INTERVIEW: Jillian Murray (The Squeeze)

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Jillian Murray who is starring in The Squeeze joined me this morning on The Sunny Morning Show – can I just say how FABULOUS she is!  One of my absolute favorite interviews.  LISTEN NOW!

Find Jillian on: TWITTER   Instagram   FACEBOOK

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WHAT’S UP IN WILMYWOOD – 06/21/2013

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June 20, 2013 – Wilmington Mayor Billy Saffo hands Stephen King a key to the city during the Under The Dome Red Carpet Premiere

The red carpet came alive last night as about 90 % of the cast came out and celebrated with the locals at the Under The Dome Red Carpet Premiere.  We have tons of video footage and photos.  As soon as I can put it all together I will be releasing it piece by piece starting today.  A HUGE thank you to C-G Productions (CG’s Website,   Twitter and Facebook) and David Pasqua for shooting the event!  They were amazing!  Check out all the photos from the event:

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Our handsome Mayor Billy Saffo greeted the crowd and read the proclamation, honored Stephen King with a key to the city, then  declared June 24th Dome Day!  The Under the Dome folks are filming at Waterford in Leland, then move to stage for the rest of the night.

MsPennyDirectorToday is the last day on Tammy 😦  I will miss that cast big time!  But I have a feeling Miss Penny (Susan Sarandon’s angel) will miss Wilmington even more.  For their last hoorah, they will be on Blue Clay Road (between N. Kerr & N. College Rd.) and also 2610 N. 23rd Street.  Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon and the gang will be on set.  And finally, Mullet Alert: Eastbound and Down will be shooting on 21st and Chestnut today.

The Johnny Depp Effect

JohnnyDeppYou say one name in this town and people simply go INSANE! And that name is Johnny Depp.

Well, this certainly isn’t the first time people have cried “Wolf!” or “Johnny!” in our case. Last year, someone said they spotted him at a Port City Java, and within minutes the whole town was saying he was filming here. Well, we can thank the Star News’ Fran Norton for the most recent one and WWAY for reporting Fran’s story without doing their own homework. It was very short lived, so if you weren’t on FB or Twitter Friday morning, you probably missed it. But it really got me very aggravated. Why? Well, let me tell you how it all started.

craigslist_01-300x225It began with a CraigsList post: “Feature Film with Johnny Depp (Wilmington)”

“Feature Film with Johnny Depp currently casting for principal, supporting, and extra roles! Pay is up to $842.00 per day depending on role and experience!! Good Luck!”

Hmmmm.  Time to do some digging.  Now, anyone should know, a casting company for a A-list attached feature film does not use CraigsList. That is a red flag right there. But then the other two sources that were used to create this news story were from Facebook and AxcessTalent.com.

Clint, from Axcess Talent says they got it from EastCoastAuditions.net. Normally, the listings he gets are legit, so this bothered him as much as it bothered me. Since I spoke to Clint, very nice guy by the way, East Coast Talent still has not taken down the post, which was a replica of the CraigsList post. Clint no longer has Wilmington attached to the casting call.

As far as using the Facebook page as a “news source”, The Wilmington Casting Call page had the same verbage, it was from CraigsList. After I spoke to the admin, he agreed with me and removed the post as well.

I can hear Yoda right now: Long winded is she. Okay, getting to the point. Why was I so aggravated? Multiple reasons, so let me list them.

1) How many people sent their personal information to this CraigsList person because of our Wilmington “news” reporting? THAT IS HARMFUL.  I cannot stress that enough.  HARMFUL!

2) The Star News is not a rumor magazine. It is a news source we are “supposed” to trust! Do your homework!

3) Same goes for our TV news, they didn’t bother checking if the Star News did their homework. Again, we are supposed to trust you!

4) Facebook and CraigsList are not reliable sources for a big story!

5) Did I mention that Johnny Depp was the breaking news story Friday morning, with a huge picture of him on the home page of  Starnewsonline.com.  Argh!

With all that being said, I absolutely adore so many of the reporters here in our town. Jeff, Cassie, Ashley…no one can touch them, they are incredible.  And yes, we all make mistakes.  I certainly do all the time.   But it seems as though the news lately, locally as well as nationally, doesn’t bother to check their sources, they just run with it and hopefully, it’s right.  It felt like all they cared about was web views and it was a “lemme get this out there so we can be first” mindset.  It would be one thing if there were TMZ, The Sun, or some entertainment magazine, but they are not.  We count on them for reliable and accurate information.

So will the real Johnny Depp Movie please stand up! Please stand up!

