An important part of any movie or television show is the location. From a scenic viewpoint, our area has a lot to offer. When it came time to film the new movie, Provinces of Night, rural Pender County is just what filmmakers were looking for.
A two lane road leads through the small Pender County town of Atkinson; a town now in the spotlight. Film crews have invaded, turning an old building into a bar. “The bar we’re in right now reminds me of the old Tallyho Tavern where I bartended for a while in Nashville. The guy behind the bar is perfect, he looks as beat up as the bar does,” said Kris Kristofferson.
It is not the first time actor and singer Kris Kristofferson has filmed a movie in our area. He said this setting feels very natural. “I like it here; I grew up in the south. A little different than Brownsville, Texas but I love it here,” said Kristofferson.
Provinces of Night is set in both North Carolina and Tennessee. But it is being filmed entirely on location in North Carolina, giving actors who have never been here, a glimpse of what our area is like. “Everyone’s super nice. I guess that’s southern hospitality and it’s been a great time,” said actor Reece Thompson. “It’s beautiful out here, it’s really nice to look around and see trees and wildlife instead of a homeless person drinking on the street.”
So how did location managers stumble upon this building, in this town?
“Basically it was just hitting the road and finding a lot of stuff. We just found tons of these locations and they’re really wonderful places,” said assistant location manager Geoffrey Ryan.
It also helps that Geoffrey has been doing this a while, and knew where to look. “Nothing else looks like this, its close enough to the studio to work and this is really the look the script demanded,” he said.
Because of Screen Gems Studios, local crew members are working on the set and working on making a good impression. Screenwriter E. Earl Brown said, “People seem to want to be here, it’s just not collecting a paycheck.”
Some scenes were also filmed in New Hanover County. Actor Reece Thompson loves the beaches, but he can’t visit them yet because his character can’t get a tan. When shooting wraps May 19th, he plans to stick around a couple of days to enjoy them.