North Carolina set to cancel state filming incentive in January 2015
North Carolina faces a long-term production challenge as it is set to cancel its generous 25% filming incentive on 1st January 2015. The state has recently hosted high-profile productions like Under the Dome, but lawmakers want to redirect funds to boost other parts of the economy.
“Is it nice and glitzy?” Republican Senator Bob Rucho commented to the Wall Street Journal of the production industry: “Yeah, everybody likes Homeland. But is it worth spending the money on film credits? There's no evidence that it is.”
The senator’s comments contrast sharply with figures from the Motion Picture Association of America, which says Iron Man 3 delivered USD180 million into North Carolina’s economy from a filming incentive payment of USD20 million. Production spending in the first half of 2013 alone came to some USD250 million, according to figures from the North Carolina Film Office.
American attitudes towards filming incentives tend to divide along party lines. Conservatives generally oppose them, although there are liberal detractors too. Production spending often benefits local communities with a trickle-down effect, making the positive results harder to quantify. This strengthens the case against them, although figures can be made to fuel both sides of the argument.
Everybody likes Homeland. But is it worth spending the money on film credits? There's no evidence that it is.
Senator Bob Rucho
What’s indisputable is that filming incentives helped North Carolina attract the first Hunger Games film and Iron Man 3, as well as high-profile TV productions including Under the Dome, Revolution, Sleepy Hollow and the award-winning Homeland. North Carolina also offers state-of-the-art filming facilities in EUE/Screen Gems Studios.
If the filming incentive programme does come to an end in 2015, the state may struggle to sustain its industry-leading position.
To read more about Iron Man 3 filming in North Carolina click here.
(Under the Dome photo: Michael Tacktt/CBS)
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