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Wilmington Film Project Gearing Up

By Jenny Callison, posted Apr 6, 2018
As LD Entertainment personnel settle into their quarters at EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, local businesses are beginning to hear from the project.

Like other films and TV projects that have shot in the Wilmington area, LD’s Words on Bathroom Walls will rely on all kinds of area suppliers for everything from rental cars to lumber to fabric.

Sabrina Davis, president and owner of Port City Signs & Graphics, was contacted recently by the LD Entertainment art director. “I don’t know exactly what they will want us to do, but we discussed wall wrap, which is a specialty of ours,” Davis said Friday.

Davis explained that wall wraps can change the appearance of an interior or exterior setting, and are easy to remove when the shoot is finished.

Port City Signs & Graphics has worked with many local film projects in the past. When Wilmington was a busy center of film activity, film-related business made up as much as 20 percent of the company’s revenue, Davis said.

“The fun thing about film is, we never know what they will need us for, but it’s always fun,” she said. “They are the tip-top professionals. They know exactly what they want and can spell it out. And they pay fairly.”

LD Entertainment has been setting up at EUE/Screen Gems for about six weeks, according to Bill Vassar, EUE/Screen Gems executive vice president and head of the company’s studios in Wilmington.

“They start shooting May 7 at our sound stage here and at locations around the area, and will wrap shooting around June 6. They will be here until the beginning of July.” 

LD Entertainment is still identifying shooting locations, Vassar said, explaining that the independent film company is very good about managing its money. Planning locations that minimize travel time and expense is part of savvy budgeting, he said.

Words on Bathroom Walls, based on a young adult novel of the same name, came to Wilmington through the efforts of Alison Semenza King, LD’s executive line producer, according to Vassar. He said that King and her family live in Wilmington and she convinced the Los Angeles- and New York-based company that the area offered the right mix of location, crew, studio facility and incentives for its latest project.

On Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper’s office announced that Words on Bathroom Walls would receive a grant of up to about $2.3 million from the state’s film and entertainment grant fund.

LD Entertainment has a number of independent feature films to its credit. Two of its most recent are Jackie, starring Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy and I Can Only Imagine, about Christian rock band Mercy Me. Hitting screens nationwide Friday is the company’s latest creation: Miracle Season, a movie about a high school girls’ volleyball team chasing a championship year despite the devastating loss of its star player. The film stars Helen Hunt and William Hurt.
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