WILMINGTON –– Cargo containers, colorful buildings and wooden structures have been popping up at The Pointe at Barclay in recent weeks, grabbing the attention of drivers along Independence Boulevard and shoppers within the commercial complex.
The eye-catching build is a set for the Netflix show “Florida Man,” which is filming in the Wilmington area. Cameron Management, the real estate group that owns the once-vacant lot, shared that the temporary setup will remain no longer than 30 days.
Construction teams have worked on the site regularly. According to film permits, the production is slated to roll at the location for the first time in the coming week. The upcoming shoot is occurring over four consecutive days.
Netflix confirmed the build is for the new show “Florida Man” but did not respond to additional inquiries by press.
Production for the eight-episode season has been in the area since August and is expected to continue through November.
A portion of the shopping complex that was once empty is now home to multiple trailers, portable toilets, stacks of plywood, construction equipment and a crane lifting stage lights over the lot. Surrounded by a chain-link fence, a combination of random building façades have been constructed on the property: a fake AutoZone, a brown barn-esque structure, a building with cross detailing. Cargo containers are stacked along the outskirts, barricading the set from the movie theater and nearby restaurants in The Pointe.
Starring Golden Globe- and Emmy-nominee Edgar Ramírez, “Florida Man” follows a former policeman who must return to his home state to go on the hunt for a Philly mobster’s fugitive girlfriend. “What should be a quick gig becomes a spiraling journey into buried family secrets, and an increasingly futile attempt to do the right thing in a place where so much is wrong,” according to a summary submitted to Carolina Beach town council during the permitting process.
Ramírez is best known for his performance alongside Jennifer Garner in “Yes Day,” also a Netflix production, and as Gianni Versace in “American Crime Story” on FX Networks. He also plays one of the central antagonists in Disney’s “Jungle Cruise,” in theaters now.
Other actors appearing in the show include Isaiah Johnson, Sibongile Mlambo, Paul Schneider, Lauren Buglioli and Michael Esper.
Netflix landed the project through its first-look deal with Aggregate Films, the company behind the streamer’s hit “Ozark.”
The show has traveled countywide to capture scenes, from local churches to beach strands. So far, the production has pulled film permits for Stevens Ace Hardware, UniFirst Uniform Services, Hell’s Kitchen, Copper Penny, and Quanto Basta, among others.
Despite its title, the show chose North Carolina, where the film industry is currently booming; in Florida, legislators let film tax credits expire in 2016. That’s become a sore spot in the Sunshine State, and a point of debate among lobbyists advocating for revived incentives. North Carolina faced similar losses when its tax credits sunset in 2014. Since then, the incentive program has been rebuilt as a grant program and the industry has recouped. Still, the grant is capped, unlike the open-ended tax credit that existed pre-2015.
However, the union behind film crews began taking a strike authorization vote Friday. With a local outpost in Wilmington, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) is considering a walkout in protest of poor wages and conditions. Specifically, the group is asking for better pay from streaming services like Netflix, which has continued to receive discounts in pay rates compared to traditional media since its infancy.
A strike could potentially halt production nationwide for an unpredictable period of time.
“Florida Man” is one of three Netflix productions to choose New Hanover County as its filming location in 2021. Based on the novel by Chapel Hill author Sarah Dessen, “Along For The Ride” filmed at the beaches earlier this year and is returning for three days this month to capture extra shots. The psychological thriller series “Echoes” is a tenant of EUE/Screen Gems Studios.
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