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Are You Here is a story about two childhood best friends (Owen Wilson & Zach Galifianikis) who head off on a road trip back to their hometown after one of them learns he has inherited a large sum of money from his recently deceased estranged father.
Galifianakis plays the role of Ben, the heir who must grow up fast to take on the responsibilities named in his father’s will. Wilson plays Steve Dallas, Ben’s best friend, who is a swinging bachelor and local weatherman. Meanwhile, Poehler plays the role of Ben’s bossy sister. Other notable stars include Laura Ramsey. (You may recognize her as Joy, Don Draper’s sexy L.A. fling in Mad Men.) Ramsey plays a pretty young widow and the love interest for Wilson. Other stars in the movie include Joel Gretasch, Justin Wheelon, Greg Cromer, and Michael Yurchak.
Also being filmed in town is another feature film called Susie’s Hope. Susie’s Hope is about the true story of Donna, a survivor of a horrific pit bull attack, who then adopts a pit bull-mix puppy, Susie. Susie was beaten, set on fire and left for dead by her previous owners. Donna and Susie heal together and learn to forgive as they lead an historic effort to seek justice and protection for all animals, resulting in Susie’s Law – stricter laws against animal abusers.
Notable people involved in this include Richard Clabaugh, UNCSA graduate who wrote and directed Eyeborg, which was also filmed in Winston-Salem. It is being shot extensively in the West End area of Winston-Salem, where 50 movie crew members have regularly been seen preparing for different scenes, as well as at the Millennium Center, a home in the West Salem neighborhood and WXII News 12, as well as Yadkinville.
Owen Wilson movies and other local films have been a great boost to our local economy. Between the two films, nearly 200 people have been hired from our area to work on the films. Filmmakers will have reportedly spent nearly 5 million dollars locally in food, hotels, car rentals, equipment rentals and set production by the time they wrap things up in a couple of weeks. And some locals like Rick Henterly are really working hard to create their own celebrity while Hollywood is on location in Winston-Salem. Support you friends and neighbors to make sure Winston-Salem becomes a more frequent location for movies to be filmed. We’ve got a lot of charm to go around.