MARG HELGENBERGER goes Under the Dome for Season 3

Continuing our countdown to Dome Day!  Just one week left! And today, our newest cast member Marg Helgenberger goes Under the Dome. During the CBS Press Junket for Season 3, we caught up with Marg who plays Christine on the show this season.  We discuss her new character of course!  She also talks about being back in Wilmywood and she answers questions from her fans. Enjoy!

Under the Dome‘s two-hour premiere is Thursday, June 25, 2015 from 9pm-11pm EST on CBS!

UTDradioCamera Crew:
Charles Roarke
Jonathan Herring

COLIN FORD goes Under the Dome for Season 3
DEAN NORRIS goes Under the Dome for Season 3
ALEXANDER KOCH goes Under the Dome for Season 3
MAX EHRICH goes Under the Dome for Season 3
KYLIE BUNBURY goes Under the Dome for Season 3
MACKENZIE LINTZ goes Under the Dome for Season 3

Under The Dome Returns to Wilmywood for a 3rd Season!

Yep!  It’s official.  After months of consideration and some really hard work from a few folks, Under the Dome will be returning to Wilmywood after all.  WECT confirmed the information with EUE/Screen Gems Vice Prez Bill Vassar less than an hour ago.

CBS made the announcement earlier today that there was indeed a Season 3.


From the press release from EUE/Screen Gems Studios:

“We are thrilled to host ‘Under the Dome’ at our studios for 2015,” Vassar said. “We extend our gratitude to North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker for helping make this possible.”

“Retaining the production of “Under the Dome” provides economic stability for hundreds of North Carolina film workers and several hundred of Wilmington’s small businesses. Renewal of this production was critical to our local area,” Vassar says.  SEE MORE

It’s not 4200  jobs, but at least we can know some of our Wilmington families will be working until Summer and won’t have to leave the state.

If politicians think that this will calm us down, they are dead wrong!  This is one crew.  We can go 5 crews deep in Wilmington, plus we have crew in Charlotte, Asheville and WInston-Salem that still need a job! We have a long way to go until we get Tier 1 film incentives back, so make sure you get out and VOTE!  We need the right folks in place during the 2015 Long Session so we can indeed have that status once again!

More on this tomorrow morning!



Wilmington 4th Grader Helps the Homeless


Okay, so this might not be film related, but this little girl is a superstar in my book and I had to let you know about her!  Her mother sent me an email this morning and I had to share!

Dear Sheila,
We listen to you every morning on the way to school, and love that you are always positive and spreading happiness and kindness (even about merging traffic from Leland!) So we thought you might be able to help. After watching a youtube video (see below) about homelessness, my (almost) 9 year old decided to take action here in Wilmington. I’ll let her tell you in her own words (below.)

“Hi my name is Leah. I am 4th grader in Wilmington, NC, and I want to help homeless people get ready for job interviews. To do this I am collecting extra business clothes and toiletries (makeup, baby wipes, tooth brushes, etc.). I think with these things, homeless people will look better and feel more confident when they are getting interviewed. Giving food and money to the homeless is a very great thing to do, but it only really lasts for a couple days. With a job they can get a lot of money every day to buy food and maybe find a home if they get a good one. I was inspired by the woman at the end of the video below, and wanted to find a way to help.

So, if you have business clothes that you don’t need any more or if you have some extra toiletries like the ones listed above or other things that you think would help homeless people might use to feel more presentable I will be at the Food Lion parking lot on South College Drive at 17th Street, every Sunday from 10:00am to 12:00pm now until Thanksgiving. Look for my mom’s big blue minivan. I’ll be there and my dog Otis will probably be there too. I hope you will donate and we can put a stop to homelessness.”

You go girl! Go Leah! We got your back! So everyone, please share this.  My heart grew 3 sizes reading this email her mother sent and I am not even remotely a Grinch!

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

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).


