Joshua Jackson

Cast Say Good-bye to DC

By Allison Ballard
Staff Writer
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City says goodbye to the ‘Creek’
There are still a few chances to bid farewell

This week, the cast and crew of Dawson’s Creek are filming around Wilmington for the last time.

It will be their final shoot at Screen Gems Studios, in Wrightsville Beach and on Hewlett’s Creek. The hit WB series, which has used Southeastern North Carolina as its backdrop for six years, wraps up filming Friday.

And while fans are speculating about what will happen to the characters in the season finale, which airs May 14, cast and crew – now filming that episode – are preparing for the end of an era.

“The general feeling on the set is one of accomplishment, with a little bit of nostalgia thrown in,” said Joshua Jackson, who stars as Pacey Witter.

The cast and crew aren’t the only ones who feel that way. And before it’s all gone, Wilmington fans will have a few opportunities to say goodbye.

Tours at Screen Gems Studios this weekend will offer the last chance to see the Creek sets in their original sound stage setting before they are moved to another location on the lot.

And, though it’s not quite the same as going to the private wrap party Saturday night, a public get-together is planned for 11 a.m. that day in downtown Wilmington.

The event, open to all, is a way to thank the cast and crew for their contributions to the community, said Connie Nelson, communications manager of Cape Fear Coast Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. The television series has boosted the region’s economy for six years, spending about $125 million locally and prompting tourism.

Cast members, film industry executives and community leaders are the special guests for the tribute. They will make speeches and presentations that celebrate the show and its players.

Not surprisingly, producers aren’t revealing details about the last episode of Dawson’s Creek. They’ll only say that it takes place five years in the future and the script tries to answer all the pertinent questions and end on a positive note.

Just a couple of weeks ago, while Kevin Williamson was working on his latest project, Cursed, he also was making some last-minute changes to the final script.

The creator of Dawson’s Creek was called in to write the two-hour finale – something that was very emotional for him because the stories are based on his experiences growing up in North Carolina.

“I cry with every key I press,” he said in a phone interview. “Each of the characters are a little piece of me.”

Not only is Mr. Williamson writing the episode, he plans to be in town for the last days of filming (and the parties).

For the people behind the scenes, the end of Dawson’s Creek is sad, but expected.

“It’s better to go out at the top of your game,” said Paul Stupin, executive producer. “I’ve been with the show from the beginning – but nothing lasts forever.”

Allison Ballard: 343-2376

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