Triangle extras get moment in Firth, Heche limelight
Posted November 9, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — Filming for a movie starring Oscar winner Colin Firth, Golden Globe winner Emily Blunt and Emmy nominee Anne Heche brought crowds, cameras and commotion to downtown Raleigh Wednesday.
Dewey Bennett and Devon Semler were there for all the action. Unlike other Triangle residents who peeked onto Fayetteville Street in front of the First Citizens Bank, hoping to catch a little glimpse of Hollywood, these Durham residents weren't merely star-gazing.
"I got here at 7 in the morning and I don't know when we're leaving," Semler said.
The work is repetitive – they walked back and forth in the background while movie couple Firth and Heche got into a fight by a hot dog stand. The scene, which will take up about three minutes of "Arthur Newman, Golf Pro," will take most of the day to shoot.
But Semler, who is out of work and responded to the casting call on a whim, said it's worth it.
The filming then headed to Morgan Street near the Capitol and Nash Square across from City Hall. It continues Thursday in Durham before taking off for the North Carolina coast.
Filmmakers paid the City of Raleigh $774 for 86 parking spaces and hired eight police officers for traffic control.
Several roads were closed to accommodate the movie making.
Ten cities in the state are being used in the film: Raleigh, Durham, Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Wallace, Fairmont, Lumberton and Graham. Films that spend over $250,000 to shoot in North Carolina get a 25 percent tax credit, but the North Carolina Film Commission said it's worth it to bring revenue to the area.
The commission estimates that hotel and food costs will bring about $7 million to state, plus the crew spending about $50,000 in each city.