Well, the news here in North Carolina is that Wilmington is about to be the next Hollywood, only with state liquor stores, tens of thousands of devout Baptists and a series of social institutions right out of the middle ages. There is a language barrier as most folks in Wilmington speak Southern and only use English as a second Language.
There no doubt are some advantages to being on the opposite end of Interstate 40 but frankly, it doesn’t appear the powers that be in La La land have given this enough serious thought. To be polite, the benefits of filming in Wilmington, N.C. simply can’t outweigh the idiosyncrasies of Southern Gentility.
For starters, although there are at least four generations separating the average southerner from the Civil War, emotions still run high, which may indicate that hatred of Yankees, is in fact, genetic. And lest there be any confusion, anyone not born within 15 miles of Wilmington is classified as a Yankee. Although several well connected individuals from Raleigh have made the difficult transition into Wilmington society, people in Wilmington don’t care much for each other so outsiders don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of assimilating into "polite society".
Possession of Marijuana is a capital offense and the mayor is leading a campaign to re-introduce flogging and amputation of limbs for various minor offenses.
Anyone not in church on Sunday is automatically a heathen and destined to spend eternity in the fires of damnation aka hell. Some Theologians speculate Hell may be in Bergaw about 20 miles west of Wilmington, but this is idle gossip and most folks point north anytime hell is mentioned.
Last year, a student at the University of North Carolina Wilmington was killed by New Hanover Deputies when he answered his door armed with a video game controller. Can’t fault the deputies though, as they had no way of knowing it was a video game controller… they shot the kid through the door. It was the second or third time the deputy involved had fired his weapon, which no one seemed to be concerned about.
Then there’s the quaint laws unique to North Carolina. A personal favorite of the local constabulary is an archaic piece of common law called contributory negligence. Here’s how it works. Let’s say you’re a Yankee and driving your new Volvo down the street in Wilmington. Suddenly, you get T-boned by a local citizen attempting a left turn out of a parking lot. Anywhere else, the local driver is cited and that’s it. But in Wilmington, the investigating police officer will immediately assign partial blame to you because you’re from out of town.
The officer will cleverly disguise this by assigning a numerical code to the accident report , safe in the knowledge that you have no idea what happened and that he will never have to defend this. In fact, you probably won’t know what happened until months later when your insurance company announces that you were partially at fault in the accident. Now this is where it gets tricky. Unlike in the civilized world, North Carolina’s Contributory Negligence law says everyone pays their own damages when both drivers are at fault. Officials in North Carolina seem to take a morbid pleasure in pointing out that even if you are 1% at fault, you must pay all your own damages. Continuing the above example, you pay for ALL the damages to your Volvo and the local citizen pays their damages. In most cases, the victim ends up paying the lions share of the damages. It’s called southern hospitality. In defense of the North Carolina Legislators, they get big bucks from the Trial Lawyers Association and the Insurance industry to keep this law on the books.
A while back (2002), a black woman ran for mayor. That didn’t sit well with the locals so they assigned a deputy to watch the candidate and every time she came out of a restaurant and got in her car, she was stopped and given a Breathalyzer test.
Without an ongoing beach replenishment project to deposit large amounts of sand on a constantly eroding shoreline, Wrightsville Beach would have ceased to exist. The project is funded by both the federal and state government with some of the work carried out by the Army Corp of Engineers. This is mentioned only because people going to Wrightsville Beach are charged $1.25 an hour to park anywhere close to the beach. It’s not that the folks at Wrightsville need the money, they just don’t want tourists/Yankees on their federally subsidized beach
Another favorite ploy of local law enforcement: violation of the open container law. In polite society, one does not imbibe spirituous drink and walking in public with said drink will get you a ticket for violating the open container law. Lest you trivialize this as well you might, the local police have undercover officers who work the downtown streets to arrest violators of this law. FYI: if you are carrying a cup that at one time contained an alcoholic beverage and now contains only ice, you will still be arrested as there are traces of the original drink in the cup. Wilmington Police officers love these kind of arrests… remember, these folks don’t like Yankees and screwing with out-of-towners is viewed as a hobby.
One other issue that bears mention: homosexuals are officially referred to as "unrepentant" and under the doctrines of the three major religions in the south (Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian) homosexuals are consigned to the eternal fires of hell. Not satisfied with the homosexual’s lot in eternity, most good Christians in the south believe it is their Christian duty to antagonize and badger homosexuals right here on earth.
In short, Wilmington is a typical southern town that tolerates outsiders only as a necessary evil whose sole purpose is injecting capital into the local economy. It would be a mistake to think an outsider could actually live in, and raise a family in Wilmington. Your kid will never make the sports team, never make the cheerleading squad and never get into National Honor Society. You will never be asked to join the local country club so buy a house on a golf course. You want to sit up front in church on Sunday, give more money. Yep, it’s that kind of place.