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RALEIGH, NC (WWAY/WTVD) — North Carolina’s film industry made another appeal in Raleigh today. Workers fighting for nothing less the industry’s very existance, according to advocates, who are concerned that the legislature will let film tax credits go away.

They made their latest pitch at the General Assembly today. Studio execs, lawmakers and industry workers alike warned of dire consequences if the state does not extend the tax credits that go to film production in North Carolina. Movies that have benefited include productions like “Iron Man 3,” which shot in and around Wilmington, “The Hunger Games,” which shot in the western part of the state, as well as smaller productions and TV shows, like “Secrets & Lies,” “Under the Dome” and “Sleepy Hollow,” which call Wilmington home.

Supporters say the film industry is responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in state revenue over the past couple years and more than 4,000 permanent jobs, which they say will dry up that tax credit isn’t renewed.

“If the incentives go away, the industry would go where there are incentives,” Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-18th District) said. “Most probably it would go immediately to Georgia, South Carolina and then Louisiana.”

Critics say the incentives only benefit pockets of North Carolina. They argue taxpayers statewide shouldn’t be footing the bill.

“The state of North Carolina, the General Assembly of North Carolina, shouldn’t value a film production job over a plumber or furniture production or textile mills or anything like that,” said Donald Bryson of the group Americans for Prosperity. “A job is a job is a job.”

The current versions of both the House and Senate budgets do include some money for film incentives. Advocates say it’s not enough to keep film projects in the state.

During today’s event, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo invited Gov. Pat McCrory to Wilmington so he can see the impact film has on the Port City.

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21 Comments on "Film supporters rally again in Raleigh"

2015 years 10 months ago

Them movie pople going to have to move to gorgia! HAHAHAHA! MY BOYS Thurfthitythom and vogolicious got them all skeared!

Awesome sawce!

2015 years 10 months ago

Well like I’ve said before, back in the day we had to depend on crooked producers to make movies. Now we have to depend on crooked politicians. Good luck with all the barnstorming, but seems like it’s going to be lights out real soon. We all know that 4000 jobs in the state is a gross over calculation. Nice try, but the little local in BOTH Carolinas AND Savannah barely has 1200 active members. And the teamsters local has about half that many. So if you’re going to complain about all the lost jobs, at least you could come up with a more practical figure. Camera and DGA included and you still fall about 2000 jobs shy of your guesstimate.

Atlanta Girl
2015 years 10 months ago

You think you have problems now with lack of funds? GO ahead and support the Republicans attempt to walk away from the film industry in NC. The property values will plummet in the Wilmington area when thousands of houses go on the market at once. Families will be broken up with one spouse leaving to find work in States where the Film Incentives are plentiful. How many people will bleed the unemployment system until they can leave to move to places like SC or GA or LA (where they will pay all the taxes listed below to those States)
Many of these people come to NC for short spurts—pay NC State income taxes while there and then go back from whence they came, putting no burden on the State system. How many businesses in the area directly or indirectly benefit from the film industry? They pay local fuel taxes to improve roads, local sales tax on things they purchase for personal use. They pay rent on buildings, pay rent in apartments and private homes that pay local property taxes. They buy food and eat out at local restaurants and bars–Purchase things in locally owned shops. Their children attend public schools and the Feds pay for them to be there, making your schools better. Their unions have private Health Insurance carriers that take care of them, so they aren’t burdening the public health care systems. They leave places they use for filming better than they found them. Wilmington was a lazy little beach and college town with scores of empty storefronts and homes when they arrived—Are you sure that’s where you want to go back to?

2015 years 10 months ago

NC pays $1.52 for each dollar film spends, not counting those who get unemployment between films.

Tax the rich right, then get films off the government dole.


Free market should not be skewed by government intervention.

Carry On
2015 years 10 months ago

Pat McCrory is all about sending any and all films out of NC. WHY invite that jerk to see what he will inevitably RUIN? Fools, like trying to get a vegan to eat bacon, that is just STUPID!

