One Tree Hill’s Hilarie Burton speaks up for NC Film

HilarieTo the North Carolina voters and legislators,

Please forgive me for not being able to attend this weekend’s film rally. I’m already signed up to attend the Olevolos2014 fundraiser for a One Tree Hill castmate – Bryan Greenberg – up in NYC. But I wanted to send along a message of support for the NC Film community as the State’s current incentive is up for discussion.

As a little girl from Virginia, my family made the commute to North Carolina each summer for various vacation adventures…Tweetsie Railroad, the Outer Banks, The Lost Colony, Chimney Rock…all nostalgic and fantastic destinations. But it was one summer in middle school, when my parents decided to venture a little further South, that I fell in love with a most unique location.

Wilmington. I remember it being a town covered in flowers and those low slung oak branches. Driving down Market St toward downtown, my father stopped at an old antique Car Museum. Parked out front were untouchable classics, all shining in the July heat (you know the haze I’m talking about!). We got out. Peeked in windshields. Got wildly excited over the little round windows on a 60-something T-Bird. And then we were invited inside where the “real gems” were parked.

Picture cars, the man called them. He started naming actors who had sat in the very automobiles we were looking at. Dustin Hoffman. I want to say, I remember him saying John Travolta’s name. Right now I couldn’t tell you all the names of those productions, or all the actors he listed. But in that moment, my little girl dreams of becoming an actress were within my grasp! I couldn’t believe movies were made here – a few hours from my home – and not in the far off hills of California.

That was in the early 90s. The car museum has been gone for quite some time. The place where we had lunch that day is now Halligan’s Pub in Lumina Station. But, the trees are still low slung, and it is still the place where magical movies are made.

A decade later I came back to Wilmington as a fortunate member of the Warner Bros. production, One Tree Hill. I had fancy picture cars of my own to drive this go-round! Over the course of my 7 years in NC, my brother Billy moved down from NY and became a production assistant. He has since worked his way up the ranks and is currently a 2nd assistant director. My parents left our life-long home in Virginia and moved to town, where my father works with Stevens Fine Homes building new communities and my mother is an agent at Re/Max. My brother John came to town, spending his summers as a bouncer at Level Five, and finally settling in Fayettville, working on film productions of his own. My youngest brother Conrad transferred to UNCW and was a DJ at Z1075 for years before moving to Raleigh.

Our entire family was brought down to the area by the film community. And so to me, family has always been at the core of my support for the NC Film Incentive. I have attended the little league games and birthday parties of crew-members’ children, and I have been privileged to consider these hard-working, immensely talented professionals my friends. I never forget that by keeping film in NC, we are allowing these men and women to be at home – not working in Atlanta or New Mexico or Miami – with their families.

It’s a business. So to erase sentiment from it, here’s the truth. Film’s benefit is it’s amazing ripple effect on our state. Consider that there are dozens of productions happening at any given time in NC. If just one production employs 100 people, those 100 people and their families are spending money living and contributing to the NC economy. Every day the production spends money renting space from local vendors, buying food from local vendors, putting out of towners up at local establishments. Commercials for NC-made productions become advertisements for tourism in the area, and a constant rotation of television and film ensures that there are always new reasons for folks to sight-see in NC.

I’ve seen abandoned buildings re-purposed, gardens planted, historic homes re-habbed. I’ve seen vacant lots turned into highly anticipated stops on the Wilmington Film Tour. I’ve seen actors come in and contribute to local charities, take part in parades and fundraisers, and fall in love with the area. And I’ve seen kids like that middle-school version of myself marvel that they are so close to the magic of filmmaking. It gives a person the ability to dream big in a small town.

After working all over the country, I’m proud to say that I too still marvel at the capabilities of the NC Film community. Speaking up about maintaining the incentive and continuing to support NC’s sterling reputation in the world of filmmaking is important to me, and I hope it will be important to you. It is with deep affection for a place that did so much to nurture me personally and professionally that I write this, and I very much look forward to my next opportunity to work in the area.

Humbly,
Hilarie Burton

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THE WILMYWOOD DAILY – 12/10/2013 Sleepy Hollow Film Crew plays Secret Santa for Wilmington Families and more!

SG10Major rumors are swirling about the NC Film Crew. Apparently, they deserve kudos and candy canes.  The  locations department of Sleepy Hollow decided to give back this year to complete strangers.  They took donations from the hundreds of crew members working on Sleepy Hollow, every department, and together they raised $1000!  They headed to Toys R Us and played Secret Santa,  secretly paying off 18 layaway plans at the toy store.  I called the production office for confirmation. As an added bonus, the store manager informed one of the crew members that Toys R Us is also going to make a matching donation to Toys For Tots! Now if that doesn’t inspire you to pay it forward, dunno what will!

The ratings for last night’s episode of Sleepy Hollow will come out later today – I will give you the full report in a separate blog on how The Golem performed.  The Sleepyheads are running two units, both filming on the lot today.

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UTD_DVDCutie Pie, Hunter, with Wilm on Film, released the Under the Dome dates.  Looks like they will open offices on January and production will begin in March. And for the record, give some kudos to Hunter.  He is a lot like me, underpaid, an army of one and collecting a lot of great production news. Ha! You go boy!

Wilmington Regional Film Commission_1Reminder:  I know I’ve talked about this a lot, but it has been a while.  If you got a really cool or interesting property, and think it would be a great location for film, contact the Wilmington Film Commission at (910) 343-3456 or commish@wilmingtonfilm.com. Properties can be anything from a large lot, warehouse, barn to a farm, restaurant, shop, or simply your house.

keepncDon’t be confused, yes there is a second petition for you to sign.  They decided we should have a petition that focused strictly on ending the sunset.  I agree, so yes you have one more petition to sign, but as you know it only takes 20 seconds or less to do so!  SIGN PETITION NOW!

