The majority of the film crews on any given show in NC are NC residents. ALL of the crew at the rally Sat are NC residents. The average hourly rate for a NC crew member is around $24/ hour with time and a half after 8 hours and dbl time after 12. Extras are paid $8/ hr (it's a really no skill involved job) with time and half after 8, double time after 12. Is McDonalds or Wal Mart paying that way? Specialty extras (horseback riding, dancing, specific ethnicity, skill) get paid more. Production Assistants - the lowest rung on the crew make $150/ day. Most PAs move into other departments where they make the above mentioned hourly rates. Assistant Directors start at $2700/ week - assistant directors spend 2-4 years as PAs and learn/ hone their craft.
Yes, most shows will bring in the 1st Assistant Director, production designer, and a few other key creative crew types. On average that's around 10-15 people. The other 135 or so crew members employed on the productions are Wilmington area residents - your friends and neighbors, parents to your kid(s)' friends.
Yes, Lightnin' is from Georgia. But the drivers of those trucks are from NC. The grip and electric equipment is rented from Screen Gems or Cine Partners here in Wilmington or from Hollywood Rentals out of Charlotte. Cinema Catering, Ken & Arts & Reel Cuisine are based out of Wilmington, owned by local residents.
Do you complain when the Azalea Festival, Riverfest, Rims on the River, MLK Parade or other city events close multiple blocks for their events? That's lots of parking that's not being paid for. The city controls how much parking we are allowed to have for our trucks when filming downtown. I can assure you we will never be allowed to have the same amount as those festivals. We also pay for some of the on-street parking and when we use the lots and decks we pay for every space we use.
The film industry is a vital part of Wilmington and the rest of the state. It's worth fighting for.
I am an Assistant Director and a Location Manager/ Assistant Location Manager in the business. I live here in Wilmington, own a home and my daughter goes to school here.
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