Film production in Wilmington leads Hollywood screenwriters to UNCW campus
Published: Monday, October 8, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 12:10
UNCW faculty in the philosophy and religion department may become the subject of a new televised documentary series by twin brothers Chad and Carey Hayes. The Hayes brothers are the producers and screenwriters behind the horror movies, “The Reaping,” “House of Wax” and the recently Wilmington-filmed movie, “The Conjuring.”
The Hayes Brothers were introduced to the UNCW philosophy and religion department in February when religious studies professor Diana Pasulka helped with exorcism scenes in “The Conjuring.”
“When I met the Hayes Brothers, we clicked immediately,” said Pasulka. “They do movies about the supernatural, and I study the supernatural. They wanted to option my book and to do some projects with me. I suggested that we do a show about my department, since all of us do interesting things, not just me.”
The Hayes brothers are returning to Wilmington Oct. 10 to pitch the idea to investors at the UNCW Rocket Pitch Event. During the visit, they will also hold a variety of student-centered events on campus.
According to George Zervos, a philosophy and religion professor who played an exorcist in “The Conjuring,” the Hayes brothers are very interested in interacting with UNCW students because they want to move to Wilmington, make movies, and include students in their films and productions.
On Oct. 11, the brothers will hold a lecture and discussion in Dobo Hall. On Oct. 12, they will screen their film “The Reaping” for free and hold a table changing event for any students who want to learn about screenwriting and get specific tips.
“Just being able to talk to the brothers is a tremendous opportunity for students in film studies, creative writing, theatre, music, arts and history—especially students looking for professions in film,” said Zervos.
“It would be interesting to interact with professionals who have been in the industry, especially those who have been in Hollywood,” said film major Tara Dobson. “To hear about their experiences and to know what it’s like in the real film world would be beneficial to myself and all film students.”
The Hayes brothers will also be attending the UNCW Entrepreneurship Center event Oct. 10 at the Burney Center, where businesses pitch concepts to investors, and attendees have the opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions.
If the Hayes brothers’ pitch is adopted by a television network like History or Sci-Fi, the network will buy six episodes for the first year. Pasulka will be the host of the show, and the rest of crew will consist of philosophy and religion faculty members Zervos, Teddy Burgh and Herb Berg, as well as some students.
“A typical episode is going to feature me and another professor and one or two students going to a destination like Ireland, or in the Middle East, and doing research about a miraculous phenomena,” said Pasulka. “Every episode will feature a far-off destination, and also will feature what our ‘findings’ will be.”
According to Zervos and Pasulka, the Hayes brothers love Wilmington. The screenwriters work closely with Wilmington’s Screen Gems Studio, commonly referred to as “Hollywood East.” Screen Gems is the largest sound stage east of Los Angeles, according to the Wilmington Regional Film Commission. The 50-acre lot has been the base camp for over 350 television series and commercials and can accommodate up to five productions at one time.
The cast and crew of “The Conjuring” also had good things to say about the area. Joey King, a young actress in “The Conjuring,” talked about Wilmington on her Twitter account.
"Day 3 of filming complete," she said. "Think I'm falling in love with North Carolina & the people here!! Having so much fun!”
King also played Ramona in the 2010 film, “Ramona and Beezus.”
Working on the set of “The Conjuring” was one of the greatest experiences of his life according to Zervos. He supports the Hayes brothers’ idea for a show about the philosophy and religion department.
“It will be great for enrollment," he said. "People will be fighting to get in here. It will be a tremendous draw for this university”.
If you are interested in meeting the Hayes brothers and learning more about the film industry and the possible documentary series, you can attend any of these events on campus: the UNCW Entrepreneurship Center event, 5:30-7 p.m. Oct. 10 in Burney Center; a lecture and discussion at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 in Dobo 134; “The Reaping” screening, which is free and open to the public, 7 p.m. Oct. 12 at Lumina Theater; and a table changing event where you can talk about your film work with the filmmakers from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Oct. 12 in the Azalea Coast Room, Fischer Student Union 2001A.