North Carolina production industry presses to save filming incentives
North Carolina’s production industry has reiterated the importance of the state’s generous filming incentives. The 25% refundable tax credit has attracted productions like the Stephen King miniseries Under the Dome, but the incentive is set to expire at the end of 2014.
“Whenever there is a sunset date, that in itself produces uncertainty for the studios,” Producer and Unit Production Manager Dale Williams said as part of a panel discussion at the Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington, according to Star News (SN): “Films and shows that are being planned 18 and 24 months out are not looking at North Carolina because they don't know what is going to happen 18 months from now.”
Joe Chianese, moderating the discussion in his role as executive vice-president of sponsor EP Financial Services, stated that filming incentives were now part of the everyday production process.
“Incentives will always be here and if North Carolina's go away, another state or country will come in and replace it. I think that the state legislature needs to know that this is a global business and it is an expensive business, and it needs to be incentivised and subsidised. That is what producers want.”
North Carolina has become one of the top production hubs in the US since its filming incentive programme was launched in 2010. The state has had major feature successes with the first Hunger Games and Iron Man 3, while it also hosts high-profile TV series like domestic terrorism drama Homeland, Under the Dome and new supernatural crime show Sleepy Hollow.
Films and shows that are being planned 18 and 24 months out are not looking at North Carolina because they don't know what is going to happen 18 months from now.
Dale Williams, Producer/Unit Production Manager
As is the case in much of the US, however, the filming incentive is unpopular among conservatives and there’s considerable pressure to reallocate the funds. “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,” EUE/Screen Gems Studios executive vice-president Bill Vassar told SN recently.
To read more about Iron Man 3 filming in North Carolina click here.
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