Screen Gems Studios, Wilmington, NC Hosts “Iron Man 3”

| May 1, 2013 | 0 Comments

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Wilmington, NC (May 1, 2013)  The film used all ten stages of the Wilmington, NC film and television complex. A new digital infrastructure designed for the complex needs of the production is now one of the best in the world and benefits current clients such as Stephen King and Steven Spielberg’s “Under the Dome.”
On Sunday, April 28, 2013, the crew and cast who worked on the movie gathered in Wilmington, NC for a private screening hosted by Marvel Studios, Inc. The newly appointed Republican Secretary of Commerce, Sharon Allred Decker, welcomed the audience and applauded the crew, the talent and the incentive that made North Carolina a viable location for the film. This successful collaboration began 18 months earlier when Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue announced that a new superhero was coming to town; she said “Iron Man 3” (Marvel Studios, Inc.) would be the largest production ever to shoot in the state.

At the Wilmington screening of “Iron Man 3,” the Motion Picture Association of America’s CEO Chris Dodd and Executive Producer Charles Newirth praised the Wilmington-based men and women who had worked on the film. Newirth also commented on the diversity of shooting locations created within North Carolina’s borders. He said viewers would see Afghanistan, Florida and Tennessee depicted in the film—all shot in the state. He added that more than 700 vendors in 84 North Carolina communities were tapped by the production while it worked in NC.

Newirth’s message was consistent with what he’d said days before in Los Angeles on the red carpet. “We loved Wilmington. We would come back in a heartbeat,” Newirth told a reporter.

More from “Iron Man 3” Director Shane Black and Newirth on shooting in Wilmington:http://www.wect.com/story/22088200/iron-man-3-director-executive-producer-talks-film-incentives-in-wilm

For the team at EUE/Screen Gems Studios, hosting Iron Man 3 was an affirmation of the talent and skill honed since purchasing the studios in 1996. With credits such as “Journey 2: Mysterious Island,” “The Secret Life of Bees” and long-running television shows such as “One Tree Hill” and “Dawson’s Creek,” the studios have hosted big name talent and complex digital and special effects.

Bill Vassar, Executive Vice President at EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, NC says, “‘Iron Man 3’ was a tremendous opportunity for us to sharpen our skills and achieve a new level of respect within the Hollywood production community. When Marvel left, they told us that the EUE/Screen Gems digital infrastructure was the best of any studio they have worked with in the world.”

Investments made by EUE/Screen Gems to service the movie included millions in new lighting, electric and grip equipment and a completely new digital infrastructure that allowed Marvel to create private, encrypted networks and server farms so they could exchange images and information with hundreds of editors, artists and producers around the world.

Chris Cooney, COO and co-owner of EUE/Screen Gems Studios, says the company built the 37,500 sq ft Stage 10 and installed special effects water tanks in 2009 with the goal of booking blockbuster films and television series.

“This is a tough business. If you’re persistent with your vision, things come together,” Cooney says. “But make no mistake. We couldn’t have landed this film without North Carolina’s 25 percent film incentive. Our company receives no incentive funds. Yet, because it exists, we invest in our business here, and we were able to lure a film like ‘Iron Man 3’ and those corresponding jobs to the state.”

Wilmington, NC Lot Is Busy Post-Iron Man 3, Too

“Iron Man 3” opens Friday, May 3. Two additional films that shot with EUE/Screen Gems Studios last year will be released later this summer: “The Conjuring” (Warner Bros. Pictures) and “We’re the Millers” (New Line Cinema).

Shows shooting on EUE/Screen Gems Studios lot now include the new CBS series “Under the Dome” from Steven Spielberg and Stephen King; the fourth season of the HBO series “Eastbound and Down”; and “Tammy” (New Line, scheduled to debut next summer), starring Melissa McCarthy in her directorial debut.

Vassar is pleased that the veteran crew is sleeping at home at night rather than traveling out-of-state to practice their craft. “World-class film workers choose to live in Wilmington because of the quality of life—and quality of production–they find here.” He says many professionals come and experience filmmaking here, and they decide to buy homes and stay.

“At the conclusion of the Wilmington Premiere of ‘Iron Man 3’ the audience stayed through 10 minutes of credits to cheer each time the name of a local crew member rolled by,” Vassar says. “There isn’t another close-knit film community like this anywhere.”

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