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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The state’s film incentive has caused a big problem for North Carolina, but it’s a good one to have. We have so many productions underway, it’s getting tough to find local crew members to work on set. Gov. Bev Perdue says $1 million could provide a solution.

Since Perdue signed an improved film incentive into law in 2010, 25 productions have taken advantage of it. Many of those have filmed in the state at the same time.

“We have a strong local crew, and it’s deep,” Screen Gems Studios Executive VP Bill Vassar said. “We can do five to six shows at a time without bringing people in from outside.”

It’s not deep enough. Our state has seen a 185-percent increase in movie and TV productions since 2010. We need more crew members, and we need them quickly. That’s why the governor has included $1 million in her proposed budget to create a workforce training program at Cape Fear Community College and in Winston-Salem.

“Those courses will train North Carolinians for real jobs in the growing film and TV industry here, and they’ll do it pretty quickly,” Gov. Perdue said during a visit to Screen Gems Wednesday.

This five to 10-week training program would provide skills that individual productions need. The governor says that’s something that would make North Carolina unique.

“It will be the only state in America that can promise them we will give them a tailored, trained workforce to do whatever it is unusual or necessary to make their production really successfully and to get it in the can on time,” Gov. Perdue said.

The program isn’t just for college students. Construction workers, plumbers and other sub-contractors who are out of work right now, would be able to take this course to hone their skills for set work. This program will train as many as 400 people for the jobs the film industry needs. Local film industry professionals will teach the program.

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9 Comments on "As Hollywood East booms, Perdue proposes $1M to train movie crew"

2015 years 8 months ago

position on education taken by her during her term of office.

But, I hope she now steps back and allows the school staffs to do their jobs.

This sounds like something from Jim Hunt’s mind; and he was pretty good in recruiting foriegn and out of state industries to relocate to NC when the textile industry started nose diving while he was Governor.

There are plenty of job training funds available for individuals which could reduce the amount taken from the pot by the State’s spoon.

Leland Gal
2015 years 8 months ago

There are a lot of movie people that are not being hired. The Iron Man movie is bring lots of help from the Calif. State. Hiring the North Carolina people that live here would help us. By bring in crews and catering from out of state is wrong. It has always been that way since Screen Gems opened. There should be a way to stop this since they are getting a tax break from North Carolina… How about TV 3 checking on this for us. Thank you

2015 years 8 months ago

“Iron Man” has plenty of local crew working. Yes, they did have to bring in some people, because there weren’t enough trained technicians within the region. It’s so busy right now-from the mountains to Winston-Salem, Charlotte and here in Wilmington, if you are NOT working and you are fully qualified, I’m sorry to say it, but it’s your own fault!

veteran film tech
2015 years 8 months ago

No one seems to get it in any State. I’ve been working for over 20 years as a paid technician on major film studio productions and the way I barely stay busy is because of YEARS of experience and training. This is not something you’re going to get going to some community college for a semester and this is why producers will continue to bring in qualified help from Los Angeles, the capital of film production in North America. Meanwhile they will continue to pocket the incentive money from whatever state is robbing the taxpayers to play a political game of pretending to rebuild the failing job markets of that state(like a Governor seeking re-election). Recent examples include Iowa and Michigan which saw a swell of production and the minute they pulled back the reins on the incentive monster, producers fled….along with the jobs. Residents of North Carolina – don’t be fooled again. You will pay for a few people to get temporary jobs while your tax dollars will go back to LA and the studio pockets there. BTW I grew up in Michigan and fled that failing economy decades ago. I’m now based in LA and will probably be working in North Carolina very soon, taking my money back to California with me. When they finally cap your incentive program say Bon Voyage to all the productions flocking to your state. They will find another Casino to throw dice – in another state.

2015 years 8 months ago

When I saw the claim yesterday in the StarNews, that the “Film productions add $121M, 10,500 jobs to N.C. economy,” I was on the lookout for the punch line. The numbers are hard to swallow. Then you have to think of the Tax incentive. The jobs are temporary for the most part. And last but not least, the good jobs belong to Union Workers. So how much is Gov. Bev. Perdue getting for this Pitch? Oh yeh, She is for same sex marriage. $1 million can go a long way to feed, clothe, medicine and homes. BTW, I don’t see too many retired film industry people in my neighborhood. But I do see plenty of retired teachers. The real court jesters are in the photograph. It’s amazing what politicians priorities are.

2015 years 8 months ago

“We need them quickly”….
My friend has 21 movies under his belt, his union dues are paid up, and yet he has been waiting around to be called to the set for 6 weeks now. They keep telling him not to take on any big jobs, just in case they call him and to be ready. Meanwhile, the bills are stacking up. What’s up with that???

2015 years 8 months ago

he’s foolish enough to believe whomever is telling him not to take on big projects. Why would he be so foolish? Sounds like he has no one to blame but himself or those giving him free advice.

2015 years 8 months ago

The union isn’t telling him not to take jobs. If this guy isn’t working, when there are at least 7 or 8 productions going on state-wide, it might be because of other reasons. You get jobs in this industry by word-of-mouth generally, and personal recommendations outweigh resumes.
ANd we do need more crew people trained to sustain the business. The average age of a lot of the crew that started in the DEG days is probably 45-50 and will either retire or leave the business within 10-15 years.

2015 years 8 months ago

With the exception of extras and services such as equipment rentals, crew housing, etc…..90% of the Iron Man 3 crew is non-local. Ask around. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1300854/fullcredits#cast


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