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Exec: Screen Gems committed to Wilmington despite Miami expansion


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Screen Gems is expanding down south.

EUE/Screen Gems Studios already has facilities in New York, Atlanta and, of course, Wilmington. And in about 15 months, it will have yet another studio in Miami.

"I think it is wonderful," said Chris Miller, a set costumer working on the TV show "Under the Dome" in Wilmington.

Miller says he has a lot of friends in Florida, and from what he hears, business is slow, so he is hoping Screen Gems' new studio will fix that and help Wilmywood along the way.

"Hopefully it will bring more business here, have the two studios together," Miller said. "Hopefully."

While he and many others we spoke with off camera are excited for the expansion, some worry it could pull business from the Port City.

"As long as it wouldn't take work away from the people in Wilmington, I would be all for it," actor John Bonner said.

Bonner has worked as an extra in "Eastbound & Down," "Sleepy Hollow" and "Under the Dome" to name a few. He says it is important to keep the money coming to Wilmington and in the pockets of those who need it most.

"You've got a lot of retired people up north come down here and do the extra work, and they come in and they pick up a lot of, you know, kind of subsidize their salary," Bonner said.

In a statement EUE/Screen Gems Studio COO and co-owner Chris Cooney said the Wilmington studio remains the largest studio complex outside of California. He says the company is in full support of and actively working toward extending film incentives in North Carolina to keep Wilmywood in full force.

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