Supporters of the NC Film Tax Incentive

A Wilmywood Glance at Mattel’s Max Steel

(Image Credits: David Pascua)


Sophia drives her blue, rag-top wagon through the packed lot as the sun barrels down.  Suddenly, Max races across her path on his bike.  She slams the brakes and watches him go flying through the bushes.  Sophia jumps out of her vehicle and runs to…


Sophia sees Max on the ground next to a tree.  She leans over him, her necklace dangling,  sparkling in the sunlight.


Someone leans over him.  His vision blurred.


“Oh my God!  Oh my God!  Are you okay?”

Still a daze, his eyes begin to focus.  It’s a girl.  A beautiful girl.


Ana Villafane is that beautiful girl starring as Sophia in the upcoming super-hero flick Max Steel.  But this isn’t your typical super-hero movie.  Our hero Max McGrath played by Ben Winchell isn’t coming from a dark past.  He doesn’t right wrongs based on vengeance.  He is unknowingly a superhero from birth and he is out to save his family rather than the world. Max Steel, has been an animated television series for some time now, however this will be the first time we see it come to life in live action on the big screen.


The story revolves around 16 year old Max McGrath who discovers he has a strange electric energy that radiates from him whenever his emotions get the best of him and now it’s getting out of hand. He can’t control them.  This doesn’t help as he is trying to fit in at another new school–where he finds himself attracted to the beautiful and unconventional Sofia (Ana Villafane) and develops a friendship with an old colleague of his dad’s, Dr. Miles Edwards (Andy Garcia).  Perhaps Miles can tell him what his mother Molly (Maria Bello) is unwilling to talk about– what really happened in the accident that killed his dad. As if that is not enough to have on a teenager’s shoulders, Max is most startled by 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.

MaxSteel050314_0076Producer Julia Pistor explains what made her choose Max Steel.

“I was drawn to the Max Steel story. I love super hero stories and I was really compelled by the story of Max and his father. He never knew his father and our film tells the origin of Max and how he connects with him. Not only does he (Max) learns that his father is an alien, but he really connects with him like a father and son. I’m drawn to stories that are family unification stories. I think that’s really important.”

MaxSteel050314_0235That she is.  Julia has a long history with family movies like The Spiderwick Chronicles, Charlotte’s Web and Lemony Snicket to name a few.

Producer Bill Dowd of Dolphin Films is also a fan of super hero movies and he wanted to make sure when Max’s story was told, it would be a film that the whole family would enjoy.

“I’ve been long time friends with Bill, so I know that he’s looking to make films that are a little more character driven and inspirational.” Julia says. “We loved the idea of making a movie that was a little bit outside of the system and a little more homegrown.”

Max Steel also isn’t the typical $100+ million action flick, either.  There will be more of an organic feel to this one which is quite refreshing.  And smart. They have already done quite well gaining pre-sales all over Europe and Southeast Asia, so it seems it should eliminate any financial fear and could possibly pave the way for a Max Steel 2 and who knows perhaps a Max Steel 3. That’s my own personal take on it however, nothing in confirmed along those lines.  The feature is penned by super-hero writer Christopher Yost (Thor: The MaxSteel050314_0218Dark World), directed by Stewart Hendler (H+) and the cast is top-notch. The two leads, Ben Winchell and Ana Villafane are both extremely talented up and coming young actors.  Even though they just met earlier this year, they already have an amazing connection with each other and it shows on screen.

“Ben and I actually met for the first time at the chemistry read. I guess we had chemistry, because here we are!” laughs Ana Villafane. “He is great. There is no wall that needed to break down. He is authentic and hasn’t been tainted. There was no facade or pretending to be ‘cool.’ He was himself from the beginning and we hit it off right away.”

andy_garciaBen Winchell mirrors those exact thoughts about Ana.  She too is the real deal.  The couple will be playing along side two of the most talented and prolific actors we know today.  Andy Garcia being one of them .

