Wilmington's Screen Gems Studios breaks ground for a new "Dream Stage" - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Wilmington's Screen Gems Studios breaks ground for a new "Dream Stage"

Reported by Joe Keiley - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Thursday morning, Governor Mike Easley joined several local leaders in Wilmington to break ground on a new stage at Screen Gems Studios.

The Wilmington studio is building the largest film and television production stage on the east coast.

It's called the "dream stage," because it will be where studio executives are dreaming big movies will be made.

"Stage 10: it's a monster stage, designed to get the big movies in Hollywood, which we've been missing out on," said EUE President Chris Cooney.

The most recent film with a Wilmington connection to hit theatres is Nights in Rodanthe starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane.

While that movie has big stars, Screen Gems wants to go even bigger.

Aaron Syrett with the NC Film Office said the Wilmington studio will now have the ability to film movies with green screens like 300.

The dream stage will dwarf anything currently on the Screen Gems lot.

It will feature a column-free 37,500 square foot expansion with a grid height of 45 feet.

The stage will include a 60x60 foot indoor tank with a depth of 10.5 feet.  It will be one of the largest and deepest indoor production tanks in North America.

According to the executive vice president of EUE Screen Gems, the new studio fits in with the other studio work flow and is in the right proximity to the existing nine stages on the lot.

Studio executives and state legislators are excited about the growth of the local film industry.  They want to find new ways for the state incentive program to lure movie makers.

The project is expected to be finished by spring 2009.


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