BEST_OF_2014_VoteEncore is doing the “Best of” issue again and I sure would LOVE YOU if you voted for The Wilmywood Daily for “BEST BLOG!” Nominations end December 12th! And hey if you wanna nominate Sheila Brothers for “Best Local Radio Personality,” I won’t mind that either!  Ha!  But hey, yes indeed, it is not all about me or the blog, make sure you vote for “Favorite Filmmaker” whoever you love here in Wilmywood.  We got a lot of incredible local filmmakers in this town! They are all on page 3 under “arts, entertainment and media.”VOTE NOW!

 Shop the Wilmywood T-shirt Shop! Deadline for orders to arrive before Christmas is set for December 13. 3 DAYS LEFT!  SHOP NOW!

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That just about does it for me; I will have more Wilmywood updates for you tomorrow morning (unless something breaks) and every weekday morning we do “What’s Up in Wilmywood” at 7:30am & 8:30am LIVE on Sunny 104.5.  Got Scoop?  Email me: sheila_brothers@yahoo.com.  Or message me on Wilmywood’s FB .  You can also just post your comments below!  Until then, that’s a wrap!!

 

WILMYWOOD DAILY EXCLUSIVE: A first look at Unknown Caller

Obin and Amariah Olson

Obin and Amariah Olson

I personally have been waiting for this for a very long time!  The Olsons of local production company The Forgery, are what I call hidden gems in Wilmington.  With their strengths in outstanding cinematography and visual effects, they are the trifecta of brilliance. The Daytime Emmy nominated trio Obin, Amariah and their father Larry Olson have completed their first action/thriller titled, Unknown Caller, their first feature film. These Wilmington filmmakers can match the quality of Hollywood studio films in every department: cinematography, sound, visual effects, score, editing.  They got it down to a science.  And to set them apart, they have their own signature look and feel. When you see a Tony Scott flick, for example, you know it’s Tony Scott just by looking at it.   The Olson’s signature is unique and all their own. They were able to encapsulate their style into this action/thriller making it look absolutely stunning.

Unknown Caller is about a psychopath who uses a family’s high tech security system with a ticking time bomb to terrorize them demanding an answer to his question; ‘WHO AM I?’

Unknown Caller’s 24 day shoot was filmed in Birmingham, Alabama.  Sounds weird, being from Wilmington, our beloved film town, but there were a couple of reasons.  One, the script, written by Jupiter Makins, was based in Birmingham and the southern city has undeniable landmarks that were a part of the story.

Jason Graves

Jason Graves

Secondly, the Olsons did not know how long it would take to finish the film, and with Alabama enacting a tax credit without a sunset, it just fit with what they were doing.  But no worries, they still brought the film back to North Carolina to be scored by an NC legend.  BAFTA award winner, Jason Graves of Raleigh, NC composed an amazing score for the film that takes you on a journey with a desperate father and a clever tormentor.

When asked about the state of the NC tax incentive and how it affects a decision to shoot here, the Olson’s all agreed. “We would absolutely love to shoot at home [Wilmington] but in the risky business of film making you need as much financial stability as you can get.  And sadly right now that’s not in NC.”    When the vote takes place in May 2014 and if we can finally get rid of “sunset,” the Olsons would definitely consider shooting in their own hometown, and hire NC Film crew.  Are you PAYING ATTENTION politicians!??

The thriller stars David Chisum, Louise Griffiths, and Assaf Cohen. Brothers Olson (Obin and Amariah) directed the film with their dad Larry producing.  After 8 long months of post-production and 250 vfx shots later, the brothers are currently going back and forth to Hollywood to setup distribution for this picture and many more to come.  So far, the sales companies are responding favorably to the film.

In the meantime, they are looking into a Wilmington screening soon.  Stay up to date with this flick by following UNKNOWN CALLER ON FACEBOOK

[Stills courtesy of The Forgery]

THE WILMYWOOD DAILY – 10/10/2013 Heads WILL roll today on Sleepy Hollow, Got Props? Museum is looking for you!

Sleepy-Hollow-TitleAnother dreary day here in Wilmywood, but hey I guess it makes for a perfect mood for shooting Sleepy Hollow today.   They will be downtown at the courthouse on 3rd St. this evening.  This is gonna be a great day for being a bystander.  To put it vaguely, heads will definitely roll in this scene!  Awesome!

MattLintzMonday night is a very special night for a Georgia tween who might as well call Wilmington his second home.  He’s film in this town a lot!  Matt Lintz (Under the Dome’s Mackenzie Lintz’s lil bro) will be guest starring as Thomas Grey, a young boy from the 1500’s.  He took a few minutes out of his day to chat.  Check out the interview NOW.

starringindigofinalMy friend Chris sent this to me.  The North Carolina Museum of History is planning a yearlong celebration of filmmaking in the state.  Named  Starring North Carolina!  the celebration will feature the first major exhibit about the Tar Heel State’s role in filmmaking, activities that reveal North Carolina stars, filming locations, and references, a film festival and a film series and more!   The celebration is slated to start December 2014.

Call for Artifacts: They are currently looking for artifacts relating to movies and television shows filmed in North Carolina. If you have any items of interest please contact Katie Edwards at katie.edwards@ncdcr.gov.  READ MORE NOW

That just about does it for me; I will have more Wilmywood updates for you tomorrow morning (unless something breaks) and every weekday morning at 7:30am & 8:30am LIVE on Sunny 104.5.  Got Scoop?  Email me: sheila@1045sunnyfm.com.  Or message me on Wilmywood’s FB .  Or just post your comments below!  Until then, that’s a wrap!!