“Andy is perfect,” says Julia, “because he can play the warmest, most handsome father figure character, but as we all know from Ocean’s Eleven and The Godfather, he can play a cold and ruthless character. There are not a lot of actors with that range. We (the creative team) are huge Andy Garcia fans. We are excited to get him.”


Maria Bello is another. Her range is just as exceptional. From comedy to drama, she can do whatever comes her way.  This time, she plays off her motherly instincts as Max’s mom, Molly.

The film is being shot in Wilmington, NC which is a perfect fit as a location for their needs for such an organic, homegrown feature.

“We were planning production and all producers are drawn to places with tax incentives. We were going on a scout. We were going to go all over: Africa, Canada, Louisiana and Wilmington. Wilmington is the first place we went to on our scout. We got off the plane and went to the (Ideal) cement plant, we looked at houses for Max and we called LA and said, ‘We’re shooting it here.’ We didn’t evaluate any other place. Of course the tax incentives are fantastic! It’s so gorgeous here. The weather and the people are great. The locations are so diverse. The crew is so strong and experienced and so kind. It was just done.”

IdealCementThe Ideal Cement plant (also called the Roanoke Cement plant) has been transformed into Max Steel Headquarters and they expect a 17 day shoot for this location.  If you follow director Stewart Hendler (@stewarthendler) on Twitter, you have already seen what an incredible job the construction crew and set designers have done.  The plant closed many years ago, but it continues to be a favorite and prime location for many feature films and television shows including Iron Man 3Revolution, Under the Dome, as well as The Crow and even Super Mario Bros.

“My husband and I call each other nicknames from Mario Bros., Julia laughs.  “When I heard that Mario Bros was shot there, I thought, ‘This is fantastic!’ I tease him and call him Goomba. I feel like we should come here for our anniversary!”

Other locations include Hoggard High School, Downtown Wilmington and some private houses in Wilmington as well.

MaxSteel050314_0328Ana is definitely glad they chose Wilmington as the location and she actually fell in love with the town and she didn’t even know it. “I’ve seen Natalie Martinez’s (Under The Dome/ Secrets and Lies) photos on social media and she is paddle boarding and going to great little cafe’s. I figured she was sharing vacation photos from Puerto Rico or something. I get here and realize she was in Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach!”  There is so much space and it’s all lush and green. There is a very laid back feeling, but between the beach and the downtown nightlife it’s not boring. I’m really excited to explore.”

Expect to see Mattel’s first super hero flick in theaters in January, 2015.

Tim Guinee talks FX’s How and Why, One Armed Man and the NC Film Incentives

timguineeI just got on the phone with Actor/Director Tim Guinee, who we know in Wilmywood from NBC’s Revolution.  We chat about FX’s How and Why, his award winning short film One Armed Man & the NC Film Incentives.  Great conversation!  Tim is one of my favorite actors to speak with.  Even though I call them such, I don’t do interviews, I do conversations.


See ONE ARMED MAN this Saturday!
Cape Fear Independent Film Festival
Browncoat Theatre @ 1pm
111 Grace St, Wilmington, NC 28401
Phone:(910) 341-0001




BREAKING: Stage Set for Film Rally in Wilmington, NC



Stage Set for Film Rally in Wilmington, NC

April 24, 2014 (Wilmington, NC) — The North Carolina Production Alliance and the Wilmington Film Commission are hosting the 2nd annual NC Film Rally on Sunday, May 4th. The rally will begin at 5pm at the bottom of Market Street on the Riverwalk, and will focus on the bipartisan support network of the film industry in Southeastern North Carolina.

The rally is to help raise awareness for the vitality of film jobs in preparation for the beginning of the legislative session on May 14th – at which time the film incentive renewal will be examined by lawmakers. Speakers at the rally will include North Carolina legislators, Mayor Bill Saffo, county officials, and special guests from the entertainment industry.

All friends, family members, extras, vendors, supporters, and concerned citizens are encouraged to participate. For more information, visit the NC Production alliance on Twitter, Facebook, and at


 Media Contact:

Katy Feinberg