Paramount film crew spotted in Selma

dquizon@newsobserver.comMarch 22, 2013 

Selma may be a backdrop for an upcoming movie from the company that produced the “Jackass” films.

Crewmembers from California-based media company The Uprising were spotted this week in front of Edelweiss Deli on Raiford Street, in the heart of the town’s historic antique district.

The Uprising has produced all three of the previous “Jackass” films – as well as the MTV series from which they originated – which follow professional stuntman Johnny Knoxville as he performs outrageous stunts.

Trip Taylor, the company’s co-founder, was on the set, but declined to comment on what movie The Uprising was filming. Beth Charnetzky, the deli’s owner, said she had signed a non-disclosure agreement with the film company.

But several people took photographs of Knoxville partying in downtown Raleigh over the weekend. Two pictures of Knoxville – one taken at the Raleigh Times on Hargett Street and one at Neptune’s Parlour on Martin Street – were posted on social media accounts.

Aaron Syrett, a spokesman for the state film commission, said a crew was currently shooting a movie with the working title “A Dog Named Suki.” He said he hadn’t heard anything about a new “Jackass” film.

The Uprising, in association with Paramount Pictures, has been in the state since last fall, Syrett said. Crewmembers were in Charlotte in late 2012 before taking a break to do some additional writing.

They’ll be in the Triangle for the next two weeks before wrapping up production, he said.

Syrett said the crew could qualify for a tax credit from the state, as long as they show they’ve spent more than $250,000 and the movie they produce isn’t considered “obscene” under state law.

“We couldn’t make that determination until we’ve audited the film,” he said. “It’s a Paramount production, so they don’t typically produce obscene material.”

The title “A Dog Named Suki” also appears in Ohio state film commission records. The state gave the crew a $1.5 million tax credit to shoot in Columbus and Dayton.

A release from the state’s development office describes the movie as “the unscripted story of a man’s road trip across America with his newfound grandson.”

That fits the theme of the latest “Jackass” movie, reported by the Internet Movie Database last summer under the rumored title “Jackass 4: Bad Grandpa.” But information on “Suki” is scarce, except for a casting call for the lead role of “Billy,” described as a “rambunctious, pranking, joke telling, fearless boy.”

Johnston has ‘great’ filming locations

Officials throughout Johnston County confirmed they’ve been in contact with crew members this month.

Sheriff Steve Bizzell said he’s provided an off-duty deputy – to be paid by The Uprising directly – to watch the sets and keep the public away. The crew has worked just outside Clayton, Kenly, Selma, Smithfield and in unincorporated parts of the county.

The crew was also spotted in Kenly, shooting in front of a rest stop. Town manager Greg Dunham said someone tipped off the police about it.

“They were not interrupting anything,” Dunham said. “And it was not a complaint called in to remove them from any property, it was just a FYI. (Officers) weren’t asked to intervene in any way.”

Staff writer Brooke Cain contributed to this report.

Quizon: 919-836-5768

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