Statesville Is the Perfect Setting for Many Film Industry Projects

On Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 08:27

North Carolina has long been a popular setting for video and film productions such as television’s “Dawson’s Creek” and “One Tree Hill” and major motion pictures including Last of the Mohicans‚ Patch Adams and The Guardian.

In spring 2007‚ Statesville got another taste of the dramatic action with the filming of Leatherheads‚ starring George Clooney and Renee Zellweger.

“Things started for North Carolina in 1973‚ when Earl Owensby built his studio in Shelby‚” says Joan Alford‚ marketing specialist for the North Carolina Film Office. “It attracted the attention of people who saw that this was a great place to shoot.”

Owensby is a native North Carolinian who has been involved in more than three dozen films as a producer‚ director or actor. The opening of a Screen Gems studio in Wilmington in 1983 added to the buzz in Hollywood.

“People realized that with the moun tains‚ the ocean‚ meadows and big cities‚ North Carolina has everything a filmmaker could want‚” Alford says.

The Statesville area has set the scene for films such as The Boneyard (1991)‚ The Feud (1990)‚ Weeds (1987)‚ The Ryan White Story (1989) and A Stoning in Fulham County (1988). Slated for release in December 2007‚ Leatherheads is a romantic comedy set against the backdrop of America’s pro-football league in 1925.

Clooney‚ the film’s leading man‚ is also directing it‚ and he contributed to the screenplay‚ which was written by North Carolina native Duncan Brantley. Leatherheads began production in February 2007 in South Carolina and moved into North Carolina in March. Filming locations in North Carolina included Charlotte‚ Rural Hall‚ Spencer‚ Salisbury‚ Winston-Salem‚ Greensboro and Statesville. Viewers should be able to spot Statesville’s City Hall and the Historic Vance Hotel in the film.