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By Cassie Foss

WILMINGTON, NC (StarNewsOnline.com) — Film, television and commercial productions spent more than $275 million in North Carolina and employed about 14,000 people in the past fiscal year, according to NC Department of Revenue records.

According to a film production tax credit report released this week, 30 productions looking to defray filming costs could collect nearly $70 million in tax credits from the state's general fund, thanks to North Carolina's film tax incentives.

Film companies collected a little more than $30 million in credits from the state in 2011, and about $2.4 million in 2010.

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17 Comments on "Films spent $278 million here, earned $69 million last year"

2015 years 10 months ago

must show a positive economic return on investment, otherwise they can not be awarded. I have neither the time nor desire to find and read the NC film incentive. However one might think that a person with little more to do than write essays daily on every issue local,state and federal and so well versed in every subject known to man could find within the NC Dept. of Economic Development the paragraph that addresses how film industry incentives bring value to our state. I would think that unless that $275 million was buried in the back yards of the various service companies with which it was spent that money may have gone toward income ,benefits,insurance,payroll taxes,property taxes and sales taxes. Your argument seems to suggest that the film industry and all those that service that industry just pack their bags. That’s a lot of service industry located in Wilmington NC that you so casually, are willing to see hurt.

2015 years 10 months ago

Graphing this?
2010 credits = $2.4M
2011 credits = $30M
2012 credits = $70M

This is a money losing proposition for the State of NC


Everett Hervey
2015 years 10 months ago

You clearly don’t understand what the article said, did you? The 69 million, is profit, that’s what they earned. The 278 million that was spent here, generating revenue for North Carolina businesses, is the number on which you should be focusing. We gave 70 million in incentives, and those incentives generated 278 million in revenue which otherwise would have gone to another state. They are a winning proposition for the state, and it’s back to economics class for you.

2015 years 10 months ago

Ohhhhhh, Mr. T… See if the community college offers some courses for your refreshment, try Economics 101 and a course in introductory finance and toss is some basic political science. When I began reading your post I was pleased that you were offering a sensible analysis but you quickly disappointed me.

Now, what you need to do is get up from your desk in the corner office in your ivory tower and go to the elevator. Ride that elevator down to the first floor and look around. The town clowns to which you refer are called voters and taxpayers. Those freshman level lawmakers are duly elected and are responding to those voters who put them in office.

Mr. T, you professionals are just not making the grade. Voters will stand for being fooled for only so long. At the end of the day voters and taxpayers want to see something in return for the employment of their tax dollars just as an investor seeks an increase in value or income from the investment of their funds.

You get paid for doing this… Why don’t you get some numbers crunched to let us unwashed taxpayer masses know what percentage of the payrolls of these film productions are paid to residents of this state and share your modeling assumptions that you say are so great?

2015 years 10 months ago

Nice words. Only one problem with them:

“My lens looks up the road and yours looks back down the road. Those that keep their eyes in the rear view glass never understand why they end up in wrecks.”

Problem is you’re going down the one way street the wrong way.
Try turning around.


2015 years 10 months ago

Of course I like you. You’re very entertaining. Now respect …..

7/21/12 You said: “The fact chef, is that I am just a lot smarter than you and much more experienced in the area of economic development.” Sounds like you’re saying the same stuff again. The proof is in the doing , not the saying. How’d that work out for you the last time oh great economic guru? Not so good?

C’mon T-Ball, anyone with just a modicum of familiarity with this kind of stuff would have taken the time to read through the incentive program. You didn’t. We did. As usual.

If you can ever, I repeat, ever bring youself to actually put some numbers together to substantiate whatever point it is you’re trying to make, I would be happy to listen to it.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to volunteer my cooking time at the Camp for the Rehabilitation of Wayward Supermodels. Hey, somebody’s got to suffer. Right?

2015 years 10 months ago

Mr T you make me wonder about things and that is not good.
You claim that the voters were short sighted about baseball – were they?
You claim that cities pay for stadiums now because of the cost.
We just had a PRIVATE company spend $258 MILLION in NC to make a movie called Iron Man 3 – 5 TIMES the cost of the stadium –and the state credited them $20 Million?
So, were the voters short sighted? Or, did they see through all the baloney ball park supporters were slinging?
Let’s revive the ball park discussion and say this to Atlanta:
“You pay for the stadium and the city will grant you tax credits equal to the amount of monies it will cost you MINUS your share but at a minimum the city will “credit” you $37M over 20 years.
Thank Atlanta will go for it? Even you said they wouldn’t because, as you said “It’s just NOT done that way anymore.”
But here we have a private company spending 5 times that amount UP FRONT and getting “only”$20M in tax credits.
The voters weren’t short sighted Mr T – IM3 proves they weren’t. Company’s do get investors to pay for up front movie costs. Mandalanta said they had no private investors. Perhaps the stadium wasn’t “attractive enough” for investors? Perhaps that’s why they wanted US to pay for it upfront?
And you say voters were short sighted?
Or were ballpark supports just a bunch of lying sacks of excrement playing on the ”stupidity“ of the voting public? The movie industry shows there’s money out there for investing.
But voters were a LOT sharper than Mandalanta, YOU, Duke, WDI, The C of C, Saffo, O’Grady and the DBA. IM3 PROVES it.


2015 years 10 months ago

“I would think that unless that $275 million was buried in the back yards of the various service companies with which it was spent that money may have gone toward income ,benefits,insurance,payroll taxes,property taxes and sales taxes”

Hate to break it to you but I broke that down already in another blog post based upon the fantasy numbers generated by the film industry itself.

“Your argument seems to suggest that the film industry and all those that service that industry just pack their bags.”

