Posted Jan 26, 2017 at 4:00 PM
By Hunter Ingram StarNews Staff
WILMINGTON — Signaling the end of a production that periodically filmed in Wilmington over the last decade, “Bolden” is giving back by donating architectural and building materials to several local nonprofits.
Over four days at the beginning of the month, crews from the film delivered truckloads of doors, shutters, windows and fixtures to the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s Legacy Architectural Salvage warehouse — all aged by hand for historical and picture accuracy. Similar deliveries were made to Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity and Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry, each of whom received large palates of ply wood sheeting.
The materials were all part of the sets built for the sweeping and intricately detailed story of Buddy Bolden, the pioneering cornet player whose story unfolds as the birth of jazz takes hold of New Orleans at the turn of the century.
The film is legend in the local film industry, having first began shooting in early 2007. It returned in 2010 for more filming and again 2014, the latter time with a drastically new cast and new scenes shot in a former Rocky Point yacht warehouse. Last week, the film wrapped what several local crew were told was its last round of filming at EUE/Screen Gems Studios.
Dolores Williams, volunteer salvage manager, said she wanted to jump up and down when she first saw the sheer number and quality of pieces the film wanted to donate to the Historic Wilmington Foundation, but was worried the production liaison would find her unprofessional.
“He told me to go ahead and jump,” she said. “It was that thrilling.”
The foundation received 113 doors, 226 windows, 100 shutters, stacks of barn wood and more than 1,800 pieces of hardware.
“They even delivered it, set it up and built the racks to hold it,” she said. “I’ve never had so much service in my life.
The props donated aren’t real antique items, only fashioned to play the part of 1900-1930s pieces. Available for purchase are doors big and small, some with aged glass panels and others with chipped faded paint jobs; windows hand-crafted to give the century-old look; and door knobs, hinges and grates that provided the final set decoration touches.
For crafty homeowners and movie fans, Williams said they can benefit from the cheaper prices and unique items for art and home improvement projects. Interest in the movie items has shown in the salvage project’s sales, which all benefit the Historic Wilmington Foundation.
“The last two weekends, we have had astronomical sales because of interests from the movie items,” she said, noting the warehouse is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays or by appointment.
Over at WARM, Tom Burns, construction manager, said their plywood donation was a godsend and has already been put to use.
“What a blessing,” he said. “We repair a lot of floor damage caused by plumbing leaks and disasters like Hurricane Matthew. We are going to use the wood to reinforce floors for homeowners, many of whom are elderly or disabled, and make them safer.”
After filming in 2014, “Bolden” held a massive three-day auction of props in Wilmington including more historically manufactured and authentically antique items. The film does not have a release date.
Reporter Hunter Ingram can be reached at 910-343-2327 or Hunter.ingram@StarNewsOnline.com.