 people.

Further breaking down the report, productions spent $136 million in New Hanover County and just over $95 million in Mecklenberg County.

In total, $241,372,169 was spent in North Carolina by film and TV productions last year with 8381 jobs created. Check out the links below to see what’s film has spent in North Carolina over the last 9 years.

Spending in NC from 2005-2014