Entertainment streaming wars have unleashed a voracious appetite for new programming, and many states continue to offer financial incentives to compete for films and TV shows.
Hollywood production has exploded all over the country.
Particularly busy is Wilmington, North Carolina, where there are so many productions underway that some have nicknamed the coastal community “Wilmywood.”
Wilmington is popular because everything from its historic downtown to its surfing beaches can pass for almost anywhere. “Halloween Kills” was shot here, even though it’s supposed to take place in Illinois. Same goes for the Fox drama, “Our Kind of People,” which viewers believe is set in Massachusetts.
I covered the story this week for CNBC.
While I was in Wilmington, I asked a few people in the business if they’re talking a lot about the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins by Alec Baldwin on the set of “Rust” in New Mexico.
“For sure,” says Jonas Pate, a producer and director who helped create the Netflix hit, “Outer Banks.” His coming-of-age drama includes scenes of gunfire.
Pate tells me he is “flabbergasted” that the shooting in Santa Fe could happen. “Seven things have to go wrong to get to the point where there’s a loaded gun aimed at a crew member.”
The tragedy is perhaps felt more keenly in Wilmington because in 1993, Brandon Lee, the son of Bruce Lee, died in a similar gun mishap on the set of “The Crow.”
That movie was filmed in Wilmington.
Actor and director Clark Gregg (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) is in Wilmington filming a new show called “Florida Man” for Netflix (I guess Wilmington will stand in for Florida this time). He wonders if the rapid pace of production involving long hours of work can lead to mistakes. It’s one reason that IATSE, the union for many crew members, almost went on strike this month.
“We’re doing something we love, but we also have families,” the actor tells me during a break. “We have to work 18 hours a day, and, you know, those things don’t come without a cost.”
Gregg says some people have been rethinking business-as-usual schedules, now that they’re returning to work after a long break caused by the pandemic. “You’re questioning, ‘Why is it always this way?’”
He thinks that’s a good question.
Which brings us back to having guns on set. Clark Gregg is directing a couple of episodes for his new series, and he tells me some scenes involve weapons, though they will be not real. “There’s a movement now to make [it so] there not be any live, real guns on sets,” he says. “I mean, why not?”
That’s also a good question.
Cover image: Vigil for slain cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, photo by Myung J. Chun/Getty Images.