Award-Winning television producer films “A Weekend In Tryon” for PBS NC

Published 8:00 am Friday, May 13, 2022

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PBS NC spent four days in Tryon filming our beautiful town for the PBS NC show, North Carolina Weekend. Many readers likely know this show that showcases places to visit and things to do and explore, as their tagline is  “all our state has to offer” – from performing arts, to delicious food, outdoor adventures and area attractions. The shoot was led by local, award-winning television producer Clay Johnson. Johnson moved to Tryon in June 2021 with his wife, who have spent over 25 years adventuring in western North Carolina.


Johnson and his crew, photographer David Tyson and audio engineer Anthony Sozio visited the Tryon Fine Arts Center, the Tryon Arts and Crafts School, the Tryon Historical Museum, the Tryon Theater, downtown businesses, and area attractions including Pearson’s Falls and The Tryon International Equestrian Center conducting interviews and directing the filming. He says the finished product will be an eight to 12-minute segment profiling the town and some of its residents. 

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The economic impact of a shoot of this type, which will be broadcast on PBS channels statewide, is huge.


“I regularly hear from businesses that we have featured on the show that say it brought them lots of business. Two I know of physically expanded their businesses due to the response they got from being featured on ‘North Carolina Weekend.’ I can assure you that people will visit Tryon after seeing the feature segment we produced on the town and will spend money in the shops and restaurants here.”


Johnson began working with PBS NC (then UNC-TV) in the late ’90’s producing segments for a nightly news magazine show called “North Carolina Now.” He started producing segments for the “North Carolina Weekend” show when it launched in the mid-2000’s.  In 2001 PBS NC also commissioned him to produce a documentary about teaching called “No Greater Calling” that was distributed on PBS stations nationwide. 


“I thoroughly enjoy producing segments for the ‘North Carolina Weekend’ show, because I meet so many interesting people and visit so many wonderful places,” says Johnson.“I’ve always had an interest in filmmaking, photography and news, so in college I chose to major in broadcast journalism which allowed me to blend both of those worlds.”


Johnson says the segment on Tryon will premiere on North Carolina Weekend in late July and he’ll share the date when it’s announced.  Each episode of North Carolina Weekend premieres on PBS NC Thursday nights at 9 p.m. After the premier you’ll be able to see that episode and segment streaming on demand anytime. The easiest way to find it is to Google “North Carolina Weekend” which will direct you to its webpage. There you can see all the shows and segments as well as on PBS NC’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.


By Debra Torrence