Film industry employee writes letter to the governor

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Submitted: Fri, 05/09/2014 - 3:11am
Updated: Fri, 05/09/2014 - 12:03pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– One local employee of the film industry is taking matters of the tax incentive into her own hands.

Dale Williams sent a letter to Governor Pat McCrory asking for a meeting to discuss the future of film employees in our state.

She has been in the film industry for 25 years and she says it’s time for the governor to take a stand.

She’s asking for a one on one meeting with the governor and members of the film industry.

Saying the impact and importance of the film industry to the state of North Carolina and Wilmington is really undeniable.

“It’s not like I can just start over in another industry. This is a business I am very passionate about so I will stay in it,” said Williams, “It just may be that I’ll have to leave North Carolina to do it.”

At this point Williams has not heard back from Gov. McCrory about the meeting she’s requesting.

What she wants is simple; to see those film incentives included in this year’s budget.

We reached out to the governor’s office for comment and have yet to get a response.


  • guest2291 says:

    i moved away from north carolina, because i couldnt get a decent job in the industry i specialize in. i was born in north carolina and educated in north carolina, and i too care about the state. but why should north carolina support your industry? what makes your industry so special? if you industry truly needed to be in nc, there would be no need for incentives. but there is little investment that is actually made from these incentives. its simply BS. the problem with the economy in wilmington is that it depends on tourism and film, but it doesnt help wilmington grow economically, and provides an uneducated workforce, or over educated workforce. stop your whining, and keep your hands to your self.

  • No Free Handouts says:

    Curious that an “employee of the film industry” wrote a letter to an elected official asking for continued handouts using a last name other than her own. A quick review of publicly available information shows that Ms. Williams (Fowlkes) uses several different combinations of names as it suits her. I’ve seen versions of her name using Martha, Dale, Kirk, Williams and Fowlkes, as well as a couple others that I couldn’t verify were actually describing her. In fact,several industry pages use the term “as” when mentioning one version or another of her name.

    In the end, the name on the letter doesn’t match the name she uses to vote.

    Nothing derogatory about the person here. Just stating facts that can be easily verified by others.

  • Fhhtt says:

    You people really need to stop being so naive. He is trolling you. Why are you so dense that you can’t get that? It’s the internet. He isn’t a professional extra. He is probably a production assistant at WWAY and he passes the time by trolling people like you who seem to spend hours a day reading and commenting on a local news website.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    the film industry in NC.

    I’m not for state funded rebates and bribes to induce the pandering decision makers to keep production in state.

    I’m also against extended Food Stamps, Section 8 housing, or any of the other giveaway programs funded with taxpayer dollars.

    Now, you confused me. All of the other supporters base their case on all of the well paying jobs. You indicate you make minimum wage. Slight conflict in data.

    You state you will not get a job. That’s your personal decision. Why should hard working taxpayers fund incentives which promote your decision not to work.

    Read some biographies. Virtually every star got their chance by moving to NY or California. Why would you think a backwater town like Wilmington is your gateway to stardom?

    Virtually every star appeared in off broadway type productions to hone their acting skills.

    Virtually every big name star worked menial jobs to support themselves while they honed their skills and sought the eye of some producer who would give them the big break.

    What makes you feel entitled or special that you should not walk the same proven path so many stars have trod?

    Sorry, but I and the vast majority of tax payers will combat any attempt to continue bribing and rebating for pandering, no loyalty to the community movie producers and decision makers.

    And I understand economics as well as the budget making process. The state does not have the funds necessary to fund rebates; increase teacher and state employee salaries; repair state infrastructure; and carry on the other aspects of state business.

    As the saying goes, you’re beating a dead horse.

  • MG says:

    I fully support you going for your dream. Everyone should.

    However, please explain to me why taxpayers should subsidize your journey towards your dream any more than someone who wants a career outside of your industry?

    The film industry and other industries are playing states off of one another. They ALL should stop these incentives and let film compete and choose locations like any other business has to.

