Rumors from the Lot: Sleepy Hollow

Now it’s time for Rumors from the Lot! Many folks have been hanging on for some chance in hell that Sleepy Hollow will find a way to stay in Wilmington and not make the move to Atlanta. If you are one of the many, you are not gonna like what I have to tell you.

Rumor has it, starting next week, the 18-wheelers will be rolling on in. Starting with Stage 10 at EUE/Screen Gems, they are breaking down the sets as they prepare for season 3 in Atlanta.

The only bit of good news, bittersweet really, is that from what I heard they are hiring some of the original crew to do the tear down and set up in Atlanta. I also heard that they might be asking some of the crew members to move to Atlanta and continue working on the show. Especially those in set dec.

So, while folks will be working, it will be short lived for some, and a move away from their families for others should they choose to do so.

Can I confirm this? Not yet. Are my sources strong. Yes. Guess we will know for sure next week.

It’s a sad day for Wilmywood.

EUE/Screen Gems statement RE: Governor Pat McCrory’s Visit

Governor Pat McCrory Visited EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington This Afternoon

Wilmington, N.C. (July 17) — North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory made a last- minute stop at EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington today. Executive Vice President Bill Vassar received a call just after lunch.

“The Governor’s people said he has some extra time between meetings and wanted to stop by,” says Vassar. “It was an unexpected but welcome surprise. The Governor wanted to see the studio, meet members of the crew and better understand our industry.”

Vassar said he and the Governor discussed the importance of the incentives to the health of the industry, and the Governor indicated that many issues hang in the balance as budget negotiations continue.

The tour lasted over an hour. The Governor toured the stages for “Under the Dome” (CBS), “Sleepy Hollow (FOX) and “Secrets and Lies” (ABC). Vassar said McCrory chose to spend more time than expected at the studios, and he speculated the Governor might have been a bit late for his next appointment.

“I’m glad the Governor came,” Vassar says. “It’s gratifying to know that we’re on his radar, and that he was willing to carve out time to see us and learn more about the industry. He understands our desire is to keep film alive in North Carolina.”

–end—

 Related articles:

Pat McCrory visits EUE/Screen Gems Studios

Gov. Pat McCrory Refuses to Visit with Film Industry in Wilmington

Gov. Pat McCrory Refuses to Visit with Film Industry in Wilmington Today

At stake: 4200 fulltime film jobs as film incentive negotiations wrap up with the short session of the legislature

 Wilmington, NC (July 2, 2014) Last week, EUE/Screen Gems Studios Executive Vice-President Bill Vassar and COO Chris Cooney sent a letter inviting Gov. Pat McCrory to visit EUE/Screen Gems Studios. The request followed Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo’s verbal invitation during a June 25 press conference at the North Carolina Legislative Building in Raleigh. On May 8, longtime Wilmington crew member Dale Williams sent a letter to the Governor asking for a meeting. It was covered by WWAY. A few months back, Vassar and Cooney asked for a meeting with the Governor to provide insight on the economic impact of the industry and to answer questions about the incentive.

All requests were denied.

We are deeply disappointed that the Governor has not visited our studio and experienced the North Carolina film industry firsthand,” says Bill Vassar. “We want to work with him to find the compromises he called for in the interview today with WECT. Some of the suggestions he made would hurt the industry dramatically; others will help it grow. That’s why we want the face-to-face time with him.”

Vassar says there has been no abuse of the film incentive. Every show that has received incentive money has gotten that money lawfully. Vassar and other industry leaders agree that rules about what types of shows are eligible for an incentive should be tightened.

In addition, Vassar applauds the Governor’s suggestion about adding more marketing opportunities for North Carolina. For example, neighboring Georgia requires the Georgia peach logo to be included in the credits of all productions filmed in the state.

When you start talking about incentive funding numbers and grants, you have to understand industry nuances and what your competitors are offering. New Mexico’s incentive is a 25 to 35 percent refundable tax credit. It’s NOT a grant,” Vassar explains. “We want to help the Governor understand what made us a Tier 1 film state—one of the top destinations globally for film and television production. If we move away from that Tier 1 status, we will not have enough productions coming to the state to keep the 4200 full-time, tax-paying individuals working in the industry. The state must commit to the industry and maintain Tier 1 status, or the industry—and our three generations of trained crew—will be forced to relocate. “

The industry wants the Governor to see how hard-working people make a good living. Caterers, electricians, interior designers, thrift shop owners, seamstresses, technology and security professionals, drivers and more work in film production. The industry employs a broad range of skill sets. In addition, seasoned crew engineer stunts, design and build sets and light the productions. Hotels, restaurants, coffee shops and rental agencies serve the talent that comes in for a production. Casting agencies, florists, and art dealers are just a few of the small businesses that have launched in Wilmington to serve the industry. 

