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Exec: Screen Gems committed to Wilmington despite Miami expansion

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Screen Gems is expanding down south.

EUE/Screen Gems Studios already has facilities in New York, Atlanta and, of course, Wilmington. And in about 15 months, it will have yet another studio in Miami.

"I think it is wonderful," said Chris Miller, a set costumer working on the TV show "Under the Dome" in Wilmington.

Miller says he has a lot of friends in Florida, and from what he hears, business is slow, so he is hoping Screen Gems' new studio will fix that and help Wilmywood along the way.

"Hopefully it will bring more business here, have the two studios together," Miller said. "Hopefully."

While he and many others we spoke with off camera are excited for the expansion, some worry it could pull business from the Port City.

"As long as it wouldn't take work away from the people in Wilmington, I would be all for it," actor John Bonner said.

Bonner has worked as an extra in "Eastbound & Down," "Sleepy Hollow" and "Under the Dome" to name a few. He says it is important to keep the money coming to Wilmington and in the pockets of those who need it most.

"You've got a lot of retired people up north come down here and do the extra work, and they come in and they pick up a lot of, you know, kind of subsidize their salary," Bonner said.

In a statement EUE/Screen Gems Studio COO and co-owner Chris Cooney said the Wilmington studio remains the largest studio complex outside of California. He says the company is in full support of and actively working toward extending film incentives in North Carolina to keep Wilmywood in full force.

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EUE

EUE (Ending U "You" Employment)...or ...Ernie Ulysses's Ergenstein.

Makes me wonder

I thought the new Atlanta studio would be larger than ILM's?
While this FLA studio would be smaller the fact remains that a newer studio in Florida and Atlanta would be cannibalizing each other looking for work - which would not be good for any of them.

A lower tax environment that is business friendly is FAR more efficient at attracting not only filming but ALL businesses.
Targeted, specific incentives that are based upon monies spent and NOT taxes paid are inefficient and wasteful:

http://ftpcontent4.worldnow.com/wect/PDFs%20for%20stories/Film.PDF

Our own Legislative study says it too..

Vog

I completely agree Vog

My husband works on movies, so technically I directly benefit from film incentives. However, a more business friendly climate in North Carolina (through greatly reduced or eliminated corporate taxes) would benefit not only the film industry but ALL North Carolinians. Of course, trying to convince the die hard liberal film community of this is like trying to fill the ocean with a garden hose. They just don't get it.

The truth comes out - by mistake

It couldn't be said more clearly. "You've got a lot of retired people up north come down here and do the extra work, and they come in and they pick up a lot of, you know, kind of subsidize their salary," So, instead of locals, with homes and local ties, you have the "out of towners" coming in, collecting money, and leaving. Other than the subsidized food, and gas for their trailers, how does that help any part of NC's economy?

If they are, say a New York resident paying New York taxes - or wait.... a resident of a state were there are no state taxes, they don't even contribute to NC's tax base. Since they are "independent contractors", the fact that they worked here doesn't even come into play. They file in their state of residence, and it ain't NC.

Nice try

I think he meant they retire here as in move here, and that's what they do to supplement their income. I can tell you that casting directors use locals 99% of the time.