HB2: We. Are. Not. This.

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First, please let me apologize for taking so long to blog about this. I’ve tried to wrap my head around this whole HB2 thing. People have been flying off the handle about this. Some with facts and some with fiction. Trying to decipher which is which has been a bitch.

There are so many thoughts running through my head. First off, if you don’t know me, I am an unaffiliated female who believes in equality for all.  So, with that being said, I am sure you know how I feel about HB2. So instead of explaining it piece by piece (my brain would explode), let’s look at the effects it has had on our state so far.

Just when things start rolling again, our legislators and governor had go and throw away not only $42,000 for an emergency session but also more job creation here in North Carolina.

As an ambassador to the City of Wilmington,  it is become very difficult to welcome visitors here when folks are asking if it’s safe to be here. Seriously, lemme quote the last conversation I got about visiting North Carolina.

KATE: In light of the recent news story about NC, my wife and I will be visiting. We’re lesbian couple, will we have an issue with discrimination? Just Wondering

ME: No! There will not be any issues. Our legislators in North Carolina do NOT reflect the citizens who live here.

KATE: Thank you! That’s what I thought, but ya know I still has to check for peace of mind.

To those of us who live here, it seems like a ridiculous question because we live here and WE KNOW how welcoming this city is, but thanks to those who “represent us” we look like a bunch of haters and backward individuals.

So how is HB2 working out for us so far?

Let’s see, PayPal, Dow Chemical, the NBA, BioGen, American Airlines, Citi, Lowe’s, Wells Fargo, Apple, the NCAA, Google (just to name a few) are VERY disappointed in our leadership’s decision.

This week, large corporations like Bank of America, Cisco, Miramax and Uber signed onto a letter protesting the new law and demanding its repeal. Small businesses are also taking HB2 to task. [SOURCE]

Just today more than 15 large companies ie Reddit, eBay, Starbucks…joined the fight against North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law. [SOURCE]

HB2 is also creating uncertainty with companies as well.

Leaders from across the country have banned non-essential travel to North Carolina. San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, West Palm Beach, and New York, with more pending.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed an executive order banning all non-essential state travel to North Carolina. The order requires all New York State agencies, departments, boards and commissions to immediately review all requests for state funded or state sponsored travel to the state of North Carolina, and bar any such publicly funded travel that is not essential to the enforcement of state law or public health and safety. [SOURCE]

As far as film is concerned in our state, we have a little backlash, but what we don’t know is how is will affect our future.

The Hulu/Lionsgate production Crushed had one casting call the day before the emergency session took place. Rumor has it, based on a couple of crew members who were hired for the production…HB2 was the reason they packed their bags. I cannot confirm that however.

My sources in Western NC have told me that Dirty Dancing ONLY stayed because they were already too vested with locations and talent timelines and had made a commitment to film there. Otherwise they would have hit the road as well. Again, however, I cannot confirm it.

As you probably have seen Producer/Director Rob Reiner stated immediately after HB2 passed, he will never bring a production to North Carolina as long as this bill is in place. He encouraged his peers in the film industry to do the same. [SOURCE]

Meanwhile not all in the General Assembly are backing the bill. Senator Jeff Jackson has taken to social media.

And our favorite red head Rep. Susi Hamilton is just as upset about the outcome of HB2.

And this…good Lord:  “The people of North Carolina want to talk about roads and economic development and jobs and that’s where I’m going to focus my attention, not on ridiculous restroom and locker room policies that some people are trying to force onto the private sector,” McCrory said. [SOURCE]

I can’t help but think of a school yard taunt: “Quit talking about yourself!” Hate to tell you this, McCrory, but the people of North Carolina are just getting started.  The Gov’na certainly made his bed, but he doesn’t want to lie in it any longer…

And it is also apparent, McCrory has no idea what’s in the bill they passed in a 12 hour period.

NC Attorney General Roy Cooper, who is running against McCrory, is asking all those who are ashamed of HB2 to sign a petition on ShameonMcCrory.com

Every hour, there are more companies, cities and states standing up against HB2.

