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Two Film Projects Return To Wilmington As New Releases Showcase The Area

By Jenny Callison, posted Jun 22, 2022
As one film project wraps locally, another is setting up for a return to the area. A third has announced it will also return to shoot its second season, a fourth is in the midst of production in Wilmington and another is selling off its wardrobe.
 
Southport-shot The Problem with Providence, a small feature film, finished up last week, said Johnny Griffin, director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission. The third season of Starz’ critically acclaimed crime series Hightown is working on its third season and will likely continue filming until late July.
 
Welcome to Flatch, a FOX TV comedy series filmed in Burgaw in 2021, got the green light for a second season. Advance staff is setting up offices at Dark Horse Studios and crews will start shooting in the series’ adopted hometown of Burgaw later this summer, Griffin said.
 
Renewed for a second season even before its streaming debut on Prime Video last week, the young adult romance series The Summer I Turned Pretty will return to Wilmington for production, Griffin added. He pointed out that streaming content is often handled differently from regular TV shows. With a streamed series, studios want to build a library of content that can continue to be available to viewers.
 
The hum of film activity in the area this week will include a special event from a Wilmington-filmed series that was not granted a second season: FOX’s Our Kind of People. In early July, however, area residents can get a piece of the show.
 
Our Kind of People is having a wardrobe sale to liquidate its inventory, Griffin announced Wednesday.  
 
“The sale will be on Saturday, July 2 at EUE Screen Gems Studios, 1223 N. 23rd St. in Wilmington,” he said.  “The sale is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Items being sold include men’s and women’s dress wear, casuals, athletic clothes, shoes and accessories. There is also a small selection of boys’ and girls ‘clothes. Many of the items are of higher quality and great value.”
 
Cash and checks are the only forms of payment that will be accepted, Griffin added.
 
After last year’s volume of film activity that set records, 2022 may seem like a very quiet contrast, but Griffin and Guy Gaster, director of the N.C. Film Office, are optimistic that more projects are in the pipeline.
 
Last week, both men attended a conference in Los Angeles presented by the Producers Guild of America and then held individual meetings with studio officials. This weekend, they head West again to participate in the annual convention of the Association of Film Commissions International.

“The general consensus is that everybody is interested in North Carolina right now,” Griffin said. “There were some times in the past we didn’t get such an inviting welcome. The runway now seems clear; people are budgeting for North Carolina. All the news is positive, but folks are waiting for things to fall into place. For instance, a project could work in Wilmington from a business perspective but the landscape is not right, or they have a big star whose salary is too high [to qualify for the state grant]. But [studios] know about North Carolina and know it’s good.”
 
Meanwhile, the film community here is enjoying seeing their communities on the large and small screens.
 
“So much content was produced here last year, and this year we’re seeing the results of that, which is fun for everybody," Griffin said. "On the one hand, [Wilmington-shot feature film] Black Phone, which is coming out in the next couple of weeks, is set in Denver, Colorado. The sets are not unique – the film could have been shot in any number of places. But The Summer I Turned Pretty is a postcard for Wilmington. And the town of Burgaw is really one of the characters in Welcome to Flatch.”
 
Another locally shot film, Boys of Summer, is scheduled for release later this year. As in The Problem with Providence, Wilmington masquerades as a community in the Northeastern U.S.
 
“Boys of Summer, which stars Mel Gibson, really showcases the town, the waterfront, the yacht basin,” Griffin said. “The Problem with Providence [its plot set in Rhode Island] was shot entirely in Southport.”
 
Look for other iconic spots in upcoming television and film projects, Griffin said.
 
“Shots of Carolina Beach – the boardwalk, the amusement rides, Britt’s Donuts – we’ve had a lot of projects out now that are fun for people to watch,” Griffin added. “And when [non-local] people see that, it’s a good calling card for us; good for future projects. Yes: we can look like the Northeast. We’ve got the ability to market with that now.”

NOTE: This version of the story has been updated to correct the name of the feature film The Problem with Providence and the name of the studio where the second season of Welcome to Flatch is based.
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