Good Morning and Happy Friday! Now before I get to some fun news, if you are in the film community, especially if you are an actor, this is some breaking news.
Yesterday, Jackie Burch one of our most talented industry people here in Wilmington, announced that effective March 1st, she is moving to Atlanta, GA. This is a woman we have been so honored to have in our film community as she has an incredible resume that dates back to the Brat Pack. Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science. Add at least 50 more titles til we get to the most recent Iron Man 3, The Hunger Games, Arthur Newman, 42, and let alone the films that have not been released yet: Tammy, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One and Two.
Did you know that Jackie was the one who gave Robert Downey Jr. his big break casting him in Weird Science? And it came full circle when she cast IM3. When Jackie relocated from Los Angeles to Wilmington, NC in 2008, we were so excited to have her here and officially call her our own. But now, with 4 productions coming here and over 20 going to Georgia, well…
I caught up with her last night and here is what we talked about.
SHEILA: So tell me, is it true? Are you really moving to Atlanta?
JACKIE: Yes, however, I am still keeping an office here because I still want to work in Wilmington, but with the film incentives up in the air like they are, there is no work here for me right now. I already have some projects that are in Atlanta at the moment. And with Pinewood Studios coming. I cannot just sit here waiting around. I need to go where the work is available.
SHEILA: So you are not completely leaving us. That’s at least some good news. Just so you know, Jackie, people love you here, especially the actors in town. You are responsible for so many of them getting the part!
JACKIE: Oh, please tell them, I will not forget them. I always consider North Carolina talent for anything that I am casting in Georgia. We have a lot of talented actors here. And like I said, I will be available for any project that shoots in North Carolina, even if I am residing in Georgia. I do that now, even though I currently live in Wilmington, I am casting projects in Atlanta.
SHEILA: You know you are breaking my heart right now, right?
JACKIE: (laughs) It’s so sad that I have to make this move. I am hoping when they vote again this time, they will do the right thing. This incentive affects so many people, and not just the crew, but the small businesses, so many of them rely on the film industry to pay the bills. I hope that they not only extend the incentives, but they get rid of the expiration. They need to make the incentives permanent.
I spoke with Jackie this morning and she asked for me to take the picture down, I laughed, cuz she never puts up a pic of herself up anywhere. Lord, I love this woman! But while we were chatting, she added:
I am really going to miss the theater in Wilmington. I’ve cast many of actors right from theater, always trying to discover new talent. I am very proud of the work they do here.
Jackie will be having a final workshop coming up before she heads out to Georgia. It will be the weekend of February 8th. I will keep you posted about all the details.
But back to the conversation. That is the key, isn’t it? Ending the sunset. Politicians continue to make one HUGE mistake that they just simply cannot process how damaging it is. They think it’s a good idea to just keep extending the incentive instead of permanently end the sunset once and for all! And if you are in the industry then you know how BAD that is. Not as bad a losing it, but, you know, production companies don’t know what to think of us. Is there an incentive this year? Well, I am planning my production two years from now, and NC’s incentives are up in the air. No thank you, I will go to Georgia or Louisiana. The month of May cannot come soon enough. Look, extending the incentives is better than nothing, I agree, but it only puts a band-aid on an open wound. Unless you stitch it up, it will never heal! We will be back in crisis mode when we are 24 months away from “renewal” time. So, let’s get this sunset outta here! The sooner we do that, the more productions will make plans to film here and we can break the cycle of hesitation from production companies when they think of North Carolina. We cannot afford to lose more amazing people in the film industry that call North Carolina their home!
45th NAACP Image Awards have released their nominees, and we have some of our own to congratulate! Sleepy Hollow’s Nicole Beharie nabbed two and the adorable Chitra was nominated for her mad writing skills! See the category and who they are competing with:
Outstanding actress in a motion picture
Angela Bassett – “Black Nativity” (Fox Searchlight Pictures/Mavin Pictures/Wonderful Films)
Halle Berry – “The Call” (TriStar Pictures)
Jennifer Hudson – “Winnie Mandela” (Ma-Afrika Films [PTY] LTD and Equinoxe Films Inc.)
Kerry Washington – “Tyler Perry Presents Peeples” (Lionsgate)
Nicole Beharie – “42” (Warner Bros. Pictures/Legendary Pictures)
Outstanding actress in a drama series
Chandra Wilson – “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)
Kerry Washington – “Scandal” (ABC)
Khandi Alexander – “Treme” (HBO)
Nicole Beharie – “Sleepy Hollow” (Fox)
Regina King – “SouthLAnd” (TNT)
Outstanding writing in a dramatic series
Aaron Rahsaan Thomas – “SouthLAnd” – Babel (TNT)
Chitra Elizabeth Sampath, Damian Kindler – “Sleepy Hollow” – Sanctuary (Fox)
Janine Sherman Barrois – “Criminal Minds” – Strange Fruit (CBS)
Karin Gist – “Revenge” – Mercy (ABC)
Sara Hess – “Orange is the New Black” – Blood Donut (Netflix)
“Ivana Milicevic chats with Access about creating Vine videos to promote “Banshee” Season 2. Also, she talks about Lucas Hood’s troubles in the upcoming season. Plus, Ivana tells Access why her character, Carrie, will have a “horrible” time in the new season.” WATCH IT NOW!
REMINDER: McDuffy: The Urban Eagle screening is tomorrow night. Tickets are only $5 and THEY WILL SELL OUT for the screening Saturday night, 7pm, so BUY THEM NOW! The screening also coincides with the grand opening of GIANT Coffeehouse, which is connected to Post 1200 on N 23rd St., right across from Screen Gems.