Iron Man 3 & Safe Haven

Last year at the Sundance Film Festival I was comped tickets to the premiere screening of Ethel by the Utah Film Commission. I ended up sitting next to the director of the North Carolina Film Commission, who used to be the Utah Commissioner. This was a huge coincidence because I had just booked a plane ticket to head to North Carolina in June. They have a similar film economy as Utah. It's a Right to Work state, several features shoot there annually and they have excellent sound stage facilities at Screen Gems in Wilmington that allows them to host episodic television series (think WB shows Dawson's Creek & One Tree Hill, the pilot for Revenge & right now it's the J.J. Abrams show Revolution). Well to make a long story short, I was considering a move there after graduation and I wanted to check out the area. The Film Commissioner invited me to set up a meeting with his office in Raleigh when I got there, which I did, and the woman I met with was beyond helpful. When all was said and done I felt like Los Angeles was the place I needed to be post-graduation, but I could definitely see myself living and working in Wilmington in the future once my career is better established. I loved the area and can't wait to go back.

While I was in North Carolina I was lucky enough to get to go to see two different features in action while they were being filmed simultaneously in different parts of Wilmington. The first was Iron Man 3 and hands down the BIGGEST set I've ever seen. It was absolutely massive. As you can see from the photos below, it took cranes just to adjust the lights. The other show was Safe Haven, an adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel (think The Notebook, but a thriller.) 
Funny side note, when I was in producing classes at BYU one of the first things we were taught was to plan for anything and everything that could possibly go wrong on set. Well apparently the producers of Safe Haven didn't think about looking to see when garbage day was in the neighborhood where they were filming exteriors, so right in the middle of the shot a rather noisy garbage truck came rumbling down the street sufficiently wrecking audio. I've never seen PA's run so fast bringing garbage cans from each house to the garbage truck down the street, just so the truck would go away faster. It was probably not funny for the AD trying to keep the crew on schedule, but it was kind of funny for me to witness. And now if I ever coordinate a shoot in a neighborhood exterior I will ALWAYS remember to look up what day garbage day is. :)

Iron Man 3 comes out May 3rd and Safe Haven comes out February 14th. Trailers for each film are at the bottom of the post.


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