Movie production, "Walk Through the Valley" on location in Smithfield, August 24-25
For over 15 years, the Johnston County Visitors Bureau has been trying to gain the eye of the NC Film Office to promote Johnston County when they pitch producers on filming in North Carolina. Truth be told it's been an uphill battle against the popularity of "Hollywood East" in Wilmington, the commercial filming in large cities, and having a Film Office in the Triangle to coordinate with on leads for film scouting.
But one Friday afternoon, Debbie Ivanrie walked in our office, as a friend of hers had been in Smithfield on court business and told her about our courthouse. She had met with Will Crocker and loved the feel of the courtroom for her legal drama, "Walk Through the Valley." Meetings were held with the powers that be, additional locations were found for lawyer's homes and offices, for hospital and airport scenes and the production dates were set.
Just like a conference, sports tournament or major festival, a film production brings economic development or visitor spending to a community, and that's why the visitors bureau pursues this market segment. We don't have stars in our eyes that we will capture the big Hollywood blockbuster, but last year we pitched some locations for "Iron Man 3", and the film "Bad Grandpa" selected some locations in Selma for the film which will be released October 25th.
This is Debbie's first production which she will pitch to the major film festivals like Sundance in Utah, but after that round of introductions, we have invited her back to Smithfield for a film screening here. We hope this is just the first of such productions we help bring to Johnston County.
So for now we work on building our locations database, working with the new Triangle Regional Film Commission, and preparing our communities to be "Production Ready", which is a program offered by the Triangle Film Commission. We have a Hollywood legacy with the fame of Ava Gardner, but today it's all about tourism spending and promoting our destination -- let's be ready for our close-up!
WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY - A MELODRAMATIC FEATURE FILM
Eirnavie Entertainment Inc, is based in Cary, North Carolina with a goal to shoot feature films across the globe. With an inspiration of its founder Debbie Ivanrie to start a production company that focuses on casting mature actors.
Synopsis of the film: A woman of high respectability is suddenly faced with the fight of her life; the struggle of trying to save her name, reputation and her liberty. To compound the emotional grief that has virtually extinguished her sense of self-worth, she is barely surviving the tragedy that may haunt her for the rest of her life if she is not exonerated. This is a courtroom drama.