Domino effect bringing big names to Hollywood East

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Major motion pictures are headed for the Cape Fear and may help lure more major stars to the area.

It’s no secret “Iron Man 3” has big names like Robert Downey Jr. and Don Cheadle, but other big celebrities are also headed this way. Now one of America’s favorite “Friends” is heading to Wilmington.

“We’re the Millers,” starring Jennifer Aniston, opened an office at Screen Gem Studios this week. Filming is expected to start in June.

The Wilmington Fegional Film Commission says big stars like Aniston are attracted by other big stars like Downey.

“The bigger projects, the more notable projects, just help us better sell the area,” Film Commission Director Johnny Griffin said. “It’s another product that goes to our resume, which again, when people start to see all that, they realize this is a place real projects go to so if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us.”

Griffin says production companies work in the same way. If they have a positive experience in town, they are more likely to bring other projects to the area.

“We’re the Millers” is a production by New Line Cinema, which filmed “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” in Wilmington last year.

“It makes it easier for us to convince people instead of them trying to determine, ‘Well, who has been there? Are there any shows that I know? Maybe I need to call them and have a conversation,'” Saffo said. “They already know who’s shooting here, and they sort of look at it like, ‘well, if it works for their productions, it certainly no reason it can’t work for our production.'”

Griffin says he thinks the process works like a domino effect. He says this may mean that this is only the beginning of big projects in the area.

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