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McCrory: Stance on film incentives firm even after studio visit


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Film industry supporters have been critical of Gov. Pat McCrory not answering their plea to meet with the film industry during visits to Wilmington as the debate over film incentives continues. Today that changed.

Gov. McCrory was a few minutes late to his scheduled visit to the Corning plant in Wilmington today. He said it's because he was touring EUE/Screen Gems studios.

The governor said he met with a casting director and toured some sets. McCrory jokingly told the crowd gathered at Corning for the NC Business Committee for Education's regional meeting that he'd be cast in the TV show "Sleepy Hollow," which shoots at Screen Gems and around Wilmington.

McCrory said his visit did not change his stance on North Carolina's film incentives, which are set to expire at the end of the year.

"My position on film incentives remains," Gov. McCrory said. "I've had it in my budget. We understand there are going to have to be some revisions to it now. My goal is to ultimately get it into the final budget that's being discussed right now between the House and Senate."

The governor and Republican leaders in the legislature have consistently said the current incentive program for productions is not sustainable. What's not certain is the form a future incentive program may take and whether it will be enough to keep the film industry going in North Carolina.

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Help ME!

Why should MY TAX MONEY support your churches (they pay ZERO), because I am an atheist?

Why should MY TAX MONEY support your schools, because I have no children?

Why should MY TAX MONEY support war in Iraq, because I don't own Halliburton?

We pay taxes to support the COMMON good. If we could pick and choose what we want to pay taxes for, it would be anarchy and dirt roads.

A tax REBATE to support small businesses and supply jobs for the state is a no-brainer.

This article is curious......

Not enough trained crews?
I wonder why? Of course there was a comment that deserves to be copied here

DougHart • 7 days ago
This "problem" is ABSOLUTELY the producers' problem, and CAUSED by them, deliberately. Every year they shuffle the deck, and look for the newest and biggest "tax incentive" deal (actually "Corporate Welfare" fits better!) to decide where to shoot their films and TV series.

Do they really expect ALL 50 STATES to be able to crew up a dozen films at a time, when LAST year there were four, and NEXT year there might be only two?? Does that seem fair or logical? Experienced crews don't grow on trees, like peaches, despite what the Producers WANT.

Look at Louisiana and Georgia, who have grown from averaging what, 2 or 3 features a year to a dozen, and 1 or 2 TV series to 10? (Insert your own numbers!)

How long do you think it takes to train a qualified and experienced crew? Four years of Film School, and 5 or 6 years on low-budget, non-union cheapie horror films, or college spring break slapstick comedies, before even applying to the unions of cinema and TV craftsmen and women, named the IATSE in this country?

That's 10 years of education and training, for a state that may only have work for half or a quarter of that number on a regular basis, until their state legislature falls in love with Hollywood, and decides to dump a huge percentage of their state budget into producers' pockets (How many Beach Houses and Ferraris does a Producer really need, anyway?), instead of hiring the Teachers, Cops, Firefighters and Nurses the State REALLY needs, and decides not to repair their bridges and highways, or build new schools and hospitals.

And more and more states are discovering that despite the Producers hype and bullshit, the "permanent jobs" gained in those incentive states don't really exist longer than a few months, when that film finishes and the production company folds, and that TV series moves on, to a state with a bigger "incentive" program.

Yes, there are plenty of experienced crew people in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, where films have been shot for over 100 years with no problems, and when a film or series is on location in some other state, the "Top" crew people were brought in from LA, NY, or Chicago, and the rest of the crew filled in from less experienced local hires. It's worked this way for a century.

Long before the avalanche of "Tax Incentives," the same producers who are bitching now about not enough experienced crew people in "Bum Fart," Oklahoma or "Purple People Eater," West Virginia, would just bring their "Department Heads" from a state that has many of them, and fill out the crew with willing and eager, but less experienced crew people, for the BEST "On The Job Training" for those crews found anywhere in the world, a chance "to work with the BEST Industry Professionals," and gain knowledge and experience.

The system works as well now as it did a century ago, the producers enjoy huge profits and smaller costs now than ever (in an industry that sets NEW PROFIT RECORDS EVERY YEAR), and the "problem" finding experienced crews, is not really a problem at all. There are plenty of Experienced Crews in this country, they just don't happen to live in the states the Producers want to shoot in now, because of the Incentives.

The change is that where crew people from Vermont and Idaho and South Carolina used to move to LA or NY or Chicago, looking for more work, NOW experience crew are moving OUT of LA and NY, to New Orleans, Albuquerque and Atlanta

The producers just want to scare even more states' legislatures into funding these incentives, for larger and larger amounts, while screwing their own states' citizens, just so their politicians can get their pictures in the newspaper and on TV, shaking hands with a "Star."