  • Batboyetta says:

    I am a batboy, a professional batboy and I have worked in 27 games played here in Wilmington by our local semi-pro team. I’ve got talent, you should just see me hand out those bats, and I love the work, and I think eventually I will be discovered and become a well known professional ball player.

    Since the baseball team pays only minimum wage for my work as a batboy, I can barely make ends meet so I try to get others to pay for my unrealistic lifestyle. But I refuse to get a job because I am not giving up on my dream of becoming a baseball star even if it is totally self centered.

    It’s the love of game, the allure of fame that keeps me plugging along hoping someday for a playing roll.

    Please, please, please. We need the baseball industry here in ILM for the hundreds like me who are dreaming of stardom. So what if others have to pick up the tab. Life is totally about just me and the rest of you should realize that by now.

    Please give your support to baseball. Better yet, build a giant stadium with taxpayer dollars, except mine of course, because I don’t actually pay any taxes.

    Thank you for reading my plea.

    (Starletta, if my post sounds pretty dumb to you, just re-read your own post. You’ll find them to be identical twins.)

  • Guest1234567890 says:

    A professional extra???? You must be kidding.

    You sound just like those people on American Idol who think they can sing only to be crushed when the truth is revealed.

    Honestly, after 27 films of not being discovered, you might want to look into another profession. I’d love to be a professional golfer, but reality is often brutal.

    And you should thank me because my tax dollars are paying for your food stamps.

  • Michael says:

    Hey Starletta, go get a job, there’s no discoverys happining, think about it, 27 films, give it a rest, I’m in the business, and see you extras all the time, just a piece of the puzzle, cattle as I call them, good luck, but wouldn’t count on anything…

  • Guest2020 says:

    For some reason your post made me think of that Schoolhouse Rock “Bill” who was sitting on Capitol Hill dreaming of becoming a law someday.

  • Guest2020 says:

    I guess Starletta thinks that she can be the next Skeet Ulrich.

  • Vog46 says:

    I am not who you think I am.
    Now as far as your veiled attempt at misdirection goes

    Try disproving the information in my post using non MPAA (read independent) studies.

    Thanks, and have a nice day


  • joshjenkins says:

    There is NO “Pete Vogolio” in North Carolina. This is a pseudonym and this fellow has an agenda to respond every pro-film incentive news article nationwide, whether in Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, etc.

    Work in your OWN state, “Pete” if you want to bring the work back to California!

  • SurfCityTom says:

    it’s sounding like 1 on many.

    She wants the Governor to meet with her and members of the film community.

    That could be akin to Sitting Bull asking Custer to meet with the Sioux at the Lttle Big Horn river for a barbecue.

    But, I am challenged to understand how so few members of the film industry, their families, and all of the business owners, who are reported to be on the brink of doom and destruction, could not spare an hour or 2 to attend the Big Rally in Wilmington; but they’ll have the 5 hours for round trip travel to Raleigh; time spent in the anteroom awaiting the Governor; time for him to make some opening comments; time for their presentation; and time for closure. They’re all so busy working 70+ hours each week.

    Seems to be a conflict.

    UNLESS, they have the ego to think the Governor should journey, hat in hand, to Wilmington.

  • 10101 says:

    Unbelievable! A local employee of the film industry wants a one-on-one with the Governor so she can tell him him why it’s so important to give her industry a money losing handout.

    That’s the problem with the film industry these days; they think they’re so above the rest of us that they can just demand whatever comes to mind no matter how outrageous it is.

  • Vog46 says:

    ” And they rarely provide any proof of what economic detriment the film industry causes to the state.”

    You’ve GOT to be kidding me”


    Molly – not one film supporter has refuted ANYTHING these guys said. Both of these reports clearly indicate the state loses anywhere between 81 and 72 cents per dollar
    Is THAT enough economic detriment for you?
    I also AGREE with you that Duke needs to pay for the coal ash situation and PAY BIG – and I have always agreed film jobs are clean jobs.
    The problem is that your lack of response to these studies proves you have no independent information to support your arguments.
    Then of course there’s this one that no one has refuted in any way shape or form:

    Prof Handfield himself did NOT respond to these questions raised BEFORE he released his study and now all he says is he stands by his work – well Duh-uh – it was paid for by MPAA!!!!
    Find me something, anything, independently done.
    The evidence is OVERWHELMING against incentives having a positive economic impact. EVEN SC knows this but passed incentives anyway proving that the GOP can be just as stupid as Democrats when it comes to film incentives.
    The spending done, per film job created, is wasteful spending any way you slice it and dice it.


