Florence Aftermath: Bill Vassar’s Wilmington, NC Studios Update
Today, Bill Vassar shares a Wilmington, NC studios update. He offers a positive message for the local crew, vendors, Los Angeles studios and producers: “We’re grateful the studio had minimal damage from Hurricane Florence. Our entire staff is back at work and we’re fully operational.”
Productions Working Now
Two productions working on the lot resumed pre-production this week. “The television series ‘Swamp Thing’ for The DC Universe and the A&E pilot ‘Reprisal’ for Hulu are both back with us and moving forward,” he says.
Vassar says his staff and local crew have 35 years of experience preparing for and managing storms such as Florence. The stages and support structures at the studio complex are built to withstand winds of 120 to 140 miles per hour. The studio drainage system has been vastly improved over the last decade to manage heavy rain and water run-off; production offices have back-up generators.
“Two EUE/Screen Gems employees volunteered to stay on site and ride out the storm,” Vassar says. “Heck, we didn’t even lose internet or phone service for the duration of Florence.”
Neighbor Helping Neighbor
The studio veteran offers a personal observation as he considers the events of the storm and Florence aftermath:
“When I returned to Wilmington last week, I was relieved to see our home had suffered no damage, ” Vassar explains. “I was greeted by neighbors who brought me up to date on others who avoided damage and those not so lucky. They told me that if I needed groceries, I had limited options at nearby stores. I was told to make the trip across town to the fully stocked supermarket.
“These people were there for each other during Hurricane Florence. They put a tarp over an out-of-town resident’s damaged roof. Friends cleared limbs and downed trees in each other’s yards. Others took in those whose homes were not livable. Some supplied friends with household items and food. That’s the way it is in Wilmington. It’s about neighbor helping neighbor.
“That’s why our region is so popular with film and television professionals. It’s the people. Our industry will continue to succeed. We’re here for each other. We’re here for all of you.”
Top photo: Bill Vassar, EUE/Screen Gems Studios Executive Vice President, photographed at the N. 23rd Street complex in 2008. Photo by Mark Courtney, courtesy of Wilmington Star News