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.