News Column

NC film industry remains strong, mid-year figures show

July 12, 2013

YellowBrix

July 12--Six months into 2013, the North Carolina Film Office reports a production tally of $250 million in direct in-state spending and 25,000 job opportunities for North Carolinians.

As of July 1, more than 35 productions had filed "intent to film" forms indicating that they have filmed or will film in the Tar Heel State. The resulting activity accounts for more than 4,300 production days spread across at least 30 counties. The job opportunities include more than 3,000 crew positions for the state's highly skilled film professionals, 1,000 well-paying talent opportunities and 21,000 background talent positions.

"North Carolina continues to be a preferred location in the film industry," said North Carolina Film Office Director Aaron Syrett. "Our talented crew base, vast array of locations and the state's tax incentive -- while not the largest in the nation, it's certainly the smartest -- provide filmmakers and industry leaders the right mix for bringing their productions here and showcasing them to viewers worldwide."

Television series have chalked up a large number of production days, starting with the final first-season episodes of the hit NBC series Revolution. Next came the pilot for Sleepy Hollow, which FOX Broadcasting Company picked up. The series begins filming its entire first season later this month in North Carolina. Returning series Banshee, Eastbound & Down and the multi-award winner Homeland were joined by the CBS summer breakout series Under the Dome. In addition, several reality series have been shooting in the state.

In regard to films, the studio feature "Tammy" recently wrapped its production while the independent features "Careful What You Wish For," "The Remaining," "An Evergreen Christmas," "The World Made Straight" and "Grass Stains" have all hired North Carolina film professionals and talent during their production.

Made-for-television movies including "The Ultimate Life," "The Perfect Summer" and Norman Rockwell's "Shuffleton's Barbershop" have also used North Carolina as their backdrop. In addition, national commercials for Fiat, PepsiCo, Planters Peanuts and NASCAR have been filmed in the state.

The mid-year figures are a strong follow-up to 2012's record-breaking year-end totals, which showed more than $376 million in direct in-state spending over 4,100 production days. The activity created nearly 20,000 job opportunities, including more than 4,100 crew positions.

Over the past five years (and before 2013), productions have had a direct in-state spend of more than $1 billion. The state has seen a sharp increase in production since 2010, when lawmakers passed bi-partisan legislation that increased the refundable tax credit to 25 percent on all goods and services purchased from North Carolina vendors and for wages paid to those performing work in the state. Productions must spend at least $250,000 in the state to qualify for the tax credit, which is given back only after productions have completed their in-state spend and the North Carolina Department of Revenue has performed an audit.

The N.C. Film Office is part of the state Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development within the Department of Commerce.

Its primary responsibilities are to recruit productions to North Carolina by marketing the state's assets, which include the film incentive, the crew base, established infrastructure and locations statewide. The NCFO also assists productions with securing permits and handling other logistics and works hand-in-hand with film commissions in the Wilmington, Research Triangle, Piedmont Triad, Charlotte and Western regions.

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(c)2013 The Tribune (Elkin, N.C.)

Visit The Tribune (Elkin, N.C.) at elkintribune.com

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