‘Quiet on the set’ takes new meaning for NC film industry amid coronavirus pandemic

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Over the last few decades, North Carolina has produced some of the biggest blockbusters and television shows to date.

But, now the phrase “quiet on the set” has taken on a new meaning.

“Is that going to be positive for the film and television industry? I can tell you they’re calling, they’re trying to line up to make sure that they’re the first in line to get a place to work. But who knows what happens when that comes about? You bet every single union is going to be involved with what the work conditions are going to be,” said Bill Vasser.

Vasser is the Executive Vice President for Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington where part of the Iron Man installments were shot.  

He has no doubt things will be different post-COVID-19.

“When things do open up again, there’s gonna be a glut of business. The thing is, it’s going to be handled in a different way. I don’t know if anybody’s looking at the fact that these corporations are going to be looking at ways of doing it for less money just to fill programming hours and not spend as much dough,” Vasser said.

From a financial standpoint, Screen Gems is, so far, doing OK. Its accounting team and maintenance crews are still working.

“Our company does not look at things week-to-week or month-to-month or a quarter-by-quarter basis. We’ve been around since the late 1940s and it’s really year-to-year. We’ve had a couple of really decent years and we can sustain this for a while,” he said.

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