Sunday, October 1, 2023

‘Outer Banks’ season 4 halts production following strike, local permits still active

“Outer Banks” season four was scheduled to roll cameras for two weeks in both New Hanover and Pender counties at the end of July. Last month, director and creator Jonas Pate (above) confirmed as much to Port City Daily: “Finally, four seasons in, we get to go to North Carolina.” (Netflix/Curtis Baker)


READ MORE: Netflix’s season 4 of ‘Outer Banks’ to film this summer in greater Wilmington area

Production for Netflix’s hit-series “Outer Banks” has halted production in Charleston, South Carolina, and could have an effect on the local film industry as well.

A Facebook post from Wilmington casting agency Kimmie Stewart Casting, which handles “Outer Banks,” noted last Thursday: “Effective now we have suspended filming. We will keep everyone updated as we receive information.” 

At midnight on July 14, 160,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists joined the 11,500-member Writers Guild of America strike, stopping series and movies in production nationwide. 

“Outer Banks” season four was scheduled to roll cameras for two weeks in both New Hanover and Pender counties at the end of July. Last month, director and creator Jonas Pate confirmed as much to Port City Daily: “Finally, four seasons in, we get to go to North Carolina.”

Pate informed PCD he always wanted to film “Outer Banks” in his hometown, but the passage of House Bill 2 — affecting transgender people who had to utilize the bathroom as assigned by their birth certificates — impacted plans and Netflix pulled its location from the state. Despite the bill’s remnants having expired, the show’s homebase continues in the Lowcountry. 

In a text message sent Friday, Pate declined to comment to PCD whether filming would freeze in the greater Wilmington area. Netflix representatives also didn’t respond to inquiries on Monday, July 17. Though public records obtained by PCD show some contingency plans have been put into place.

“Outer Banks” was set to film in Pender County at a motocross track and in New Hanover County’s southernmost point of Pleasure Island at Fort Fisher. 

Fort Fisher State Park Superintendent Jeffrey T. Owen told PCD the film crew has been in contact with the agency regarding their permits. Thomas Parris, locations manager for “Outer Banks,” wrote to Owen on July 13 that dates are to be held.

“We want to hold the schedule as is for right now, just in case the strike gets resolved by Wednesday or Thursday of next week,” he directed. “We will still be set for filming on the beach. If Thursday comes with no resolution, we’ll start looking at shifting the weeks deeper into August.”

Owens told PCD Monday morning: “Permits will change and yes they are on hold due to the strike.”

Another batch of permits from the Town of Wrightsville Beach indicate a handful of scenes were scheduled to be filmed, including one involving stunt performers jumping from the foot of Crystal Pier. Shooting was slated to begin July 24 and take place through July 25 for the beach strand in front of the pier, located at Oceanic restaurant, and at public beach access 43. 

Pate told PCD last month “the beaches in Charleston are really difficult to shoot on” and they always depend on capturing shoreline scenes elsewhere, such as in Barbados for seasons two and three.

Katie Ryan, recreation program supervisor for Wrightsville Beach, wrote to PCD Monday the permits have yet to be rescinded amidst the strike’s ensuing momentum. 

“We have not been contacted about any change to the schedule,” Ryan wrote.

“Outer Banks” was able to pick up season-four filming in June, as a good portion of the script was already written. Pate told PCD earlier this year that he and his brother, Joshua, and partner Shannon Burke begin penning scripts a season in advance; they hoped to have enough written for season four to carry through the fall, despite the writer’s strike going into effect in May. The hope was the strike would have been resolved and cameras could continue rolling. 

“Before SAG joined the strike, production could continue on until we ran out of script,” location scout Linda Lee, president of the Carolina Film Alliance’s board of directors, confirmed to The Post and Courier on July 14, her last day on the “Outer Banks” set. “But you can’t shoot without actors.”

During the strike, SAG-AFTRA members are prohibited from doing most on-camera work — acting, singing, dancing, stunts, puppeteering, motion capture — as well as off-camera employment. This includes rerecording audio, doing trailers and promos, voice acting, singing, narration or stunt-coordinating.

The actors union joined the writers in solidarity, advocating for an equal compensation structure and fairer residual payouts with major production companies and streamers. They also want safeguards in place when it comes to artificial intelligence (AI) rights.

It’s the first time since the 1960s that both unions have gone on strike — the last one extending up to 150 days. There is no word on negotiations as of Monday; however, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher told USA Today the union was prepared to picket through the end of the year, if need be.

“Right now, we discussed what it would cost if it went for six months, so we’re looking for the long haul,” Drescher told the media outlet.

“Outer Banks” season four was supposed to shoot through the end of 2023.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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