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Regional Film Industry Growing Dramatically

Author : Jerry Blackwelder

First published at on 1st December 2005


Be sure to read the ORIGINAL ARTICLE



Regional Film Industry Growing Dramatically

Just as college basketball rolls out its 2005-06 season, filming has wrapped up in the Piedmont Triad on a major motion picture about the sport. Entitled “Home of the Giants,” the movie stars Haley Joel Osment of “The Sixth Sense.”

Although the film is set in Indiana, the movie’s production company set up shop in the Triad area for more than a month. Hundreds of local residents volunteered to appear as extras in crowd shots of basketball games staged at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem and the gym on the UNCG campus in Greensboro.

Greensboro businessman Charles Grimes, president of SymPics International, who doubles as chair of the Piedmont Triad Film Commission, is executive producer on the movie.

The latest movie project represents “an exciting time for this area,” said Piedmont Triad Film Commission Director Rebecca Clark. “Our industry is growing dramatically in the Triad region.”

As proof, Clark noted that the film production industry accounted for a $22 million contribution to the local economy during 2004.

“This is big business for North Carolina and for the Triad,” she said. “It’s about creating jobs.”

The area been successful in attracting high profile film projects recently. Last year Bon Jovi spent time in the Gate City filming a production known as “The Trouble with Frank.”

Two summer theater releases, “Junebug” and “The Gravedancers,” were filmed in the region. In fact, “Junebug” was filmed entirely in the Triad under the direction of Winston-Salem’s Phil Morrison. The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and was released by Sony Classics. It received superb reviews for its portrayal of a sophisticated Chicago couple visiting family in North Carolina and suffering a bit of culture shock.

A Triad film even won an Oscar last year. The Academy recognized a film called “Two Soldiers” as the best live action short of 2004.

With the passage in the General Assembly this year of incentive programs to attract more filmmakers to the area, Clark sees an even busier time for movies in the Piedmont.

“The results from these projects filters through the economy in numerous ways,” she said, “from lumber sales to antiques to car rentals. It’s a good way to create economic development.”—Jerry Blackwelder

Be sure to read the ORIGINAL ARTICLE


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