Hazelwood goes Hollywood

Celebrity actors being filmed in Waynesville
By Shelby Harrell Staff Writer | Jul 17, 2014
Photo by: Shelby Harrell Pictured is the filming base camp for the film "Untitled Armored Car" which is located in the parking lot of Hazelwood Elementary. For the next two weeks, celebrities Owen Wilson, Zach Galafianakis and Kristen Wiig will be filming in the Waynesville area on a closed set.

Local residents driving through Hazelwood during the next two weeks will likely notice filming trailers stationed at Hazelwood Elementary School, forming a base camp for the cast and crew members of the upcoming film, “Untitled Armored Car.”

Film stars Owen Wilson, Zach Galafianakis and Kristen Wiig each have their own trailer parked outside of the school, which serves as a resting place while the movie is being filmed in the Plott Creek and Waynesville neighborhoods.

The film crew rented out Hazelwood Elementary to have a central location for the actors and film extras, as well as a place to serve food provided from catering companies.

Bill Nolte, associate superintendent of Haywood County schools, said the film crew was paying a total of $2,490 to use two classrooms, the parking lot and the cafeteria (without the kitchen) for two weeks.

The filming set is closed to the public, and no one is allowed to watch or visit the set without permission. Vans can be seen shuttling cast and crew members to and from the school to the Plott Creek area, but no specific filming locations have been released.

A neighbor at a private dwelling in Plott Creek said the production team had asked him and his family not to discuss the film location or reveal anything that he might see during the filming process.

Pete Silbermann, a publicist with Armored Car Productions, said the film crew would be filming in Hazelwood through the end of next week.

“We knew we wanted to film in North Carolina because it has a strong crew base with talented crew members and it is also an incentive state, and that appeals to filmmakers,” Silbermann said. “We have found amazing filming locations in this greater Asheville area.”

For the next two weeks, the crew will be filming in Haywood County and commuting to Asheville to stay the night in hotels, Silbermann said. Even though they are staying in Asheville, they are will be traveling all over to film in locations including Waynesville, Franklin, Swannanoa, Fletcher, Asheville, Old Fort and Arden.

"Untitled Armored Car"— previously called "Loomis Fargo"— is based on the true story of the robbery of the regional vault of Loomis Fargo & Company that took place in Charlotte in 1997. The Loomis Fargo & Company heist was organized by an armored car driver and vault supervisor.

Silbermann said it was a joy to be working with director Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) and with the celebrities.

“Our director, Jared Hess, is the king of comedy,” Silbermann said. “And the cast is amazing. It’s just hilarious because they all know each other and they have a great repertoire, and they’re all just funny people.”

In this action comedy, David (Galifianakis) discovers the true meaning of adventure far beyond his wildest dreams. He is a simple man stuck in a monotonous life. Day in and day out, he drives an armored vehicle, transporting millions of other people's money with no escape in sight. The only glimmer of excitement is his flirtatious work crush on Kelly (Kristen Wiig) who soon lures him into the scheme of a lifetime.

Along with a group of half-brained criminals led by Steve (Owen Wilson) and an absurdly faulted heist plan, David manages the impossible and makes off with $17 million in cash ... only problem is he foolishly hands the money over to this wild group of double crossers and has been set up to take the fall. With the bandits blowing the millions on lavish and ridiculous luxuries, they leave behind a glaring trail of evidence. Now on the lam and in over his head, David must dodge the authorities and try to turn the tables on the ones he trusted most.

The film is expected to be released in the summer of 2015.