In conclusion, I cannot stress to those who don’t live here that we in North Carolina want you to know our legislators DO NOT reflect who we are as citizens of North Carolina. We are welcoming. We are warm.  We. Are. Not. This.

Thanks for giving us all the headlines leaders of North Carolina…

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Dirty Dancing Reboot coming to North Carolina as TV Movie

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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

Banshee’s Director Greg Yaitanes’ wrap speech

Last week, Cinemax’s Banshee wrapped it’s third season in Charlotte, North Carolina. Director Greg Yaitanes gathered the cast and crew.  In a heartfelt speech of gratitude and sadness, he ended his talk with a farewell.

“The hardest thing I want to touch on is I want to thank this gang, North Carolina as our home. We’ve all talked to you individually, but…

It’s a very sad time when you look at what we built, both in the community, in relationships, what we physically built on stage to be pushed out essentially by state politics, not by our own doing, or our own failures.

bansheeWe’ve built up something great here and it’s sad for so many reasons, but yet I wanna look at the these years we have had here, the incredible show that we built, and the work we’ve done together is hard, I know, I work everybody here hard, I know it’s a tough show, I know we rolled with a lot of punched this year. But the work that has resulted that we will see in January is phenomenal and this crew and this gang which is a mix of people I have worked with on House and beyond…it’s exciting to see new and old everybody came together in a way that it’s been a time in my life I will always remember in my career, I will always cherish it. Thank you so much for everything.”

Just a couple of days ago, Governor Pat McCrory just wasn’t exactly sure if the film incentives expiring was the reason for Banshee‘s move to Louisiana.

Are we clear now, Governor?

 

A crucial week for our NC Film Incentives.

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This is a crucial week for our Film Incentives.  Please continue to make your calls and send your emails to the NC House and especially to the Speaker of the House,  Thom Tillis.

In case you didn’t know, Thom Tillis needs votes from New Hanover County to beat Kay Hagan in November.  This county is crucial for his election.  So, ya know, do the math here.  There are 1000s in New Hanover County that are affected by the film industry.  Plus, they all have friends.

Tillis has the choice to be passionate or passive about the film incentives.  The decisions he makes in the days ahead will determine if you, your friends and/or families can continue to work, pay taxes and raise families in NC or if you uproot your life and leave everything you know and love behind.

PLEASE, DON’T BE PASSIVE! THESE PHONE CALLS ONLY TAKE 20 SECONDS.  PLEASE DO YOUR PART FOR YOURSELF, YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR FAMILY, AND NORTH CAROLINA’S FUTURE!

Tell him to HELP us!
Thom.Tillis@ncleg.net
919-733-3451

Make sure you take the time to contact your folks who represent you in your district ! They all need to feel the pressure and the power of the NC Film Supporters!

HERE’S THE CONTACT LIST FOR ALL NC HOUSE MEMBERS: http://keepncfilm.org/contact-nc-representatives/

 

SIGN PETITION:

Leave the North Carolina Film Incentive alone.

 

A message to Speaker Tillis and members of the NC House.

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Speaker Tillis (and members of NC House),

We represent over 10,000 registered voters who are either film workers, or are their families and friends. The decisions you make in the days ahead will determine if we can continue to work, pay taxes and raise families here.

We will all be voting in the November election, and you can be absolutely certain that we will be motivated to get others to do so as well. We love our communities, we love working here, and we do not want to see our livelihood pushed out of state. You have the power to help keep good, clean jobs here.

The fact is, North Carolina has built a clean, multi-billion dollar industry for over 30 years that employs thousands in life-long careers, and generates needed revenue for thousands of small businesses.

Film tourism brings unprecedented numbers of visitors and their vacation dollars here, making another dramatic and positive impact on our economy.

Georgia and South Carolina are most eager for you to do the wrong thing for North Carolina, and send our jobs and revenue their way. Just the rumor of losing our incentives has already sent several television series, their production dollars and jobs we need to other states.

We are asking you to do the right thing for our state, and extend the existing incentive as it is. We have a good thing going for all of North Carolina. Please, don’t destroy it. And you can count on the fact that we will remember, in large and active numbers, what you do to support the film incentive, or to destroy it.

Please see short video below from the NC Film Crew Members (Runtime 1:14).

