May 24--Pender County officials say Adobe Productions Inc. will be allowed to shoot scenes using the county courthouse square and lawn soon for the movie "Tammy," but an official agreement between the film company and the county is still in the works.
"There's an agreement being worked out right now between our attorney and their attorney, and I think it's very close to being done," County Manager Michael Duvall said Thursday.
But filming is set to start Friday on property in the town of Burgaw's jurisdiction.
The comedy starring Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon is slated to film scenes with three cast members and about a dozen extras inside Burgaw's former EMS building at 108 Wilmington St. on Friday before heading over to the town's police headquarters at 109 N. Walker St., according to a town film permit.
Various driving scenes will take place next week before filming wraps in town on May 30, the permit says.
As Burgaw attracts more and more film producers, Duvall said, the county is realizing it needs formal policies on how to deal with the film industry and film requests to use county property.
"We've been getting a lot of (film) requests. As county manager, I will be recommending that the board take a closer look into this and start looking at establishing policies and procedures," Duvall said.
Though commissioners were expected to discuss setting policies regarding filming in Pender at their last meeting, Duvall said the board will likely address the issue after the budget process is complete.
As for the "Tammy" request, Duvall said, "It's just an agreement between Pender County and Adobe Films to be able to film a few hours on the courthouse square.... Commissioners have to get comfortable with it, our attorney has to get comfortable with it, and the court clerk and the film company have to get comfortable with it, so we've got all of these parties trying to get comfortable and we're almost there. Right now, it's between our attorney and the film company's attorney."
Duvall said using county property such as the courthouse square for filming can present some complex issues to consider because various entities are involved, and residents have to be considered, particularly regarding parking and people attending court sessions such as traffic court.
"When you're dealing with a courthouse, it's obviously different than a cornfield. It's a more complex location, with more people involved ...," Duvall said
Cassie Foss is a staff writer; Stephanie Bowens is StarNews correspondent.
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