Untitled-3I received a voicemail from the Staff Production Coordinator, Micaela Brown, who is currently on the Johnny Depp flick, Transcendence and she said, “I got your message and I am calling to confirm that you are correct in that Transcendence is NOT filming in North Carolina.”  Depp’s other flick, Boston Mass, is already underway in South Boston.

I can tell you Transcendence will be filming a small piece of it in New Mexico this summer. That I know because I spoke with a casting company there who is currently casting day players and extras. It co-stars Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman, and more.

Johnny Depp does have 20 other projects in development, so who knows, maybe one will come our way, next month, or next year.  And after me going on and on about this, maybe I am missing something.  Maybe he is coming.  Hell, if that’s the case, PLEASE let me be wrong!

FILM INCENTIVES EMERGENCY

**UPDATE** I spoke with Carey Jones, Vice Chair of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission this morning on the air about Bill H994 and the Rally.  Here’s what she had to say: LISTEN NOW

Remember the great press release that sang praises for the first quarter of this year due to the film industry boom in NC?  Let me refresh your memory:

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“As the first quarter of 2013 comes to an end, the North Carolina Film Office (NCFO) continues to see record-breaking numbers for the state’s film industry.  Over 20 productions have indicated they intend to film, or have already begun filming, in North Carolina, with a total direct in-state spend in excess of $138 million while creating more than 13,000 job opportunities, including 2,100 well-paying crew positions for the state’s highly skilled film professionals.”

With the reminder being put in place, an unsettling panic from every branch of the film industry has spread across the state as a bill is being introduced by our “representatives” of North Carolina.

This reminded me of another article in the Star News that came out just before Azalea Festival.  If you remember there was a little talk with completely skewed low numbers coming out of some of the General Assemblies’ mouths.  Billy Saffo was outraged by their comments.  After I read it, I sure as hell wanted to slap somebody.  But I thought, wow, they’re ignorant, and shook my head because they was no way anyone could take them seriously…Was I wrong?

State Reps, Rick Catlin and Chris Millis and (along with others) have submitted the first draft of what many are calling a JOB KILLER BILL, H994.

So, what is all this mess about?  From what I understand, the intent of this bill is to repeal the cash rebate and replace it with a tax credit.  And they want it retro to January 2013.  I can’t imagine CBS, Warner Brothers, and NBC being okay with that.  I believe that is called breach of contract.   We all can conclude, however, if this did happen and the filming well went dry, as many think it would, how long would it take to get things back the way they are now?  It took, what, 6 years to get the 25% tax incentive in the first place..

Last year, productions spent over $376 million in North Carolina and created more than 4,100 well-paying crew positions and nearly 20,000 job opportunities.  So, the question is would North Carolina like to have 75% of $376 million or nothing at all?  Again, let me remind you, this year alone the film industry has already spent “$138 million while creating more than 13,000 job opportunities, including 2,100 well-paying crew positions for the state’s highly skilled film professionals.”

But it not only affects the thousands of people hired for each film, but it will have a major impact on the vendors as well i.e. hotels, local mom n pop shops, lumber, paint stores, restaurants, tourism.  The list goes on and on.  The productions spend the money where we need the money to go.

The media picked up on this ire from the film industry quickly.   Star News’ Cassie Foss jumped right on it: Local film leaders say bill would end N.C. film industry.   Kudos to our Mayor to continue the support.  Julian March posted this WATCHDOG ARTICLE today.

So what can you do?

1) JOIN THE RALLY!  Filmmakers, Actors, Set Dressers, fans of the film industry, YOU, all of you, are invited to attend a rally!

Saturday, April 20th – Riverfront Park (Market Street and Water) – 1:45pm.   

The Facebook invite says: “Bring your family, call your co-workers, reach out to your vendors, invite your neighbors, make sure your friends that work as extras are are aware. Contact your DGA friends, make sure the Teamsters and their families are aware. This bill is designed to end the film industry in NC. It is up to all of us to change the course.”

Here’s another link from the Wilmington Regional Film Commission urging you to attend the rally.

2) SIGN THE PETITON – I am sure it will get signatures, dunno if we can get 100,000 but I like to be optimistic.

3) WRITE YOUR REPRESENTATIVEYep, the tried and true method, let them hear from you.  Especially the vendors I mentioned above.  You need to let your voice be heard if you would like to keep what we have.

Bill H994 is only a first draft, so no need to panic, but I can certainly understand it.  Let’s hope it ends up on the cutting room floor.

Lemme know your thoughts, and if I understand everything correctly.  If not, lemme know.  School me and the rest of NC.  Everyone needs to know. Post your comments below or email me: sheila@1045sunnyfm.com