Locally filmed series, “One Tree Hill,” comes to an end after nine seasons
Published: Thursday, April 12, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2012 12:04
“One Tree Hill” has been a driving force in Wilmington’s film industry for the past decade, and the legacy finally came to an end as the series finale aired Wednesday, Apr. 4 with a two-hour event on The CW.
Screen Gems Studios was home to “One Tree Hill” since it began filming in 2003, but the show also filmed on location throughout the town of Wilmington, and over the years have frequented UNCW's campus.
Sharon Boyd, UNCW’s Associate Vice Chancellor of Business Services, dealt with the show and assisted in the process of making it possible for them to film on campus and use facilities.
“Well basically, we have a policy for production companies to be able to film on campus. Because we are a state supported entity, we open our facilities to allow production companies to film here as long as it doesn’t interfere with our mission,” Boyd explained.
“Because they were a local series, it was very nice to be able to work with the same location managers each time they filmed here,” Boyd said. She also mentioned that there were often UNCW alumni working on the productions, and some of them were even the location managers that she was working with directly. “It really comes full circle sometimes.”
Boyd believes having productions film on campus is a fun and positive experience for everyone. Sometimes future students taking tours will be exposed to filming on campus, or current students will get the opportunity to work as extras. At times, there are even internship opportunities on the productions for students.
“One Tree Hill” filmed in numerous locations around campus, including the nursing building, Chancellor’s Walk, Trask and New Hanover gym, weight rooms, locker rooms, the library, the bookstore, and the student union.
Now that the show is over, many other opportunities have opened up to different productions coming to campus. The film, “The Conjuring” recently filmed near the University Apartments, and they have had numerous inquiries from other productions.
The show coming to an end after so many years, greatly affects fans everywhere. But this community will fiscally feel the impact because it was important for Wilmington’s economy due to the amount of money they spent locally. Even though they will no longer be here, the show still draws fans to the town from all over, and the town has left a mark on the cast and crew that came to know Wilmington as home.
The first hour of the finale was full of memories, interviews and look backs at the show’s history; reminding viewers how important the locations around Wilmington, including UNCW’s campus, were to the success of the show.
In an interview Jeff Hidek conducted for Star News Online, some of the actors explained what Wilmington meant to them.
Paul Johansson, who played Dan Scott, said, “The city itself is kind of a character in our show. We would say Tree Hill in the meetings, but we really meant Wilmington. There're certain things you can do in Wilmington you can't do anywhere else in America. It's small, but it's cosmopolitan at the same time. It's an upwardly mobile city. It's a city of dreams. It really has wonderful character.”
“It was so fun to wrap it up in Wilmington. Personally, the fact that we wrapped it up in Wilmington in season nine, that feels like the way it should be,” said James Lafferty, who played Nathan Scott.
The finale episode wrapped up all of the untold stories for the characters, and the show also went back to many of the stories and places from early seasons, which was appreciated by loyal fans that have stuck by the show for its entire run.
They do another time jump, something the show is known for, for the last scene, showing that the characters are still happy and got everything they hoped for.
During the finale, Schwahn said, “I feel like these characters sort of exist on their own now. Even though I’m not sitting down and writing ‘Fade In’ every week, it feels like they’re still there. I think it’s always going to feel that way,” and being in Wilmington, it definitely does.