Push for film incentives a campaign issue for NC House race

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Submitted: Thu, 07/17/2014 - 8:47pm
Updated: Thu, 07/17/2014 - 11:08pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — As the governor took time today to visit Wilmington’s move studio, the push in Hollywood East for film incentives continues.

Today supporters renewed their calls, as they stood with a NC House candidate who backs them.

“I don’t want to chase work around, but I probably will have to,” said film crew member Scott Siler.

He has has been working in the film industry for more than 20 years. He says he’s tired of waiting for a decision on film incentives.

“You have to be competitive to get work here, and that’s not what North Carolina is willing to do,” Siler said.

That’s why Betsy Jordan is running for the 20th District House seat that represents part of New Hanover County. Jordan, a Democrat, has been working on the Governor’s Film Council for 12 years. When she heard about the first bill against the film industry she took it personally and decided to run for office.

“Didn’t we hear that the state is having a budget crisis because of tax reform? And now we’re trying to get rid of an industry,” Jordan said.

Despite all the rallying, lobbying and campaigning, Jordan does not think state leaders get it.

“While they’re saying we want to do something to keep film industry going, they’re really not taking that action,” she said. “They’re saying that, but not doing that.”

District 20 Incumbent Rep. Rick Catlin, a Republican, responded.

“I have voted to support the (Rep. Ted) Davis film industry amendment to the House budget,” Catlin wrote in a text message to WWAY. “The challenge is to first find the budget funding to increase teachers pay and protect the teacher assistants. We are still working on it.”

Siler says he only has one focus right now while he waits for a decision.

“I just have to do this job, and know that it might be the last job in this state,” Siler said.

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6 Comments on "Push for film incentives a campaign issue for NC House race"

2015 years 8 months ago

Makes me wonder if you have any priorities at all that don’t start and end with your own bank account.

So, this is what your argument for continuing the extortion money payout has come down to? We should continue it because “Hollywood East” is such a cool title “in the world of film and film making”? And “the world of film” is so much more important than the rest of the world around it because of what?

Your industry has become unbelievably arrogant. The premise of your post substantiates that. With less than 1/10th of 1% of the state’s total population working in film, you have decided that your needs take precedence over more than 99.9% percent of the rest of us. You have become legends in your own mind.

Why would I want my state to be known for that? There are so many good things in NC that we already can be justifiably proud of. Paying extortion money just to feel cool isn’t one of them.

2015 years 8 months ago

Yes. He made no indication that he has ANY desire to maintain Wilmington’s, in the State of NC, title of ‘Hollywood East’.
That is such a cool title to be given in the world view of film and film making. Its such a shame to see he has absolutely no interest or pride in having it here.
Makes one wonder.. what IS he proud of and what does he stand for?
What does he want the state to be known for? now and in the future?

2015 years 8 months ago

One can’t help being slightly amused by our incessantly demanding local film industry zealots. They hold rallies that hardly anyone shows up at and call them successes. They infer that an industry with maybe 4000 jobs, some of them part time, is what’s carrying NC’s economy. They threaten that they’re all leaving, while still staying here. Now they think their little group will just outvote the rest of the voters and replace politicians they don’t like.

This is what happens when the drive to become self-important overrides common sense and fact; you become a legend in your own mind.

Be careful little mice; keep throwing tantrums and demanding that a portion of every piece of cheese we purchase be delivered directly to your mouse hole and we will become less and less tolerant of you. The world has already figured out how to build a better mouse trap. Keep “roaring” at the rest of us and we will not hesitate to use it.

2015 years 8 months ago

I think I will stick with legislators who are better stewards of our tax revenue. There have been a lot of cuts in the state in the last several years. I wonder how many of those jobs that could have been saved if we weren’t feeding the kitty at the studio.

2015 years 8 months ago

Last April, Rep. Catlin and his colleague from Dist. 16, Rep. Chris Millis tried to kill the film industry in NC BEFORE the mandated sunset of Dec. 31, 2014:


If you, your family members, your friends, your business supports film/TV in North Carolina, PLEASE VOTE for BETSY JORDAN and STEVE UNGER!

In January, we can make changes in the legislature that will KEEP JOBS and revenue in North Carolina and not chase it out of state.

(Does anyone else find it curious that Catlin is from GEORGIA? Might have some out-of-state influence working on him?)

2015 years 8 months ago

Lets see here.
4000 people employed state wide
1000 people locally employed
Maybe 500 in Catlins district and thats a gross overestimation
40% turnout makes 200 votes

There……..feeling a little insignificant?
Sure there MAY be some related folks who may voter FOR Jordan but when you THINK about it – with ALL independent studies showing film incentives are a waste of money don’t you THINK the VAST majority of voters would shy away from someone who so blatantly wants to waste money?
Oh, wait, the Convention Center, the stadium proposal….this is Wilmington after all.
She’ll win by a landslide……..”Laura Padgett II”


Disclaimer – the sarcasm WAS intentional….