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Budget of Film and Television in North Carolina

Dajai Patterson

WinstonSalem State University

March 2017
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In the years following up to 2015 the film and television industry was a natural

occurrence in the state of North Carolina mainly for the states agricultural and heavily

wooded areas. For years, North Carolina has been eyed by the industry not only for the

natural areas to film in, but the states tax incentives that where given to the production

for the project in production. Recently something has happened in the state that has

caused almost any production to pack up and head to another state, film and television is

a rare thing in the state now but there could be a change that some are looking forward to.

The film and television and industry in NC may be coming to resurgence.

It is no secret for what is the exact reason as to why the film and television industry has

begun to leave the state of North Carolina. The state, at one point, welcomed the industry

to certainly make certain places well know while possibly attracting tourist into the state

creating revenue and tourist attraction. Towards the end of 2014 the tax incentives given

out by the state, which is a system set up to incentivize, or encourage an economic

activity, have expired leaving nothing but a small budget for production cost with no

other encouragement to keep their work in North Carolina. The industry has realized that

there are other states that are willing to give those incentives that North Carolina once

gave. The film industry has utilized these incentives for years making great use of the

program to complete productions, acting as way to help production companies save on

production cost, while bringing money and attention to the state. The reporter of the

article, Bryan Mims (2015), interviewed many who are in the industry such as Johnny

Griffin, director of the Wilmington regional film commission, who said Projects do not

get made unless an incentive is part of the funding equation for the project,.
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In the 2017 election, North Carolina saw the rise of a new governor of the state. While

under the term of former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory, the state was subject to a

couple of unpopular bills to have been pass but the one that was so disliked by the film

and television industry was the one that would change the tax incentives into a grant

program for the industry. In 2014, then-Governor Pat McCrory overhauled the film

incentive program and created a grant program instead. The film incentive program

offered qualifying productions a 25% refundable credit, instead of a flat $10 million grant

(WWAY News). The film and television industry was hit with this news so surprisingly.

Not long after the grant program went into effect in 2015, the Wilmington Regional Film

Commissioner and city leaders held a news conference saying The grant program was

not enough to support the industry (WWAY News). Lawmakers eventually come to the

idea to increase the grant program from $10 million to $30 million, though it was an

increase it just was not enough to sustain the industry. This new governor of the state has

since promised that he is willing to bring back the tax incentives that the state had once

gave to the industry.

The new governor, Roy cooper is 100% on board to help the state and the film and

television industry. The states film industry would gain increased incentive funding in

Gov. Roy Coopers proposed state budgets for fiscal years 2017-18 and 2018-19 Craver

(2017). The governor is ready to replace the thing that has placed a hold on film and

television progression in the state. In March of 2017, the governor made a proposal that

would come into effect on January 1st. The new budget would include roughly $15

million to add towards the grant program for the remainder of 2017. Many of officials

from the governors office are excited to be a part of the reanimation that would be the
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film and television industry. The governors have been reported saying, North Carolinas

creative economy would benefit from converting the current film and entertainment grant

program to a film tax incentive to encourage the production of motion pictures, television

shows and commercials that pump millions of dollars into local economies, (2017). I

support doing more to attract film and television to North Carolina, as it fits with the

UNC School of the Arts . . . our state gets great benefits from having filming here that

draws tourists and others. (Rep. Donny Lambeth). It would be a safe bet to say that

North Carolina is certainly excited to see the film and television industry return.
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Gov. Roy Cooper wants to revive a tax incentive for film and tv productions. (2017, March 3)


Mims, B. (2015, July 3). NC film industry hopes state budget brings more funding.

Craver. R (2017, March 1) Gov. Cooper's budget would convert film production funding into tax