Spruced up classic cars from the 1930s and 1940s lined a section of Fourth Street recently to fill a few film roles they were born to play.
The cars, glistening in the afternoon sun, were positioned along the street. Extras, decked out in period-specific attire,found their marks for a flashback scene in “The Longest Ride,” the latest film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel now shooting in Wilmington.
Between takes and during scene prep, crew members hunkered in pockets of shade on the set of the romantic drama for a brief escape from the 90-plus-degree heat. When it came time to shoot, however, everyone moved into place.
The scene required a camera track in the street, allowing the camera to move smoothly along the bumpy road. “Boardwalk Empire’s” Jack Huston and “Game of Thrones’” Oona Chaplin, granddaughter of iconic silent film star Charlie Chaplin, were the stars of the June 17 scenes, which take place in the years following World War II.
The film, based on the book of the same name released last September, follows two love stories separated by decades. Huston and Chaplin’s story is told through the flashbacks of Ira (“M*A*S*H’s” Alan Alda), a 90-year-old man trapped in his car after an accident. Fading in and out of consciousness, Ira (his younger self played by Huston) thinks back on his life with his late wife, Ruth (Chaplin), and their love story that spans decades.
Just down the road from Ira’s accident, a new romance blossoms between Sophia (“Under the Dome’s” Britt Robertson), a young college student, and Luke (Scott Eastwood, son of Clint Eastwood), a handsome bullrider.
Incorporating scenes from several decades, as well as an inside look into the world of bullriding, the film is an ambitious project slated to film for nine weeks, both in Wilmington and Winston-Salem. Several rodeo-centric scenes will also be filmed in July in Jacksonville.
Some of the cars featured in Tuesday’s scene were contributed by local residents who responded to Tim Walters’request for classic cars made between the 1930s and 1940s. Walters is the film’s picture car coordinator. The production is still looking for cars (they can be restored but not customized) to appear in future period scenes.
To submit a car, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 910-444-2896.
“The Longest Ride,” directed by George Tillman Jr., is scheduled to hit theaters April 3.
WANT TO BE PART OF THE FILM?
This July, a few days at the rodeo could mean helping out a local charity.
“The Longest Ride” features a character, played by Scott Eastwood, who is a competitive bullrider. For four days of upcoming rodeo-set scenes, Marty Siu Casting is looking for up to 1,000 local residents per day to fill the bleachers. Three days of filming will be done in Jacksonville and one day will be done in Winston-Salem.
For each person that shows up, the film will donate money to a local charity. To sign up, the organization must contact Siu. If approved, they can then recruit people to attend the shoot, a list of which will be submitted to the film. To apply, email extrasTLR@gmail.com with “Charity Organization Interested in Rodeo Scenes” in the subject line.
Although the extras work, which could last up to 12 hours per day, is unpaid, volunteers who attend will be eligible for prize giveaways and be fed while on set.
“If someone knows that their 10 or 12 hours of extras work helps a charity, they are going to be happy to stay and (be a part of filming),” Siu said.
Organizations will be asked to supply their volunteers’ names, emails, phone numbers, age groups (adult, teen, or child no younger than 10) and how many days they can attend. Information about meeting dates and times will be sent to them in the coming weeks.
To apply to be a paid extra in the film, individuals must register at makescenes.com and follow Marty Siu Casting’s Facebook page for up-to-date casting calls.
– Hunter Ingram