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Wilmington Film Museum

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In 1983, producers Dino De Laurentiis and Frank Capra Jr. came to a quaint seaside town in North Carolina to make a horror movie. 32 years later that movie, Stephen King's FIRESTARTER, is a classic and that town, Wilmington, has become one of the busiest film production hubs on the east coast. From gritty independents, to long running TV series, to studio blockbusters like IRON MAN 3, Wilmington, North Carolina has been the home to over 3,000 productions earning it the nickname, "Hollywood East ".  Add in the rest of the state (Asheville, Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte) and it becomes abundantly clear that North Carolina has a connection to film production that is rich and vast.
But North Carolina's film history did not begin in 1983. It runs much deeper. In fact, the first known picture made in the state was in 1905.  Producers set up summer studios in the mountains of Asheville all through the silent era in order to take advantage of the area's natural beauty. There is much to learn and discover about the early days of film and the state's impact on it.
In 1984,  DEG (De Laurentiis Entertainment Group) returned to Wilmington with another Stephen King project: CAT'S EYE. A young makeup artist named Jeff Goodwin began a long, illustrious career working on top level studio films, mostly in the state of North Carolina. His most famous creation is the severed ear from David Lynch's BLUE VELVET.  Jeff is one of thousands of industry professionals who work and professionalism have built the reputation of North Carolina film crew to be some of the best in the world. 

The goal of the Wilmington Film Museum is to celebrate the great films made in North Carolina and also to educate people about the film history and amazing people that built the industry here. Plans for the museum include: Digital and interactive timeline of film history in the Carolinas - Interactive photo gallery - Artifacts from movies and profiles of craftsmen & women who created them - Hall of Fame - Weekend exhibits with interactive activities for children - A Screening Room to show local independent films and video memoirs from industry veterans - Going Local: highlighting our film festivals, our independent filmmakers and our schools grounded in the community and the starting point for many success stories.

Before the museum finds a permanent home, it will have preview exhibits in Downtown Wilmington. These exhibits will give just a taste of what will make up the Wilmington Film Museum. The purpose of this fundraiser is to cover the costs of the Preview Exhibits, so that they can remain FREE to the public. The majority of those costs are for fabrication of display cases & graphics and security for the artifacts. If you are a fan of film, especially North Carolina films, please help us create this. And then, come see it when it's open!


Rich Gehron
Wilmington, NC

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