L.A. to Leland: Lorie and Jon Cornick’s Journey to Brunswick County
Lorie and Jon Cornick’s journey to northern Brunswick County began long before the couple met. It all started in 1991, when Jon came to Wilmington to work as production coordinator on his first movie, Super Mario Bros., and fell in love with the area.
As a film producer based in Los Angeles, Jon had many other opportunities to travel to this area for work. As he traveled back and forth over the years he made some very dear friends here. Then, one day, Jon met Lorie on a flight from Charlotte to Houston.
Lorie and Jon had an instant connection. Since she was living in Houston at the time, they dated long distance for a while. Five months later, he convinced her to move to L.A., where she cried nearly every day for the first six months because it never felt like home.
Lorie had her own chance to fall in love with southeastern North Carolina when she took a three-month sabbatical from work in L.A. to be with Jon while he was making a movie here.
“He literally took me back to L.A. kicking and screaming,” says Lorie. “I did not want to go home. The biggest thing for me was the people here. The people are so nice.”
Last year, Jon and Lorie decided to move here permanently.
“The passing of the new film incentive was really the impetus of us relocating here,” Jon says. “I knew the incentive would bring a lot more work not only to Wilmington, but to North Carolina as a whole.”
Jon has brought a number of projects to the Wilmington area because he enjoys working with the talented local crew base and he feels very close to the community.
“I just find the state a really beautiful place to call home, and for my business it is incredibly rich with different terrain and locations,” says Jon.
Jon had always liked “this side of the bridge,” and the couple had been visiting friends in Magnolia Greens when they heard about the community of Brunswick Forest.
“When we first entered Brunswick Forest we were both shocked with how beautiful it was,” says Lorie. “When we finished checking the place out, we thought, ‘Wow, we could really live here.’”
They were originally just looking for a place to rent, but the couple got lucky and ended up buying the home that they were renting. There was no need to look further. The decision for them to buy that particular house in Brunswick Forest was simple.
“We fell in love with our neighbors,” Lorie says, “Our neighbors are like family to us.”
“We also like everything the community has to offer — the amenities, the walking trails and a true sense of community,” says Jon. “We feel privileged to have found such a great place.”
The couple is quick to note the remarkable differences in the way of life in Leland compared to L.A.
“In L.A. at night we would hear fire trucks and helicopters,” says Lorie. “Here we lay in bed at night and it is so quiet, all we hear are frogs. It is so neat because we can see the stars. You never see stars where we used to live because of the smog.”
Even though Jon is busy being a frequent flyer, especially back and forth to L.A. for work and to visit family, he says he is used to it and doesn’t mind.
“At least it doesn’t take three hours to get to the airport because of traffic,” he says.
Lorie loves the fact that she is a lot closer to her family in Pennsylvania. However, when either of the Cornicks is away from Leland for any given amount of time, they just can’t wait to get back.
The Cornicks are settling into the area quite nicely and are active professionally as well as in their personal lives. Lorie works for North Carolina Biotechnology Center as their regional coordinator and she recently went on board as a contributor to Wilma magazine. With her background as a certified fitness trainer, she writes a column in the health and beauty section featuring tips on how to get into shape.
Jon is currently busy on post-production of two of his latest films, Bolden! and Hick, which were shot in the Wilmington area. Hick was accepted into the Toronto International Film Festival.
When Jon and Lorie are not working, they are busy with family, their new home and their many hobbies. All together they have four children. Jon has two from his previous marriage — Samantha, 12, and Owen, 10, who live in L.A. but enjoy making frequent visits east — and Lorie has two girls — Amanda, 27, who lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and their 4-month-old daughter, and Ashley, 22, who lives with Jon and Lorie and is working as a nanny for the triplets that are featured on the show Eastbound & Down. Jon and Lorie love spoiling their two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Charlotte and Houston, named after the flight where they first met.
“For us, a lot of the things we do together are projects,” says Jon. “We set our sights on something and we really immerse ourselves into it.”
They love being able to work on the yard and the house, something they weren’t able to do when they were renting a small condo in L.A.
“We are funny,” says Lorie. “We have this weekend routine where we get up, go to Starbucks and go to Lowe’s. We come home, do some planting, or fix whatever it may be.”
Lorie loves decorating their home and planting flowers in their lanai and has even started sewing lessons in hopes of making cute clothes for their new granddaughter.
Jon loves to cook and has developed a pasta sauce line that at some point he would love to market.
“I like cooking because it is very meditative for me,” he says.
Jon also enjoys playing guitar, watching and photographing the military aircraft that come in and out of the airport, landscaping and being fascinated by the two alligators in the pond out back — he’s nicknamed them Pinecone and Pinestraw.
Lorie and her daughter bike 10 to 14 miles almost every day in the community.
“It is a great place to ride, plus it is great for photography,” says Lorie.
This couple is not casual about photography. Both Jon and Lorie are avid photographers, so much so that they are planning on compiling a book of southeastern North Carolina photographs and hope to have it completed by spring of next year.
If those hobbies aren’t enough to keep them busy, Lorie’s father just gave them a 1974 21-foot Starcraft Holiday boat that they look forward to restoring.
“That will be another exciting pet project for us,” Lorie says.
Lorie and Jon also have some exciting future plans. Since they have yet to go on a honeymoon, they have hopes to soon visit Italy.
As far as for Brunswick County itself, they can’t say enough. They love going to Southport and taking day trips to Bald Head Island. They sing the praises of many of Leland’s local businesses, and they enjoy frequenting places such as Tony’s Pizza, Murray Art and Frame and Harris Teeter.
“Everything is relatively close by,” says Lorie. “It’s a different way of life and we feel so fortunate. It’s great. How could you not love living here?”