May 16, 2013/For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, firstname.lastname@example.org
UNCSA ALUMNI WORKING ON FILM IN CHARLOTTE
Five Film graduates and one high school Drama graduate are on location of CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
(Winston-Salem) Jennifer Haire loves making movies in North Carolina. As a student in the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), she worked on TWO SOLDIERS, filmed in Winston-Salem (which went on to win the 2004 Academy Award for narrative short film), and DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YAYA SISTERHOOD, filmed in Wilmington. Now, she is one of five UNCSA Film alumni working in Charlotte on the feature film CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.
“I’ve been trying to get back to North Carolina on a show since I graduated,” said Haire. “I really feel at home, being a hop, skip and a jump from UNCSA.”
Filmmaking Interim Dean Susan Ruskin said she hears similar sentiments from many alumni. “We have graduates working in the industry all over the world, but they love coming back to North Carolina,” she said. “It feels like home to them, and we are proud to see them come back.”
Ruskin said UNCSA film graduates and current students are working on several projects around the state, including television productions of Eastbound and Down in Wilmington and the pilot for Sleepy Hollow in Charlotte, as well as the film THE WORLD MADE STRAIGHT in western North Carolina.
According to the state Commerce Department, North Carolina is one of the top 10 location destinations in the U.S. for film and television productions. The North Carolina Film Commission website lists 10 film and television productions currently under way in North Carolina, and 26 projects that wrapped up in the past year.
As production coordinator for CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, Haire manages the production office, or “control tower” of the project, acting as liaison among employees at various levels, vendors and insurance carriers. Since graduating in 2002, she has worked on location in Montana, New York, Tennessee, Hawaii, California, the country of Jordan, and on cruise ships.
Haire said that out of-state vendors are eager to work in North Carolina. “I’ve gotten many calls from my usual Los Angeles vendors who heard I was on a show here and wanted to bring their business to me,” she said. “Plus, many vendors are seeing the demand for resources in the state and are bringing company branches closer.”
Vendors on a film project include suppliers of grip, lighting and camera equipment, rental vehicles, hotels, office and production supplies, as well as utilities such as phone and internet service.
Beth Petty, who has two degrees from UNCSA and is director of the Charlotte Regional Film Commission, agrees. “We’ve worked with a lot of people who are thinking of coming here, and we will do everything under the sun to help them,” Petty said.
Petty, who has hired two UNCSA graduates to work in her office, said the school is an important partner in the state’s flourishing film industry. “The taxpayers invest a lot in training people in this state to work in the film industry,” she said.
CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR is a thriller starring Dermot Mulroney, Paul Sorvino, Nick Jonas, and Isabel Lucas. Alexandria ter Avest, a 2011 high school graduate of the UNCSA School of Drama, appears in the film.
Additional UNCSA Film alumni working on the film include Mariangelica Velasquez (2012), office production assistant; Clint Buckner (2009), 2nd assistant director; Glenn Peison, Jr. (2008), on-set dresser; and Andrea Crampe Braswell (2004), first assistant accountant.
“It’s great to see UNCSA alumni involved throughout the project,” Petty said. “An alumna (Petty) recruited the film. You have an alumna as production coordinator, another on the accounting staff, and still others in various important roles. And a high school graduate appears in the film. That’s very cool.”
CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR centers on Doug (Jonas), who gets more than he bargained for when he starts having an affair with Lena (Lucas), the young wife of an investment banker (Mulroney) renting the lake house next door for the summer. The husband’s suspicious death reveals a substantial life insurance policy and everyone is a suspect. Sorvino plays the sheriff.
As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.