2015 years 10 months ago

I think that in your case with wilm city, it is “it takes one to know one”.

HailSeizure !
2015 years 10 months ago

Standard troll stuff

wilm city here
2015 years 10 months ago

well dont you all get it. the republicans dont want you all in the nc state so u need to pack up and leave. go where u welcome. go republicans run them out of nc.

2015 years 10 months ago

you are clearly one of the ignorant ones.

2015 years 10 months ago

learn to read. Both the House and Senate versions of the 2014-2015 budget include film incentives.

The Governor will sign a budget which includes them once the House and Senate agree.

No one is willing to issue a never ending commitment to incentives which is what the industry supporters want. Nor can either House agree to unlimited incentives. There is a cap for the annual amount which can be applied whether as a grant or rebate.

Get it now?

2015 years 10 months ago

I thing we should support our local movie studio,it brings jobs to wilmington.It brings publicity to wilmington.A lot of people will lose jobs,and will affect a lot of families.My brother has worked for the movie studio ever since I can remember and they have been very good to him.He depends on this income to help support his family.Please Please support keeping our local studio here in wilmington,nc

2015 years 10 months ago

There are conflicting studies that show conflicting results.

A study by the film industry shows positive value for incentives. Of course, this study is by the very same industry that’s attempting to hold the entire country hostage to incentives, has everything to gain by distorting the truth, are professionals at distorting the truth (Have you noticed how the number of jobs in jeopardy keeps changing?), and has been proven to be seriously technically flawed.

A study by NC’s Commerce’s Labor & Economic Analysis Division, paints a different picture. It reflects the sentiments of Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker and Richard Lindenmuth, chief executive of The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina Inc., which is the new public-private partnership that will act as the economic development agency for the state (partially quoted from StarNews). These are people who would absolutely love to find a positive benefit to the incentive program but can’t. The film industry doesn’t even want to address that report and avoids discussion of it at all costs. When push comes to shove, it looks like reality trumps fantasy or the film industry would have totally shredded this report by now and they most definitely have not done that.

Back in January the StarNews wrote a fairly comprehensive news piece on this.

Here’s the link:

2015 years 10 months ago

Is there any documentation out there that tells us the net profit or loss that the state experiences as a result of the film industry being here? I mean if we take the incentives given and subtract the revenue they bring in, what are the numbers? Does the state end up in the black or the red? I think that one single number could go a long way to showing whether or not the state actually benefits from the movie industry.

2015 years 10 months ago

don’t build your case with me. Build it with legislators throughout the state.

But that brings up a question. Why was the turnout for your last Wilmington rally so sparse?

Another question. Just how many Wilmington area jobs are at stake? 4,000 which was the number thrown around a few months ago. 1,000 which was the number Mayor Saffo threw out last week?

Now, you refer to many hundreds. And then you refer to thousands.

Can’nt you supporters come up with a firm and accurate number?

I’m in Raleigh and Charlotte throughout the year. My assessment is not wildly inaccurate. I hit the nail squarely on the head.

But I guess we’ll know who was more accurate by the time the legislature steps down next week.