Every time a lawmaker visits our studio or a location set, they have an ‘aha’ moment and leave with a new understanding of the industry and the jobs it provides,” Vassar says.

Vassar is once again extending an invitation to the Governor to come to Wilmington, see the largest studio east of California and witness this industry at work. And he’s willing to meet with the Governor in Raleigh, as well.

About EUE/Screen Gems Studios Wilmington, NC

EUE/Screen Gems Studios supplies production space, studios, technological infrastructure and support for film, television and commercial producers in Wilmington, N.C. and Atlanta. The company is headquartered in New York City and also operates a content production division there.

In the last two years, the Wilmington, NC complex has hosted films such as “Iron Man 3” for Marvel and “The Conjuring” and “We’re the Millers” for New Line/Warner Bros. Recent television projects include “Under the Dome” for CBS, “Eastbound and Down” for HBO and “Sleepy Hollow” for Fox Television. The Wilmington EUE/Screen Gems complex has hosted more than 350 productions since it opened. For more information, visit www.euescreengemsstudios.com.

 

Maria Bello added to cast of Max Steel

image

Mattel and Dolphin has brought in one of my favorite actresses! Maria Bello!  This talented lady has over 35 feature film credits under her belt and she is now adding Max Steel to her roster! Maria will be playing Max’s mom, Molly.

Maria arrived in Wilmywood and got right to work last week.  She is best known for her roles as “Sally” in the Adam Sandler films Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2 and the sassy bar owner, “Lil” in Coyote Ugly.

She also played “Lucy Robbins” on the series Touch.  Welcome to Wilmywood, Maria!

ABOUT:

MAX STEEL – MATTEL/DOLPHIN/OPEN ROAD 
STATUS: In Production
PRODUCERS: Bill O’Dowd,  Julia Pistor
WRITER: Christopher Yost
DIRECTOR: Stewart Hendler
LP: David Grace
CAST: Ben Winchell,  Ana Villafañe, Andy Garcia, Billy Slaughter, Maria Bello
CREW RESUMES TO:  maxsteelresumes@gmail.com

16 year old Max McGrath is discovering that he’s got a strange electric energy that emanates from him when he’s upset or excited, and it’s starting to grow beyond his control. With his scientist father dead and his mom Molly unwilling to talk about what really happened in the accident that killed him, Max is resigned to trying to fit in to yet another new school–where he finds himself attracted to the quirky, independent-minded Sydney and develops a friendship with an old colleague of his dad’s, Miles Edwards. But the most startling thing that happens to Max is the arrival of a small, crab-like alien named Steel, whose memory may be faulty but who knows one thing for certain: he’s there to protect Max, and he’s been sent by Max’s father.

Andy Garcia joins Max Steel cast

andy_garciaAndy Garcia is back in Wilmywood! ( He was here in 2013 for Christmas In Conway.) He has signed on to play the role of “Miles” who is a friend of Max’s mother “Molly.”  Currently, Andy can be heard and not seen in the animated picture, Rio 2 as the voice of “Eduardo.” Rumor has it that Mr. Garcia has had some Wilmywood ties in the past couple of months. The Emmy award nominated actor was one of the leading men in the running for the lead role in the recently wrapped pilot, Field of Play. (We know it as REDZONE).

ABOUT :

MAX STEEL – MATTEL/DOLPHIN/OPEN ROAD 
STATUS: Production begins April 29th
PRODUCERS: Bill O’Dowd,  Julia Pistor
WRITER: Christopher Yost
DIRECTOR: Stewart Hendler
LP: David Grace
CAST: Ben Winchell,  Ana Villafañe
CREW RESUMES TO:  maxsteelresumes@gmail.com

16 year old Max McGrath is discovering that he’s got a strange electric energy that emanates from him when he’s upset or excited, and it’s starting to grow beyond his control. With his scientist father dead and his mom Molly unwilling to talk about what really happened in the accident that killed him, Max is resigned to trying to fit in to yet another new school–where he finds himself attracted to the quirky, independent-minded Sydney and develops a friendship with an old colleague of his dad’s, Miles Edwards. But the most startling thing that happens to Max is the arrival of a small, crab-like alien named Steel, whose memory may be faulty but who knows one thing for certain: he’s there to protect Max, and he’s been sent by Max’s father.

WILMYWOOD’S HOMAGE TO OUR MUPPET MOVIE

MFS_posterby April Vickery

As we gear up today’s release of The Muppets Most Wanted, Wilmywood Daily wants to honor one of the greatest Muppet movies to come out of Wilmywood! We’re going back to 1999 with MUPPETS FROM SPACE.

You may remember this story: Gonzo is contacted by his alien family through his breakfast cereal. He is kidnapped and it’s up to Kermit and the gang to rescue Gonzo and help reunite him with his long-lost family. Here’s a couple of stories from this movie I betcha never knew!

