‘The Longest Ride’ talks film incentives

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Filming for the new Nicholas Sparks movie “The Longest Ride” is well underway in Wilmington, and tonight we got a sneak peek.

Celebrities and Hollywood East types were all over the set, as they filmed at Wilmington’s Cameron Art Museum, but the real star today was the elephant in the room.

On the set today a lot of talk was about the excitement behind another Nicholas Sparks movie being filmed here in the Port City. For the dozens and dozens of folks hard at work on the set, the buzz is about whether jobs like this will be around by the end of the year.

“If you’re going to do a movie that’s based in North Carolina you might as well go to the place you know where they have the best crews,” said Marty Bowen, the producer for “The Longest Ride,” who knows all about film crews.

With film incentives as we know them set to expire, he worries Wilmington is headed down the wrong road.

“The business will move, because that’s what they do. They go to where the money’s cheapest,” Bowen said. He adds losing the incentive could take Wilmington back to the days when film was a second thought.

“It wasn’t the same, and I just think it is gonna go back there,” said Bowen, and he’s not the only one.

“Film equals jobs. It’s exactly like those bumper stickers say,” said Britt Robertson, star of “The Longest Ride.”

From this film to “Under the Dome,” Robertson knows a thing or two about being a leading lady. She’s been in the Port City for almost a year.

“Southern charm, people are friendly and they are kind,” Robertson said of Wilmington.

The thought of losing the incentives, for her, is frustrating.

“It’s insane that the incentive is going away, because there are so many talented, hard-working people in this town,” she said. “It would be sad for them to have to uproot their families and their lives elsewhere.”

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