SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — A popular Netflix adventure, penned by local filmmaker Jonas Pate, his twin brother Joshua, and collaborator Shannon Burke, is heading to the southeast coast of North Carolina this July.
Pate confirmed to Port City Daily “Outer Banks” has plans to shoot some scenes from its anticipated new season in New Hanover County and surrounding regions. It is a return to his roots, as Pate has always wanted the show to film in his hometown.
“Finally, four seasons in, we get to go to North Carolina,” he said on a phone call Friday.
The cameras began rolling in Charleston on Monday. Production can continue despite the writer’s strike, Pate said, as he and his cohorts act as showrunners and scribe new storylines for a future season while one is filming. So during season three, much of four was written.
“We have enough of our scripts to shoot through the summer, maybe a little bit into the fall,” he said.
By then, he’s hoping the strike will be resolved and they’ll be able to keep it rolling.
“We’ll be at Fort Fisher for a week or so, doing a big motorcycle race, and then we have some big scenes at Crystal Pier,” Pate confirmed.
A casting call should be put out soon for extras, handled by Kimmie Stewart Casting.
Netflix originally was slated to film “Outer Banks” in Wilmington from the onset. Yet, it pulled from the state due to its support of House Bill 2 — dubbed the “Bathroom Bill,” to the dismay of those it affected, transgender people who had to utilize the bathroom as assigned by their birth certificates.
The show has been filming in Charleston ever since. Some Wilmington actors even relocated to the Lowcounty to work on it four years ago, such as Cullen Moss who plays Deputy Shoupe.
When it debuted during the Covid-19 pandemic, the show was a smash. High viewership has continued through season three; the day after it dropped in February this year, “Outer Banks” tracked as the number one show on Netflix.
Production is still set up primarily in Charleston, though the show has migrated throughout the last two seasons, including locations in Barbados. Pate said they would be in New Hanover for two weeks likely after Independence Day.
According to documents obtained by Port City Daily sent to New Hanover County, the locations department inquired about filming in a handful of areas.
Locations manager Thomas Parris asked about Blue Clay, Northern Regional and Smith Creek parks, Fort Fisher Recreation Area, Oceanic and Crystal Pier at Wrightsville Beach.
The park setting is for a series of motorbike race scenes, to be filmed with upward of eight or nine people, a May 30 email to Tim Buckland, intergovernmental affairs manager, explained. Parris didn’t indicate who the actors would be but said “one lone rider goes Evil Kenevil [sic] and jumps into the inlet (and makes it!).”
Parris explained the crew would clean up and repair the trails should any damages be incurred. He was specifically asking to film near water, such as Northern Regional Park and behind Grace Baptist Church near Smith Creek Park. The Blue Clay Bike Park Trail also has a creek nearby; however, the sheriff’s office doesn’t authorize motorbikes there.
“I think if we allowed for them, it will set a bad precedent and will be difficult to manage once we allow for this group,” responded Andy Johnson, assistant director of NHC parks and gardens.
Parris corresponded with the county June 6 that “OBX” had found something in Pender County instead.
Tammy Proctor, the public information officer in Pender, told PCD no permits have yet been requested from the show. She added if the locations department found something on private property, a permit wouldn’t be needed.
“I don’t know if it’s all the way up in Pender or not, but there’s like some kind of motocross track way up in the middle of nowhere,” Pate confirmed for one of many scenes.
Yet, he said he is most happy to get back to the shoreline of New Hanover for the show’s coastal backdrop.
“The beaches in Charleston are really difficult to shoot on, and in the past, even though the show has a lot of beaches, believe it or not, we’ve rarely actually shot beaches in Charleston,” he said. “We’ve always gone to other places.”
Though Pate couldn’t verify the storyline for season four, other than to say there are “big new surprises,” he did indicate new faces and “big characters” will be added to the original cast — all of whom are making a return to the screen. The story follows teenage outlaws known as the Pogues, running from authorities, their families and dangerous mafioso types in search of a treasure.
As shooting is underway for “Outer Banks,” Pate has a few other projects in the works, too. He is working on a prequel to the hit Netflix show, but said it’s in the early stages. As well, he is preparing for a new show to launch, picked up June 8 by Skydance Media (“Top Gun: Maverick”), a company valued above $4 billion.
Though unsure which streamer “The Runarounds” will debut on, its pilot shot as the “Untitled Band Project” in Wilmington in December. Pate’s goal is for it to be filmed in the area starting next year, if all goes according to plan.
The story centers on high-school teenagers who start a band, make an album, go on tour and try to reach success.
Pate put together a band of real musicians, The Runarounds, who are on tour currently; they played Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro Thursday night. They’ve written an album that Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads) produced, and Pate has been hashing out the script for the show.
The inspiration to do the series came from his love for the Chapel Hill band, Dillon Fence, from the ‘90s (his brother attended UNC-Chapel Hill) and the courage it takes for teens and twenty-somethings to pursue music as a career so young in life.
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