Signed,

Supporters of the NC Film Tax Incentive

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

THE WILMYWOOD DAILY 03/18/2014 – How and Why, Sleepy Hollow, Loomis Fargo, Red Zone, Kevin Sizemore, Jack Bender…

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Morning my beautiful peeps! Hope your Tuesday is as delicious as a cream-filled crepe with blueberry sauce! Sorry, I’m hungry. Let’s get started!
shanley copyATTENTION Ashley High School students!  Major hotness alert for today! Shanley Caswell, Stefanie Scott, and David Castro will be roaming the halls today at your school!  No, they won’t be interfering with your classes, unfortunately.  But you might catch a glimpse this afternoon!

the-originalsTONIGHT! Our North Carolina girl, Alexa Yeames will be on CW’s The Originals tonight as well as our Wilmington boy Jesse C Boyd. Alexa is playing Abigail and Jesse is playing Cary, Klaus’ distant werewolf relative. Both have done 3 episodes so far.

ChrisannVergesCongrats to Chrisann Verges.  She is officially the Line Producer on FX’s How & Why. Chrisann (pictured on left) is known for End of Watch (2012), Cyrus (2010), Valkyrie (2008) and her most recent stint as producer for HBO’s Silicon Valley which airs April 6th.  Welcome to Wilmywood Chrisann!

RumorslogoAnd finally some Rumors from the Lot. Got more news about Loomis Fargo, but it might not be news you wanna hear.  Now I definitely cannot confirm this, but I heard that Loomis Fargo is headed to Winston-Salem.  That would make sense since it will star our NC boy Zach Galifianakis. We will keep you posted if we hear otherwise.

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EP Jack BenderPRODUCER/DIRECTOR JACK BENDER JOINS US ON THE SUNNY MORNING SHOW TOMORROW!   Tune in @ 8:30am during “What’s Up in Wilmywood” on Sunny 104.5 . We’ll be chatting about all things Dome and of course about his art exhibit. The Wilma W. Daniels Gallery (200 Hanover St.) is  showcasing Under the Dome’s Jack Bender’s art NOW through the 29th of this month.  Three of his pieces will be from Season One  of Under the Dome.  Think Pink Stars!  We will also get a sneak peek at some of the beautiful pieces for the upcoming season. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 12pm-5pm.  However, a special night is reserved for you to mingle with the artist that is Jack Bender this Saturday, March 22nd from 6pm-9pm.

Meanwhile, the Domies head out to Chestnut Street to film today.

kevin-sizemoreThis Friday, our favorite Domie, Kevin Sizemore will join us on The Sunny Morning Show.   He will be on ABC’s Resurrection this Sunday and guess who else is popping up?  Well, when asked, he said “I think it’s this Sunday.”  LOL.  Remember Reverend Lester Coggins of Under the Dome?  It’s Ned Bellamy.  So we got some Wilmywood love on the Georgia shot show, based on the book The Returned by our Bolton, North Carolina boy Jason Mott.

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Now onto Sleepy Hollow.  My sources are telling me that  offices are slowly opening over the next week as they gear up for season two.  Yesterday, our adorable Sleepy Writers tweeted a pic from the writers room.  Did you spot our new  producer/writer Albert Kim in the back!  He’s pumped to be on the show.

And can we thank Orlando Jones and Tom Mison enough for spreading some North Carolina Love!?  Stars promoting tourism.

Hold on, let me get this straight.  A show films here, brings in a ton a revenue, buys from a lot of local small businesses, create 100s of jobs, and the stars promote tourism, encouraging fans to visit?  Wow, this industry is horrible!  Shut it down immediately! Okay, I’m done. ::::wipes sarcasm from lips:::::

filmjobsLOOKING FOR THOSE FILM=JOB STICKERS? Sunrise Broadcasting has a few.  Feel free to stop by and grab you one while they last at 25 N. Kerr Ave. (near the intersection of Market and Kerr across from the new Walgreens). Offices are open from 8:30am-5:30pm M-F.  Please one sticker per person please.  They will run out fast!  Thanks!

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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  or on Twitter You can also just post your comments below!  Until then, that’s a wrap!!