A film production company from Los Angeles is coming to Cary, chasing what Executive Producer Allan Smith calls “Raleighwood”.
DreamQuest Productions specializes in filming indigenous cultures, hostile territories, remote locations and developing nations. Smith – a former Marine, firefighter, paramedic, Medal of Valor recipient and survival expert – has filmed on Mt. Everest, in Borneo, in the Middle East and on the Outer Banks. The film company, he says, can work from anywhere.
“The market in Los Angeles is dying right now,” says Smith. “Sony is moving visual effects to Canada, studios are moving to Atlanta. The buzz in Hollywood is that Raleigh is being known as Raleighwood. To live in California is expensive and there are no film benefits for us. We felt the Triangle was the quintessential business community.”
Smith says when he came to North Carolina three years ago to film the documentary “Rescue Men: The Story of the Pea Island Lifesavers,” the film climate was excellent.
“And it still is, but the film incentive is a driving force for us. The better the incentive, the better it helps the bottom dollar. We hope North Carolina will keep the incentives going. If they cut back too far, the larger studios will go to Atlanta.”
Five weeks ago he moved into his new home in Cary, where he’s working on the film “A Band in a Box”, a story of Thomas Edison and the invention of the phonograph. Meanwhile, a realtor is helping him find a particular kind of office space.
“It’s all about flavor. It’s the taste and feel of a place,” he says. “I’ve been around the world and Cary felt right. In Wilmington, you’ve got a mini L.A. Raleigh is really growing and we want to be on the forefront.”
Smith says he’s keeping his eyes open for a ’20s-style building, an office space that speaks to him, which he says he will know when he sees it.
By Dawn Kurry