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'Iron Man 3' Oscar nod good for Hollywood East

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The film industry plays a vital role here in Hollywood East, and there is overwhelming support for "Iron Man 3." The film was shot in our area and was nominated today for one Oscar, but all the nominations are causing a buzz in the movie world.

"Each nomination category is a lot tougher this year as opposed to last year, where I felt there was much more of a clear-cut winner," film buff Nicole Cates said. "I think this year there are going to be a lot of surprises."

Cates and Chelsea Gloria have been friends for years and share a love of movies. They say there are so many good nominations this year, it's hard to chose a favorite.

"I really like 'American Hustle.' I love the '70s, so I love the whole aesthetic of the film and the costumes," Gloria said.

Of course, in Wilmington, movies are more than just entertainment. They mean money.

Johnny Griffin is the director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission. His job is to market southeastern North Carolina to the production industry and to secure projects like the 2013 blockbuster "Iron Man 3," which earned a nod for best visual effects. Griffin says even though special effects are done in post production, it's always a good thing to have the spotlight on a film shot in our area.

"Any time a project that was shot here, regardless of what it's about, any time it's mentioned, then it's another opportunity for us to use it to our advantage in promoting the area," Griffin said.

Cates and Gloria say they, too, are rooting for "Iron Man 3" to take home the Oscar in March, and they hope more films will come to our area.

"Oscar is such a prestigious award, and being nominated for anything at all is such a great honor, and the fact that 'Iron Man 3' is shot here in Wilmington means such great things for upcoming films in the city," Gloria said.

Griffin says he is excited that people continue to talk about "Iron Man 3," because that hopefully means people are talking about Wilmington.

You can watch the 86th Academy Awards Sunday, March 2, on WWAY and ABC.

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Bone to pick?

Wow...if he'd gone to Sundance he would have been criticized since the NC Film Office is there, and since he DIDN't go, he gets criticism leveled at him, too.

Since our local politicians are against us (Reps. Rick Catlin and Chris Millis), maybe it's best for Mr. Griffin to work LOCALLY to get support for the film industry as well sometimes.

Notice

how Johnny will use items like this to promote the opportunities in our area.

But, while the NC Film Commission is out beating the drums at the Sundance Film Festival, including hosting a gala reception, Johnny stays home.

Seems he was not invited. So much for his influence in Hollywood East.

Just what does he do which merits the City to kick in sufficient financial support to allow the local Commission to pay him over $100,000 annually?