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Locally-filmed TV pilot debuts in Wilmington

WILMINGTON -- An independent TV pilot called Baby Blues premiered in Wilmington Friday night. The cast and crew credit its creation to talent kept here with the help of state incentives. It's the story of two sets of parents scheming to get their children to give them grand children. It premiered in front of cast, crew and industry veterans. The pilot is the creative vision of Elaine Walton. She says the plot is a case of art imitating life. Walton said, "I want grandchildren and this is a very deep-seeded situation for me." Shot with three cameras in hi-def, the half hour sitcom was made by local actors and local crew -- something the pilot's producer and director says he's happy about. He says most of his work has come from out of state, but that's all changing. Producer and director Bud Dowdey said, "The atmosphere and the tempo in Wilmington has changed just tremendously. Right now there is a lot of buzz going on." That's in part due to the film incentives bill that's kept a lot of actors, producers and their productions here in North Carolina -- one of the reasons why small independent pilots like Baby Blues can be made. While all independent films don't qualify for the tax credits the fact that other productions are now lured here keep the talent and industry veterans local. Actor and first assistant director Irene Slater said, "Some of the crew base that we lost to other states is starting to come back because the work is here." The cast and crew say the best part of this project was the camaraderie and the creativity of the show's creators. Actor Paul Shaw said, "The script is fantastic. The writers have done an amazing job, so it's real easy to play with the words and have fun." The Baby Blues pilot is still up for grabs. Creators say they hope a major network picks it up.

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