Now there you go again putting words in my mouth to buttress your false claims. I am against all incentives by our state government. I am particularly against incentives to bring temporary positions to our town. As I have stated repeatedly OTHER states are far ahead of us on this as they have other revenues streams to tap into such as oil etc. We don’t and we are giving away ever increasing incentives for limited if not ZERO return.

Just where were these service industries before film incentives took off? They were right here in our back yard and they will remain if film goes away.

You were wrong – VERY wrong about the stadium, and I told you, and your cohort PUKE that the multiplier affects used by NSS in THAT report were highly inflated – as they are here, and THIS industry only provides for temporary or part time employment. IMPLAN multipliers may not even apply to part time projects !!!
$275M is the business generated NOT the revenues collected.
The question for the STATE and the industry is, is it worth the ever increasing incentive numbers?
The answer, given the limited numbers the industry has provided is NO.
Verizon’s incentives have been paid back many times over.
PPD’s has as well
But a single project lasting only months (if that) has little to no impact over the long term.
Keep trying Mr. T – you like to spend other peoples money
I don’t mind – just make it worth my while


2015 years 10 months ago

Movie advertises for extras.
Monday Vog works gets paid $50
Weds Vog gets another scene – gets paid $50
Fri – Vogs exhausted after a 3rd day of $50/day work

The film company claims that’s 3 jobs created.
One person – 3 different days
Now multiply that by hundreds.
This is totally legitimate but completely obfuscates the job creation numbers. Its kinda like unemployment – sure 7.5% is better but how many dropped off the dole after completely exhausting their benny’s?
40 extras used on 12 different days by industry standards is 480 jobs created – even if they were the same people.
And how many of those people filed 1099’s?

Mr T – the state is STUPID – get it through your head. I provide a receipt to the state for 4 nights at ChefnSurfs Shangrila Hotel and Propane Tank Filling Emporium that comes to $1500 the state considers that an expenditure – whether I stayed there or not. Auditors? Oh puh-lease.
Provide the receipts and they’re counted.

This is a give away with lax oversight requiring NO confirmed return on investment. The state thinks of it as “hey they’re spending the money here”, and they pay up.

Chef – I apologize if you took offense – you DO have the best gas in town.

2015 years 10 months ago

….. to find (really easy) and read (also really easy with it’s PDF format) the NC film incentive program.

It doesn’t state specifically that a positive ROI is required nor does it set up specific requirements to define one.

Not surprised that you, personally, had no desire to find or read it. From past experience with one of your massively failed campaigns, we all know that numbers were never your strong suit. When it comes to blather, on the other hand, you approach the level of consummate artist extraordinaire.

Without a specific positive ROI to back you up, your blather, as usual, simply becomes yet another one of your unsubstantiated conjectures.

2015 years 10 months ago

you and I see the world through two completely different sets of lens.
My lens looks up the road and yours looks back down the road. Those that keep their eyes in the rear view glass never understand why they end up in wrecks.
North Carolina Economic incentives require a stated return on investment or they are not allowed to be awarded. You forgot that issue in your last essay. Feel free to clear this up, however it might require a little more work than just talking in circles.
Based on the other posts on this subject and the latest poll from wway is seems most readers share my lens.
You can also put the baseball issue to rest. Baseball, because of short sighted and narrow minded people aint never going to take another look at Wilmington! What a shame!

2015 years 10 months ago

your new found computer skills. If I didn’t know better,Chef I would think you don’t like me. What a shame my heart breaks easy.
Now I don’t know which shift you work at the camp ground but I do know that you know nothing about NC Economic Development Commission. I on the other hand have spent much of my life recruiting business and writing incentive packages for Industry to locate here in NC. All incentive package must provide a positive revenue projection that ensure NC a positive return on the dollars requested from the incentive package. All packages are required to perform as projected or the incentive can be withdrawn or altered. Now, this does not mean that all projects are not risky or have no possibility of failure. It just means that the project can be evaluated by professionals and that there is reasonable cause to take on the project risk. I know that there have been plenty of town clowns that don’t like or fear incentive programs but When have you heard anyone from the Commerce Dept. say that we are making a mistake with the film Industry. The noise comes mostly from freshman level law makers trying to make a name for themselves.

2015 years 10 months ago


There is no requirement for return on investment
Only that they show monies being spent.
This is a tax credit from STATE government not private investments in a business venture.

There are no requirements for ROI for film incentives. All hey need to do is spend MORE than $250,000 and prove it.
Show me a link if I am in error


2015 years 10 months ago

in the right direction. Take just a couple more baby steps and you will get there.
It’s more simple than you think. It was determined at the time of incentive what the minimum expenditure must be to qualify for the percentage against revenue. The state commerce dept. calculated that a positive return at the percentage being offered as tax credit performed in a positive return for the State. The incentive could not have been offered otherwise. Economic Incentives have governing regulations that are strict. It’s not a hey boys and girls I got a good idea program.
I don’t want to argue with you but I do know how the process works.
Looking to bill langue in the house doesn’t explain the process and the rules behind the bill. All incentive packages must be approved. Nobody has a blank check in commerce.

2015 years 10 months ago

Nope, wrong.
Even if you consider all wage taxes and all expenditures the state does not get to break even
I did the calculations based upon the info from the NC FIlm commission, and I ASSUMED all purchases were subject to taxation, which Wilmington Taxpayer pointed out was wrong.
Try again. You might convince yourself you’re smart

2015 years 10 months ago

If they spent $278M and the state collected 7%
What does that give the state for profit Robert?

You can do it Robert
I know you can


Guest Reply
2015 years 10 months ago

Don’t think Robert will be back here for filming another movie. So many people seem to hate the fact the movie business even exist here any more.
Then again…there’s our city council and their follies which would make a good Reality Show. And where has Saffo been lately? He ain’t in the news no Moe!


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