WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Hollywood East is riding a wave of momentum after consecutive banner years, but industry leaders say without help it could soon come to an abrupt halt despite all of the success.
“We lived out here for eight months doing Iron Man 3, and we really enjoyed the people, and enjoyed the location and decided to move here,” said film industry transplant Greg Blackwell.
With success stories filling Hollywood East industry leaders say the stars have never shined brighter, but with the current film incentives set to expire in January it could pull the plug on future projects.
“My feeling is if there is an elected official out there who has not been able to attract Caterpillar, or Continental Tire, or major manufacturer to this state in a number of years and they want to shut down the film industry and chase 4000 jobs away I would be careful about re-election,” said EUE Screen Gems Executive Vice President Bill Vassar.
With four television series currently shooting in town the Wilmington Film Commission says lawmakers need to simply take a look at the repeat business and how shows like the ABC pilot Secrets & Lies could be economic booms for the Tar Heel State.
“To be able to know that we have that business here that all started with a pilot of one show, and potentially can turn into something like One Tree Hill that’s here for nine years, and spends in excess of $300,000,000 that’s a home run for us,” said Johnny Griffin of the Wilmington Film Commission. “We’re certainly hoping to have more of those successes.”