  • Vog46 says:

    Albert – Josh – we are waiting.
    Refute the studies
    “Oh but Vog’s not Vog he’s someone else”

    Perhaps (but you got the wrong guy)
    But your misdirection failed.
    Refute the studies with INDEPENDENT findings.

    Whats the matter – can’t find any studies?

    Molly when a state loses 81 cents on a dollar that is “economic detriment”.


  • 1492 says:

    No it doesn’t. Every study, except of course for the film industry’s own study says otherwise and theirs has been proven, repeat proven, to be flawed. Even your own post says it’ll cost some taxpayers money. If the rebates paid for themselves that would be a mathematical impossibility.

    Thanks for disproving your own point.

  • molly says:

    These comments come from all the same bitter blabbermouths every time there’s an article about the film incentives. And they rarely provide any proof of what economic detriment the film industry causes to the state.

    Conversely, WHY aren’t people more upset with the destruction of our environment by Duke Energy and the inevitable cover-up by the Governor and his cronies, and then forcing YOU to pay for the clean up of the coal ash spills??? Duke Energy had a 3 BILLION dollar profit in 2012. Duke is causing infinitely more harm to North Carolina.

    The film industry is clean, supports local business and attracts tourism. The tax money it generates more than offsets the rebate which may cost a NC taxpayer $8-9/year for those that make OVER $90,000 a year.

  • Vog46 says:

    Saw your letter to the editor in the Sunday Star News.
    Apparently film supporters like yourself don’t like to follow through.
    So lets re-state your post:
    “Dale has already had one private meeting with the Governor…
    Submitted by Robbie Beck (not verified) on Sat, 05/10/2014 – 6:11am.
    …at his request. She’s much more than just a “film industry employee” taking matters into her own hands.

    All she’s doing now is asking him publicly to live up to the claims he made to her when they met privately.”

    So did the Governor live up to his claims or did he not?
    Who’s to blame for the end of the current incentive plan? Pat McCrory? Phil Berger? Tom Tillis?
    If the Governor flip flopped, then he’s as much to blame as Tillis is for “working the room” and destroying the Ted Davis coalition as you implied Tillis did in your LTE in todays star news.

    Overall I’m not impressed with McCrory so far but that could change so I’m curious as to who you actually blame for the incentive committee vote.


  • Vog46 says:

    and or Dale.

    Did the governor “live up to” what he said to her privately?????
    And if YOU are MORE than “just” a “film industry employee” did your heightened sense of importance sway the governor one way or the other?


    Given the latest proposals – was your attempt an abysmal failure?


  • Robbie Beck says:

    …at his request. She’s much more than just a “film industry employee” taking matters into her own hands.

    All she’s doing now is asking him publicly to live up to the claims he made to her when they met privately.

  • Steve Klem says:

    Great letter, Dale. I hope the Governor has enough wisdom and common sense to speak with you one on one. I personally know you are well qualified to represent the thousands of professionals who would be hurt if the state fails to renew the Film and TV incentives. Film = Jobs. Though recent studies have tried to quantify the impacts, most residents here know that your industry is truly priceless to our economy, it’s ripples positively effecting almost every resident in our area in some way shape or form. Good luck in your mission to inform and educate the leader of North Carolina on what his residents truly want.

  • Erlkoenig says:

    Film subsidies = high taxes = more money confiscated from me = corporate welfare = more dumb films whining about the evils of corporate welfare.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    Ms. Williams. Sorry, but thousands upon thousands of citizens have either been downsized or relocated when their employers made business decisions.

    That’s life.

