NEW HANOVER COUNTY — As “Outer Banks” crews started rolling cameras on Wrightsville Beach Monday, officials on the southern end of the county confirmed film permits have been filed at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area for Netflix’s adventure teen drama.
According to Fort Fisher Superintendent Jeffrey Owen, “Outer Banks” season four will film on the southernmost portion of Pleasure Island beginning Nov. 27, to continue through Dec. 8, with the exception of weekends.
A film permit obtained by Port City Daily indicates use of a pedestrian beach access near employee and 4×4 accesses, as well as along Ramsgate Trail in the state park area.
“I don’t have a lot of details, but one scene apparently involves a motorcycle race!” Owen wrote in an email to PCD Monday.
Last spring, director Jonas Pate told the news outlet the motocross race location was being considered in Pender County; no permits were filed there or in New Hanover County as of last week, according to county spokespeople.
“We are excited to have the show filming in NC,” Owen added.
“Outer Banks” — which has become a hit on Netflix after debuting during the Covid-19 pandemic — was originally intended to shoot in the Tar Heel State. Netflix pulled from North Carolina at the time, due to legislators’ support of House Bill 2 — dubbed the “Bathroom Bill.” It required transgender people to utilize the bathroom as assigned by their birth certificates, which many considered discriminatory.
The bill has since been repealed, but Netflix set up in the Low Country of Charleston, South Carolina, where its homebase continues. Though crews also travel to other locations, some internationally, such as Barbados, as seen in seasons two and three.
Pate — who also lives in Wilmington — told PCD in the spring he was excited to be returning to film in the Port City. The script is written to reflect familiar areas in southeastern North Carolina, such as Figure 8 and Masonboro Island, both mentioned frequently by the cast and located in Wilmington.
Monday and Tuesday crews are setting up in close proximity to Masonboro Island on Wrightsville Beach. The Oceanic restaurant parking lot was full of trucks and crews setting up to film on the beach and Crystal Pier.
Production notes detail stunt performers jumping from the foot of the pier into the ocean. Another scene takes place near a beach access, detailing a body on the beach with ambulance and sheriff’s vehicles parked in the vicinity.
Pate told PCD earlier in the year getting back to the local coastline was important.
“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 at the time. “We’ve always gone to other places.”
The series has been regarded as a modern-day “Goonies” with a teen soap opera bent. Pate’s shooting style is as fast and furious as the hijinks engaged upon by the group of youngsters, dubbed the Pogues, who face off against a group of rich kids, the Kooks, to find a hidden treasure. The Pogues find themselves running from the law, multiple gangsters and shady characters along the way.
“Outer Banks” is the first scripted series to film in Wilmington since the Writer’s Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes ended.
Kimmie Stewart Casting is handling the background and extra roles for the show. Since posting about its call for characters on Nov. 14, it received more than 3,000 emails and utilized roughly 500 submitters.
The casting agency has continued putting out calls for Wrightsville Beach scenes since the weekend. Casting for Fort Fisher scenes containing college-aged “Pogues & Kooks” will come soon.
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