Are We Still the Hollywood of the East?

What do Jennifer Lawrence, Will Ferrell, and Nicholas Sparks all have in common? Other than being well-known in the film industry, they have all brought their talents to North Carolina. The state of North Carolina, specifically Wilmington, has been the home of over 130 feature films not including television shows. Some of these films include Iron Man 3, A Walk to Remember, We’re the Millers, and Safe Haven. North Carolina is called “Hollywood of the East,” offering a variety of environments, from the mountains to the beach to city and the country, the state provides many location and scenery options for productions to take place. Another thing that was attractive to directors and producers was the NC Film Incentive.

Just the word “incentive” shows that there is something special about filming in North Carolina that would be beneficial to any production. But what is happening to the NC Film Incentive? The NC Film incentives are currently changing from a rebate to more of a grant, with rules that are still somewhat undefined. says that “North Carolina’s film tax credit program will expire on Dec. 31, 2014. Lawmakers have replaced it with a grant program that currently has $10 million available for the first six months of 2015.” The incentives will then have to compete with other important state projects, like school changes and road construction. This $10 million is receiving a lot of scrutiny considering the fact that there was over $61 million claimed in 2013.

Offering supportive data in keeping the incentives as they were, a study conducted by North Carolina State University was done to see how much the film and television industry helps the state. They found that the state does in fact make their money back. “For every $1 spent in film and television credits, the film and television industry generated $1.52 of tax revenue and $9.10 of direct spending.” 

The impact that the film and television industry has on our state seems to be somewhat overlooked. There are more people affected by the presence of the film industry than just producers and directors. Catering, transportation, and local businesses in general are largely impacted by productions choosing North Carolina as a temporary home.

Without the large incentives, do you think we’ll be able to continue marketing North Carolina as a prime filming location to keep the projects coming?

By: Kelli Hall, Stephanie Jordan, Morgan McCleaf, Shawn Rause, and Danielle Walters

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