WilmingtonBiz Magazine

Bill Vassar: What Comes Next For Film?

By Bill Vasser, posted Oct 8, 2020
EUE/Screen Gems Studios is more than the stages, sets, lighting equipment and filmworkers you see as you drive down 23rd street.
We are TV and film production problem solvers. Producers, directors and financiers from around the world rely on us to help solve complex production issues at reasonable costs. The goal is less waste on the cutting room floor and more money on the screen.
Over the last 20 years, we have worked with our elected officials in Raleigh to make North Carolina more financially attractive. The TV and Film Grant has helped attract business and create new, 21st-century jobs, provided significant economic impact and increased local and state tax revenue.
Today, Wilmington offers a new unforeseen attraction. The number of people testing positive for COVID and with the declining related deaths means we’re one of the safest places in the United States to work.
We’re assisting productions to conceive and institute COVID safety precautions. Combined with the capacity of one of the largest studio production facilities east of California, our local world-class crew and the extensive group of experienced production support businesses means that today we’re one of the most attractive production centers in the United States.
The Hallmark film USS Christmas just shot in Wilmington, and the fifth Scream film goes before the camera this month.
In October, we’ll see the second-year production of the hit Starz series Hightown. The story takes place on Cape Cod. Producer Lionsgate Television has relocated Hightown from New York to Wilmington because our area is better suited to cover for the Cape.
This combined with our facility, the workers and the state incentive, made it a no-brainer to be in Wilmington. Five other productions are evaluating the area to begin production by the end of this year or in early 2021.
Advancing technologies, the ever-changing means of distribution and the evolution of people’s tastes means it’s impossible to predict how our industry will look in 20 years.
If EUE/Screen Gems remains flexible, innovative, cost effective and we perpetuate our reputation as production problem solvers, I expect we’ll continue to be successful and grow our business significantly over the next 20 years.
Bill Vassar is executive vice president at EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington.
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