By Douglas C. Hart, First Camera Assistant, 44 years in the Film & TV Industry, based in New York City, and I've worked in 46 States, and 35 Foreign Countries, on Film and TV productions. I've also been Teaching "Film Production" for over 30 years, at various Film Schools and Workshops.

A supposed film insider. GA is in a sad state of affairs. They have abused incentives for years and still don't see their mistakes - just ask Gwinnett county about eh Gwinnett Braves and the "promises" made by ball park supporters about the increase development that would take place, which unfortunately has not happened.
Georgia will see the light eventually and their legislators are ALREADY studying the NC proposals (as are the LS legislators)

We shall see what happens

Stance remains firm EVEN after visit.

Of course it would remain firm. Why would it change just because McCrory toured a film studio? Did you think the Governor would change his stance just because he was given the "gift" of getting physically closer to those god-like people who contribute so much more to society than the rest of us just because they make movies?

Sounds like someone's starting to buy into their hype.

Here is an idea. Why not

Here is an idea. Why not take some the film industry incentives and use them to bring major business to our area that would create permanent long term good paying jobs to the state. The kind of incentives that they are giving out will go a long way toward bringing major businesses to our area

Education STEM

The reason for Governor McCrory visiting Wilmington at all on Thursday was to hold a meeting at Corning with the NCBCE (The North Carolina Business Committee for Education) about STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, and Math). Why then, are we focusing on the film incentive issue? I understand it impacts a bunch of people and is super important to our economy, but...The reason G. McC was interested in being at Corning was to highlight STEM education initiatives being DONATED by local businesses and the citizens in and around Wilmington! As a result of the Governor's visit, various volunteer groups have newfound funding to support their work! Wow, did you see that? Something good came out of him being here, and no one is acknowledging or celebrating this fact. That is the win Wilmington and we should be celebrating the people who volunteer to support education efforts through STEM.

Film Incentives

These people who are criticising the film incentive are misinformed as to how and how much it helps or hurts our state. You must be listening to Pat and his lying about the figures. The figures are very positive for what we receive in local expenditures and publicity which is very expensive PR for which receive is a bargain. I know it doesnt seem right to give these people in LA breaks and quite a lot of breaks. However when you look at the overall return it is not charity and we profit from this. It doesnt pollute the streams and land as other industry might and then leave us to clean it up. Take Duke power for instance or Titan. Duke receives many breaks and then purposely breaks laws and is sloppy on protecting our water supply which cannot necessarily be fixed. Not only that now they want US to pay for it instead of their high paid management salary and bonuses being reduced.

The film industry is dying

The film industry is dying on its own. There are increasingly more digital films coming out that do not require high-paid actors and actresses and crews. Everything is done within a studio with a minimum of employees. This high-quality "animation" will soon replace movies as we know them now.


Interesting that you should post that as I said the same thing about a year ago. The digital age has ushered in many changes for sure and we are yet to see the true magnitude of those changes.

I believe you are correct, that soon a 2 or 3 man team could "shoot" background scenes and super impose actors into those scenes.
Remember the FIRST Superman TV series starring George Reeves? The car scenes were a perfect example - you would see the background change out of the rear window but you knew it was poorly presented and fake. Nowadays that is not even noticed as the digitization is so good.
We will soon see the end of MOST film studios as we know them today - replaced by more powerful computers and computer programs...........
Look at Iron Man 3 - that scene of them falling out of the plane. The star News ran the photo of the people hanging from the crane over the river. The crane the supports all were magically removed in the movie. It was a stunning display of the technological advances that have been made. In THAT movie the stars were the computer programmers and film editors...


The film industry wants

The film industry wants money, the teachers want money. As one of the
lowest paying states for teachers, which is more important? I think the
film industry is a self serving entity. Lets get the teachers up to where they should be to make a fair salary before we throw tens of millions at the film industry to buy their support. Sounds like the film
industry doesn't give a damn about education!!


I posted this on the poll question blog as well:

