Sunday, December 3, 2023

Netflix’s ‘Florida Man’ to feature Carolina Beach, 2021 statewide film impact up to $331M

 “Florida Man” is commandeering about 200 yards of Carolina Beach strand for an all-day, fake shark attack shoot on a Tuesday in August. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna Still)

CAROLINA BEACH –– A Netflix series is planning on heavily relying on the palm trees and southern coastal aesthetics of Carolina Beach to depict the sunshine state. One of its first scenes –– shooting this August –– portrays a bloody shark attack on the strand behind Seawitch Motel, according to a presentation given to the town’s city council by the film’s locations manager.

“Florida Man,” which received an eight-episode order from the streaming giant, is expected to film sporadically in New Hanover County starting next month through Thanksgiving.

RELATED: Netflix to shoot ‘Florida Man’ series, ‘Echoes’ thriller in Wilmington

Starring Golden Globe nominee Edgar Ramirez, “Florida Man” tells the story of an ex-cop who travels from Philadelphia to Coronado Beach, Florida, for a presumably quick gig. The job is to hunt down a mobster’s fugitive girlfriend, but the journey is prolonged into unveiling “buried family secrets” and “an increasingly futile attempt to do the right thing in a place where so much is wrong,” according to materials presented to the town’s council.

“We have an all-star cast and all-star crew that’s going to be affiliated with this so I think it’ll be another good experience for the town,” locations manager Mike Hewett told council members Tuesday. “This is . . . a longer stay than the last show that was here [“Along for the Ride”] because we are eight episodes, versus just one movie.”

Hewett said the production is eyeing sites in town for recurring locations in the show. The city hall will turn into the Coronado Beach police station. Seawitch Motel and Carolina Beach Yacht Club are also key locations. Other businesses to be featured include Seawitch Cafe, Malama Cafe, and Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar.

In mid-August, the production is commandeering about 200 yards of beach for an all-day shoot backing Seawitch Motel on Carolina Beach Avenue. It is planning to depict a shark attack and will station up to six vehicles, including emergency response vehicles and news vans, on the beach.

“You know, our show’s ‘Florida Man,’ so it’s stupid criminals doing stupid things,” Hewett said. “And ‘Florida Man’ getting bit by a shark is something that’s kind of funny.”

Carolina Beach unanimously approved the use of the strand, noting the filming dates were around the slow down of tourist season. Hewett added the proposed shark attack filming location is also not as densely populated compared to the rest of the area, cutting down on shoreline interruptions for beachgoers.

Netflix recently wrapped another project –– “Along for the Ride” –– that used the beach town as its main backdrop for the coastal-set movie. Tim Murphy, the town’s recreation programs superintendent and community events coordinator, told council in May several other film projects were scouting out the area.

Also in the Cape Fear, Amazon’s adaptation of a Jenny Han novel, “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” is in pre-production.

Hallmark film “One Summer” is shooting at Elijah’s restaurant and Legion Stadium Pool in the coming week. The production also filmed scenes in Oak Island earlier this month, closing down part of East Dolphin Drive.

FOX series “Our Kind of People” has taken out permits to shoot house party scenes at luxurious homes in the high-end Landfall community and on Wellesley Place later this month. The production is also seeking young adult extras, especially people of color, for a yacht party scene.

Several 2020 Wilmington-filmed productions have announced upcoming release dates, including “Halloween Kills” on Oct. 15, “Scream” on Jan. 14, and “The Black Phone” on Jan. 28.

Film in 2021 is already estimated to have a $331-million financial impact on the state. So far, it is the third-highest year in direct in-state spending since 2007.

Guy Gaster, director of the NC Film Office, indicated that number is bound to rise. He is predicting 2021 will exceed 2012’s spending record of $377 million by the end of the year.

2021 is also currently the third-highest year for job opportunities since 2011. Projects have created 20,206 jobs; most of those are background extras.

“This will go down as one of our best, if not the best year on record, in terms of spending by productions in the state,” Gaster said.

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Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands is a journalist covering New Hanover County and education. Before Port City Daily, she reported for the award-winning State Port Pilot in Southport. She graduated from UNC Charlotte and wrote for several Charlotte publications while there. When not writing, Williams is most likely in the gym, reading or spending time with her Golden Pyrenees. Reach her at or on Twitter @alexsands_

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