Written by on Oct 21, 2013. Posted in Incentive News

North Carolina production industry fights for filming incentive extension

North Carolina’s production industry is fighting to have the state’s filming incentive programme extended beyond the end of 2014. The region is a thriving production hub, but conservative politicians are spearheading a move to direct the incentive funds to other parts of the economy.

“We’re not just talking about attracting glamorous, big-name productions to North Carolina,” EUE/Screen Gems Studios executive vice-president Bill Vassar told Star News: “It’s about the vendors, skilled workers and crew. These are the people whose jobs depend upon the future of the film credit. These are the folks we need to protect.”

Conservatives, however, remain unconvinced of how much money is actually fed into the local economy from location filming. The persistent suggestion is that already-wealthy producers and film stars from out-of-state benefit the most from incentive programmes.

North Carolina has had a booming few years and currently hosts high-profile TV productions Under the Dome and Sleepy Hollow, as well as the award-winning domestic terrorism drama Homeland. The state’s 25% refundable filming tax credit is a major factor in attracting productions, especially for TV shoots that seek out long-term security for multi-season runs. North Carolina will lose much of its appeal if its incentive is allowed to expire at the end of 2014.

We’re not just talking about attracting glamorous, big-name productions to North Carolina. It’s about the vendors, skilled workers and crew.

Bill Vassar, EUE/Screen Gems Studios

The Motion Picture Association of America supports the case to extend the incentive programme, having recently released figures showing that North Carolina made USD180 million from hosting Iron Man 3, having paid Marvel an incentive of USD20 million. In the first half of 2013, general production spending came to USD250 million, according to the North Carolina Film Office.

(Under the Dome photos: Michael Tacktt/CBS)


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