The governor and Legislature DO care about facts and figures.
Safe Haven was a good movie but was an outlier right from the start.
First and foremost it was based on a book with a storyline that was based in Southport, NC not some fictional town. This provided a very positive and nonfictional storyline about the town. The movie itself was not a blockbuster but it DID (note past tense) provide a bump in tourism to that town. Now, like ball park supporters, fim supporters have to be careful because quite frankly the shine has worn off. Any future increases in tourism in Southport might be caused more from overall tourism increases and NOT from Safe Haven.
The same argument or thought process applies to jobs created by the incentive package. When the incentives were changed the state measured (not estimated) the amount of new jobs created and determined it was 55 full time jobs at a cost of $550,000 per job.
It is clear that Safe Haven was an exception to what is long standing and PROVEN fact - that filming does NOT drive tourism. That claim is dubious and often exaggerated. Then there is the Johnny Griffin math problem - where he claims that 30 extras working 30 days equals 900 job opportunities. Yet it is those same 30 people working, part time for just a month. This is not "job creation" by any stretch of the imagination. And, where are the COSTS involved? How much do film industry workers collect in unemployment between films? This would greatly ADD to the burden paid by taxpayers. Not only do taxpayers FUND filming they also contribute to the unemployment paid to those workers between films. Film supporters are strangely quiet about this - I wonder why?
As for jobs moving? I doubt that would happen on any grand scale. Movie Maker magazine published the top 10 medium and large cities for filming in the U.S. and there were many cities in those lists from states that had NO INCENTIVES. This completely refutes the argument about filing's demise in this state but film supporters conveniently ignore it.
Film supporters have over stated their importance to the state, have exaggerated the benefits to the state, and ignored the costs to the state. Yet when confronted with study after study, and when confronted with measured results from state auditors from OTHER states they slink away, provided NO independent facts and generally start name calling and saying things like "Well, Georgia does it".

You have become an embarrassment to yourselves and the industry.
Stand on your own two feet WITHOUT government assistance. It is time.



since as a taxpayer I'm supporting all of these film workers, if I see them in a resturant can I just grab some chicken wings off their plate since I paid for them?

Don't think of it as grabbing some off their plate ...

Think of it as just replacing the ones they already took from yours.

Yeah, you can do

Yeah, you can do the next time you see a film worker in a restaurant go ahead a grab a chicken wing off his plate and see what happens!!

Good Idea

My tax dollars are supporting churches, since they don't pay any! I'm going to hold my next biker rally at some local church, because I guess I paid for it!!!

Remember in November!

We can't do a thing about the Puppet in the Governor's mansion, but we can get rid of the two that tried to kill our jobs LAST year: Rick Catlin and Chris Millis:

VOTE Betsy Jordan and Steve Unger in November if you support film!

As you say the so called

As you say the so called "Puppet" in the Governor's mansion is going to get the teachers a pay raise. Are you against that? Forty sixth in the nation for teachers pay and you still want incentives, are you
kidding me!!! The more the film crowd talks, the worse they look. Let the film industry stand on its own two feet like every other business out there.

Your final 2

sentences are on the spot.

On another note, teacher ranking will jump from 46 to 26 when the budget is approved. The sticking point remains Medicaid funding.

Bail out Film

Lets follow the same model used to bail out Wall Street and GM. That worked out so well for the tax payers. The film industry moves their high paying jobs to different locations and the workers collect unemployment from the state while they wait for the next assignment. The state pays for the film industry to hire temporary workers through tax incentives and paying the unemployment when the industry moves to another assignment. Sounds like a good hustle to me. This industry is not the "little guy." Shouldn't state resources be spent on individuals and not corporations? Think of the poor lil children not getting their food stamps because the film industry needs a break.

Well ol' Patass has spoken.

Well ol' Patass has spoken. As I've said before the little tv shows and low budget films were all keeping NC alive. Now face it , time to move on. Good luck all you kids with 1-2 yrs experience. You can forget going to Louisiana or GA. Those states are crewed up. You CAN'T get in, so don't even try. You thought Wilmington and the rest of NC was going to last forever. Take it from an old pro, I've been through the lean times and the fat times. This time it's for real. The industry that has been in NC for over 20 years is FINISHED. As for you old pros, you should have seen this coming and gotten out while you still had a chance in GA or LA . I hate it for you as well. Good luck.

At Concerned....

You must be in the have the drama thing down pat!

Explain to me please....

So the State should subsidize a sector of businesses that without that subsidy would dry up and fail?

Maybe thats a poor business plan. It sounds like welfare. WIC for films. "FIC" I guess.

Why not subsidize hardware stores? Why do big budget movies need incentives, but BigBox Hardware store don't deserve them? I don't get it. Please explain.

The film industry thinks they're "special".

So they say, "You give me what I want or I'll take my film making elsewhere, you'll go broke without us!" So there's the mentality NC is dealing with. They want to pull up their toys out of the sandbox and go home because they're mad.

Well ya know what? People aren't even going to the movies these days. 90% of them suck and it's way too expensive for what you get. Who wants to pay 12 dollars to yawn and go to sleep? Nobody. Ticket sales are down over 40% and likely to get bigger. THAT is what pays the bills in the movie industry, not tax incentives!

I would not go as far as to

I would not go as far as to say the film industry would dry up and go broke without the incentives. I think incentives are put in place to lure businesses to a certain area. That being said, I am against incentives in general. Let any industry, film included, pick an area that best suits their needs, set up shop and produce whatever it is that they make, sell or whatever. Then, pay their employees and their taxes like all the rest of us do. I worked for several employers during my life, and I am sure that none of them got any kind of incentive from any branch of government.

explain business subsidies, competition and state government..