A friend of Wilmywood Daily, Martin Eckhardt (pictured left), was Jeffrey Tambor‘s (pictured below) stand in and did a few scenes in costume as a man in black. Hulk Hogan had a cameo appearance in the film as one of the “Men in Black,” it called for him to be wearing a white dress shirt and tuxedo type jacket. The wardrobe department could not find a shirt with a big enough neck size to fit his massive neck which is reported to be 21 inches around!! They came to set to show the director, Tim Hill what the problem was and he just shrugged and said, “Cut it in the back where it won’t show or cut the collar off completely.” Problem Solved.

MFSJefT

EUE/Screen Gems construction foreman Tom Jones, Jr., who is celebrating his 30th year in Wilmington this month, also worked on MUPPETS FROM SPACE and says that the Henson Group is amazing MFSMuppeteersand the most upbeat and happy people ever! “Who wouldn’t be working with puppets all day?” This film was Tom’s 4th time working with the Henson Group. His most memorable moment  was seeing the magic of what the camera captures compared to what the naked eye of on-lookers see. According to his recounts, it’s “Chaos.” A controlled chaos, we’re sure! The camera captures the Muppets interacting with it’s human cast mate, but the crew sees a puppeteer operating the creature in the scene also. Most puppeteers are also the voices so include yards of audio cables AND visual cables attached to monitors so the puppeteers can watch the screen to ensure their creature counterparts are hitting the proper marks and you have a lot going on! Tom told The Wilmywood Daily that MUPPETS FROM SPACE took up nearly every stage at EUE/Screen Gems while filming. “Stage 4 and Stage 1 were most memorable because Stage 1 was the sculpture shop where over 100 artists and sculptors built the elaborate props.”  Stage 4 was a pebble laden beach where the spaceship lands. Many of those props were taken out to Fort Fisher to complete the scenes with fog and smoke FX and eerie lighting on the trees.

Another construction crew member Simon Park recounted what it was like to build sets and props for not only the human actors, but the puppeteers as well. Simon told Wilmywood, “It was a challenge and totally different concept” of what the building crew is used to doing. According to Simon, normally one will lay out plans for the prop or set needed and then begin. In MUPPETS FROM SPACE, each set and prop needed to fit in the puppeteer and their equipment as well.

All the crew members that Wilmywood spoke to today had one thing in common: They loved that spaceship! Guess we are all just kids at heart.

CAM00096~2

In MUPPETS MOST WANTED, (tomorrow!!) Kermit takes center stage with some hilarious human cast mates including, author, actress, producer, director… pretty much does it all Tina Fey (30Rock, SNL) as well as Ty Burrell of MODERN FAMILY and funny man, Ricky Gervais (BBC Office)

We can’t wait!!

Wilmywood Stars Celebrate This Weekend

By: April Vickery
Contributor for The Wilmywood Daily

Happy birthday this weekend to not one but TWO Wilmywood Stars!

James Van der BeekTomorrow, March 8, James Van Der Beek turns 37. You might remember him from a little show called, Dawson’s Creek. James played our beloved title character “Dawson Leery” and from 1998-2003, us lucky little Wilmingtonians had chances to catch James working on the show in and around the area. Dawson’s Creek utilized our local EUE/Screen Gems lot and crew, UNCW’s Randall Library and Alderman Hall, and many local businesses in Southport and Wilmington including the famously nicknamed “Dawson’s Bridge.” After Dawson ended, James returned to Wilmywood for a part on the show One Tree Hill. He played the director who wanted to turn Lucas’ novel into a movie.

These days James is a husband, daddy and apparently non-aging meme sensation with his silly site, jamesvandermeme.tumblr.comwhere he shares his “Vanderfeelings” in .gif form with the world. Follow James on Twitter (@Vanderjames) and help us in Wilmywood wish him a happy birthday.

freddie-prinze-jr-freddie-prinze-jr-5425601-1024-768Feliz Cumpleanos to latino heartbreaker, Freddie Prinze Jr.! Not only does he share the title of 50 Most Beautiful People in The World with Mr. Van Der Beek, but he apparently can’t get enough of Wilmywood either!

Freddie filmed in and around the areas of Southport and Burgaw for the horror flick, I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) with another actor who has recently returned for ABC‘s Secrets and Lies, Ryan Phillipe. This was also the set that Freddie met his beautiful wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Freddie then returned to Wilmywood 4 years later for the film Summer Catch (2001), a baseball movie that was set in Cape Cod, but some scenes were filmed in the town of Southport.

These days, Mr. Prinze is husband, daddy and business man. He is a producer and director with the WWE. (That’s right, wrastlin’!) He’s also known for his voiceover work in Mass Effect 3, Mass Effect Paragon Lost and Star Wars Rebels. Perhaps we should entice the Wilmywood-based show Battlefield Friends to help us in wishing Freddie Prinze Jr. a very happy birthday!