WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –- Local cast and crew as well as state leaders celebrated “Iron Man 3″ with its filmmakers Sunday night at Regal Mayfaire 16.
There were a total of six screenings of the blockbuster, with an estimated 1,400 people in attendance.
“‘Iron Man 3′ is a North Carolinian product,” said Christopher Dodd, CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America.
Although the movie was filmed mostly in Tar Heel State it may not look like it. One of the film’s masterminds shared some of its movie magic.
“We doubled North Carolina for all sorts of locations,” Executive Producer Charles Newirth said. “We made Afghanistan and Florida, Tennessee, California.”
Newirth says North Carolina offers tremendous variety, a talented crew base and great infrastructure. He says shooting in Wilmington was one of the best experiences he’s had filming a project on and off the set.
“I’d love to come back here,” Newirth said. “My family would really love to come back here.”
State leaders are hoping other production companies and film studios feel the same way after working here.
“Just to see North Carolina on film is really exciting,” NC Commerce Secretary Sharon Allred Decker said. “More of this has to happen in this great state so that more people really know how fabulous it is.”
Leaders say the state’s film incentives are a huge draw for productions like “Iron Man 3″ when choosing a location.
“That’s very attractive to get them here, so we have to be very careful and mindful of how we use that, and its availability I think is important,” Decker said.
Filmmakers agree on the attractiveness of the incentives.
“An element that was very important to us was the film incentives,” Newirth said. “I know that is a little up in the air right now, but that also contributed to us coming here.”
Filmmakers and state leaders both agree a film lasts longer then its run on the big screen and the effects can be felt for years.
To attract tourists, VisitNC.com will have an “Iron Man 3″ itinerary up starting Wednesday. The itinerary will list all the locations the crew used in the creation of the movie so fans of the film can visit the sites.