How about this example for an answer..
Dear 'guest 1234'..
You have several grocery store chains in the area. Some offer coupons or weekly sales ads to get you to come to their store.
Well the national, and international, film competition is like shoppers.. they bring their business, and money, through productions to the states that have the sale going on.
Its not a bailout, its a competitive edge to stay in the competition. And reap the benefits that come along with it.
If one of the stores stops offering weekly sales prices, the business no longer goes there. So if NC stops offering the incentives, which are currently offered in 39 of 51 states, the film business will go to the competition.

I believe you know that Other businesses DO get tax breaks and incentives to come to and set up in cities or states. You act like this is new.?

see item #4 in this article:

If its helping the state, in many ways (brings employment, brings tourism, gives positive reputation, brings income and improvements to smaller supporting businesses), and with the bonus of being clean and green, why not try to keep it? Why not spend $60mil a year to get over $350mil in financial benefits plus the extra perks that come with it?
Thats not welfare, thats an overall positive for the State of NC. Which in turn DOES help all the other businesses and residents of the state.


tell me you're not THAT stupid.
Film spends $100 in NC. NC taxes that spending at 5% and takes in $5. They then pay out to the film company $25 in incentives.
Where's the other $75?
It didn't stay here. It got paid to suppliers of Home Depot, the taxi company's it paid for food costs. In other words - it did not stay here. Home depot made their 5% profit.
So what happens when film incentives STOP? Then a movie company spends $100 here - NC taxes at 5% and then ays out nothing for a profit of $5. They then use that money to lower taxes for everybody - including businesses. New company's locate here producing REAL permanent jobs and the economy expands. The ENTIRE economy not just a segment hat has 4000 employees.
Do you get it now?
DO YOU?????????


I have not researched the

I have not researched the whole thing with the film incentives, but I can say your analogy is off-base. You are assuming that the grocery store cannot make a profit without the coupons or the sales. If their prices are competitive to begin with, then they don't need to lower their prices to attract shoppers.

How about

How about a rebate................for the TAXPAYER! Everyone has their hand out for money; the only thing thw taxpayer gets is the shaft!

Yeah, but that grocery store

Yeah, but that grocery store is not using taxpayer money to make up for that coupon. Its their own decision to make that commitment. As
taxpayers we have a say and that is through our elected officials.

a quick run down

Ok so basically heres how the incentives work. A studio exec. probably in LA, wants to make a T.V. show or movie. Now at some point that executive has to decide where financially he must decide where the production can be done for the least amount of money. So they examine major film locations that match what locations they need to complete the project and compare where would work out to be the lowest cost. The major players are Louisiana (30% transferable credit for in-state expenditures), Georgia (20% transferable tax credit + 10% if production includes Georgia promotional logo in credits, or other negotiated placements), Alaska (Nonrefundable, transferable 30% tax credit on qualified expenditures + lots of bonuses) Massachusetts (25% credit, may be used to offset tax liability) and North Carolina with its current 25% refundable credit, goods, services and labor acquired and used in and subject to North Carolina tax. That includes a 250,000 minimum spend, Nonresident labor included if NC tax withheld, loan-outs pay 4% withholding.
So basically in North Carolina if a show comes in and spends 10 million dollars in the state they will receive a check for 2.5 million. Now keep in mind that 10 million was spent at local hardware stores, equipment rental vendors, local restaurants, ect., all haven had sales tax taken out. It goes to North Carolina workers who make good wages and in turn pay high income taxes. Those employees then spend that money they earn at local vendors, they buy homes and cars here, they pay tax for all of that.
Now lets say the incentives go away and North Carolina is no longer a competitive state in the big film game. Productions that may have come here go else where, that 10 million dollars isn't boosting the economy. Hertz who rents lots of equipment to productions must downsize their Wilmington and Charlotte locations, letting go of some of their tax paying employees. Other industries that support the film industry would also be affected in the same manner. And more directly over 2000 local filmmakers would be with out jobs, they would either leave the state to work elsewhere, or stay and find other jobs that more than likely would not pay near as well. Either way if they are not earning money in North Carolina they are not spending money in North Carolina. The bottom line is North Carolina is not losing money in this deal, if we don't give the 25% credit we won't have productions spending millions of dollars in our state.

If I told you I'd give you a dollar as long as you gave me a quarter back, would you make the deal?

Hummm....Do I want to be 75 cent richer or just stay broke?

Wow! That isn't even remotely close to how it works.

Every study, except for the ones your own industry paid for, contradicts what you just said. The only real variable in all of those independent (not bought and paid for) studies is the estimated amount of loss with the incentive program.

It is incomprehensible that, at this date, you would not be aware of that. Totally incomprehensible. To paraphrase Admiral David Farragut: Damn the reality, full greed ahead.