Print
Film

Some Film Activity Continues In NC; Local Studio Expansion Plans Still In Place

By Jenny Callison, posted May 17, 2023
Despite a writers' strike that has impacted some filming, Dark Horse Studios officials are proceeding with expansion plans at their Wilmington facility. (File photo)
Although production of what’s called the Untitled J&L Series has paused in Wilmington because of the strike by the Writers Guild of America, two other film projects continue to shoot in other parts of the state.

A romantic drama series, Untitled J&L stars Joshua Jackson and Lauren Ridloff. It was shooting on locations throughout Wilmington before stopping earlier this month for reasons related to the labor dispute.
 
Jackson is known to Wilmington, and to Dawson’s Creek fans worldwide, as Pacey Witter from that iconic teen drama series shot locally. Ridloff is known for her roles in the TV series The Walking Dead and in the film Eternals.

The strike was called May 2 when the Writers Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers could not agree on major provisions of a new contract.

“J&L is the only one we’re aware of that has stopped production,” said Guy Gaster, director of the N.C. Film Office, on Tuesday.

As to why one project would shut down while others continue, he responded, “Each project is unique as to its needs as well as its position about observing a strike. I know that everyone is monitoring the situation.”

The other two film projects are Blue Ridge, shooting in the Charlotte area, and Summer Camp, a feature-length film on site in western North Carolina. Summer Camp stars Diane Keaton, Kathy Bates and Beverly D’Angelo. Blue Ridge is a streaming/television series based on a 2020 feature film.

Also continuing are Dark Horse Studios’ plans to expand its Wilmington production campus by adding two more sound stages, effectively doubling its capacity to house productions. President and CEO Kirk Englebright sees the strike-related industry slowdown as something of a boon.

“We’re still on schedule to break ground in June,” he said Tuesday. “There could not be a better time, from our perspective, for the strike to happen since we will be under construction and can’t do anything. Everyone hopes, of course, that [the two sides] will come to a resolution soon. When that happens, there will be a lot of pent-up demand for new content.”

Dark Horse does still have a commitment from a project that’s slated to occupy its existing production space starting this November; Englebright is staying mum on the project details but says that his latest intelligence from the producers is that the strike is not affecting their schedule. He hopes that the strike will be over by then, anyway.

An acknowledged optimist, Englebright reports seeing activity on the part of industry officials to secure production space for the second half of 2023.

“When they are able to open back up again, it’s going to be a busy second half of the year for all of us,” he said. “That’s what we’re hoping.”
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Jessiepowellheadshot webversion

5 Reasons to Build Custom Franchise Software

Jessie Powell - Wide Open Tech
Screenshot2022 01 06at338 162234623

Food is the Foundation for Prosperous Communities

Girard Newkirk - Genesis Block
2022052 75 142344351

Bridging Futures: The Case for Toll Funding in Wilmington’s Cape Fear Memorial Bridge Revamp

Natalie English - Wilmington Chamber of Commerce

Trending News

Passenger Rail Study Offers New Details About Proposed Wilmington To Raleigh Route

Emma Dill - Apr 22, 2024

Severe Weather Postpones Trump Rally In Wilmington

Emma Dill - Apr 20, 2024

Will NC Be CNBC's Three-time Top State For Business?

Audrey Elsberry - Apr 22, 2024

In The Current Issue

With Coffee And Cocktails, Owners Mix It Up

Baristas are incorporating craft cocktail techniques into show-stopping coffee drinks, and bartenders are mixing espresso and coffee liqueur...


Bootstrapping A Remote Option

Michelle Penczak, who lives in Pender County, built her own solution with Squared Away, her company that now employs over 400 virtual assist...


Funding A Food Oasis: Long-awaited Grocery Store Gains Momentum

With millions in committed funding from New Hanover County and the New Hanover Community Endowment, along with a land donation from the city...

Book On Business

The 2024 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2024 Power Breakfast: The Next Season