2015 years 10 months ago

You have several problems that are NOT LOST on our Legislature.
The biggest problem is that the state has limited funds with which to operate. So, outside of operational budgets, where can the state invest or incentivize to get the biggest bang for their invested dollar?
Film investments return 19 cents for every dollar invested in them. This is not a study – this is actual measured results. These results are not too much different from other states where the results were actually measured. The other part of THIS equation is that state after state has determined, along with all economists that lowered overall corporate tax rates are far more effective at driving economic development then targeted incentives are.
You also have the problem of unequal distribution of filming benefits (if there are any). The MAJOR cities for filming are Wilmington, Charlotte, and Asheville but there are 100 counties within the state. So, as much as you may do mass mailings, reps from 97 of those counties are not star struck and not swayed easily by Mayor Poofy Do, and Johnny “fudged numbers” Griffin. THEY” may want those dollars for their own pet projects, OR, they just can’t vote for spending the monies when our own state legislative analysts say they’re not worth it – never mind what other state auditors say.
Third – let’s assume there are 4000 people directly and indirectly working for filming. Typically less than 50% of them vote so you have 2000 votes, in 3 counties, who are trying to sway politicians opinions. Not a viable force for swaying votes. Then you had the tragic film rally here in town that attracted hundreds (not thousands) of supporters – many of whom were spouses. If filming affects so many ancillary industries – as film supporters claim – then the rally would have been attended by thousands, and reps from those industries would have been speaking out about film incentives.
You had NONE of these folks at your rally.
To be blunt – you, and most film supporters have over played their hand with laughable stats put out by Johnny Griffin who just can’t seem to grasp the fact the majority of his job opportunities in filming are day laborers called extras. Most voters see right through this as do the representatives from those OTHER 97 counties.
Given the state of the state and the limited funds available I would also suggest you figure out which version of the grant program best suits the industry and BEG for that program to be passed. I don’t see a continuation of the CURRENT program happening.
Here – refute this – then talk to the Legislature:


Produce an independent study done outside of, or NOT funded by the MPAA and use it. Get info that proves lowered tax rates for all are LESS effective then targeted incentives, and maybe then you’ll get the results you want.
Good luck with that


2015 years 10 months ago

Thank you, Chef.

2015 years 10 months ago

the kind of effort that should have been going on all year; last year’s proposed budget for 2014-2015 set the tone for elimination of all incentives.

But apparently Puff Daddy Saffo does not understand how the process works. Inviting the Governor down, at this late stage is way too little and far too late.

Both the House and Senate have incentives in their proposed budgets.

The film industry should determine which of the 2 is more beneficial to the industry; get behind it; and lobby like crazy for it.

Legislature will recess next Monday. In the event a budget has not been adopted and signed by the Governor, the current budget provisions will continue in place.

Film incentives will end; no raises for teachers and state employees.

The Governor has already issued marching orders to department heads. In the liklihood a new budget is not adopted, prepare for cut backs.

Medicaid reform and funding is the big stumbling block in both chambers agreeing on a budget they can agree upon and submit to the Governor.

Given the funds budgeted by the city for lobbying, the budget supplements for the Film Commission, and the lobbyists employed by Screen Gems, one must wonder why the lobbying effort, for this initiative, resembled a cluster f**k to borrow a phrase from Clint in Heartbreak Ridge.

2015 years 10 months ago

Many hundreds of members of North Carolina’s on-screen talent and crew community have been working on this campaign since February 2013, when we rolled-out our Keep Film Incentives petitions.

Over this 16 month period, we’ve had rallies, one-on-one meetings and a massive email campaign to all of North Carolina’s lawmakers and leaders from regional convention and visitor’s bureaus and economic development councils.

The argument that we’re “too little, too late” is wildly inaccurate. Lawmakers and our Governor ARE LISTENING and we will continue to fight until we discover the formula that will keep visiting productions working in North Carolina. And, by doing so, we will keep thousands of skilled actors and technicians working where they live – in North Carolina.

beach here
2015 years 10 months ago

well you all voted the republicans in office.

tax man- NOT
2015 years 10 months ago

You still don’t get it! The thing that is broken is the tax code. “They will leave and go somewhere they can get a tax incentive”. Why should they be able to get an incentive anywhere? Taxes have made us all corrupt.

Clean up the tax code and provide a level playing field for everyone. I’m sure I receive some business due to this industry, but I’m willing to give it up to eliminate he tax incentives.

Shut up with the incentives! A bunch of whinny sheep who need someone else to make your lives complete. Hollywood? Give me a break!

2015 years 10 months ago

Susi Hamilton has made so many enemies in Raleigh, the film industry will be lucky to get anything out of the legislature. Her big mouth has seriously hurt the film industry. The industry should have shut her up and worked with Goolsby and Rabon to get the best deal. It may be too late for that now.


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