    I would imagine you don’t understand the budget process. Unlike the prior administrations, the Governor will not borrow Federal funds to keep programs like Medicaid afloat. Hollywood Special Effects has not provided him with a magic wand to create money.

    Choices have to be made. The Governor proposes a budget based upon available revenue. At the end of the day, it’s the Legislature which will modify his proposed budget and then approve a budget.

    That’s the way it works.

    Relatively speaking, the film industry is a minor cog in the state’s economy. And if the recent rally was an indicator, a very minor cog.

  • Starletta says:


    I am an extra, a professional extra and I have worked in 27 films made here in Wilmington. I’ve got talent, and I love the work, and I think eventually I will be discovered and become a well known actress.

    Since the film companies pay only minimum wage for my work as an extra, I can barely make ends meet. But I refuse to get a job because I am not giving up on my dream of becoming a star.

    It’s the love of movies, the allure of Hollywood that keeps me plugging along hoping someday for a speaking roll.

    Please, please, please. We need the film industry here in ILM for the hundreds like me who are dreaming of stardom.

    Please give your support to film incentives.

    Thank you for reading my plea.

  • Vog46 says:

    Here – respond to this then talk to our Governor:

    It is long – I apologize but it is from the University of Pennsylvania Business Law dept.

    It SHOULD be required reading for anyone supporting filming as it completely refutes EVERY argument put forth by film people in support of state incentives.
    This is NOT from a conservative think tank or some unknown magazine.



  • Albert Blackshaw says:

    Should have known. Our old California friend who wants film incentives to end everywhere else, thinkinig that means production will return to California. All he does is go from paper to paper castigating film incentives with that goal in mind. Butt out Adrian. The ruse is up.

  • JohnnyQTaxpayer says:

    I wrote Bev Perdue DOZENS of letters to beg her to please stop WASTING my tax dollars and chasing businesses and jobs away…… I never got a atory on the news.

  • Tony J. says:

    In reading through a lot of the negative arguments being made, it seems as though many people seem to have the idea that Working in the Film Business=Wants to be a Star. The point Dale is making is that she has made a home here in NC and her profession is within the film industry. You can belittle or trivialize the importance of this industry to the North Carolinians who rely on it for the livelihoods, but the fact of the matter is, we do live here. We spend money buying groceries, clothes and gasoline here. We pay taxes here. I was born in NC and enjoy that I can practice my trade and stay in my home state. Is the tax incentive battle going on between states ‘the right thing’ when we see how much money is actually made on so many films? Not in my opinion, but it is the reality of today. I would no more want to see an NC baseball team have to disband or, worse, move to SC than I would a NC textile mill or factory shut down because another state won the bid.
    These are our jobs, what we do to put food on the table and take care of our families. I assure you, no one is implying that our job is more important than a teacher’s or anyone else’s for that matter. All I’m saying is keep in mind that we are, for the most part, worker-bees as well, just trying to make a living in North Carolina.
    Thank you for your support.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    clearly the Governor and legislature saw through their smoke and mirrors.

    The 2014-2015 budget was drafted in last year’s legislative session.

    This year’s session allows the Governor and Legislature to fine tune it based upon new needs and revenue projections.

    They saw no need to include the film incentives for the coming fiscal year.

    That said, the film industry proponents have had a full year to lobby the legislative members in an attempt to make their case.

    They did not.

    Their own rally, 2 weeks ago, had a dismal turnout. And that rally had no impact on the decision.

    If this is such an important issue, the area Film Council Executive, who is reported to be a blessing to the Community, would be in Raleigh every day pleading their case. He’d have spent the past year traveling to meet with the Legislative leaders in an attempt to turn the tide.

    Better apparently to beat the doom and gloom drum; moan about the coming appocalypse for the entire state; and avoid the harsh reality.

    And if you read the comments which accompanied the 166 page document, you’ll note the focus is on debt reduction, education including programs to assist military members prepare for civilian job transition with real skills; and programs which have long term impact potential. And they’re not borrowing more money from the Feds.

    Some folks just don’t want to accept reality.

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