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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Members of the community who have ever benefited from the film industry where asked to be a part of a group photo on Saturday in hopes to show state legislators who the loss of film incentives were impacting.

They say a picture is worth 1000 words.

“We live about 40 minutes,but there was no way we were going to miss this, rain or shine,” said film industry worker, Angela Calabrese.

Supporters of film in southeastern North Carolina hope this picture will speak volumes.

With North Carolina’s film incentive program as we know it, over, folks came out to show their support and take a picture showing just how much impact film has here.

Calabrese worked on several films says the grant program that is set to take place next year just isn’t enough.

“Keep the film incentives the way they are. At least they can do it keep it for the next year until you work on something that is possibly better to keep us all employed and to keep film in North Carolina,” she says.

Wilmington plays home to the film industry in North Carolina.

Calabrese said,”It’s Filmington, it’s unique. People don’t come here to see the PPD building. they come to see where Dawson’s creek was filmed, where under the dome is filmed, you name it. That’s what they come here for, the beaches and a lot for the film industry.”

With changes on the horizon for the industry, some are not hopeful.

Charles Laughon has been in the film industry for over 20 years. He said,”I’m actually retiring from it. I actually came here today to say goodbye to some friends because I know a lot of them will be moving to Atlanta, a lot of them are, but some will just have to find other employment.”

They attended with smiles trying to have some kind of positive outlook for what lies ahead for the film industry.

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13 Comments on "Film community gathers for massive group photo"

wilm city here
2015 years 9 months ago

when are you all going to get thru your head.the republicans want u out of nc. you not welcome in nc anymore. get out………………….. get out of nc

2015 years 9 months ago

Ted Davis is a pub, and he fought tooth & nail for the incentives. Ask Vassar at ScreenGems, he’ll vouch.

2015 years 9 months ago

Excellent post – nicely done.
At the forefront of the pic, in blue I believe, is Elizabeth Redenbaugh, candidate for state Senate. I think that is the biggest VIP in the picture if I am not mistaken. (WHere was Michael Lee a big film supporter?)


2015 years 9 months ago

FYI they are filming in my neighborhood and paying me $750 a month for any inconvenience. There is much more money being spent here than just employee paychecks. I do not work for the film industry but I do believe the long term benefits would pay off. Wish someone would do a real analysis before making a decision either way. Sad that we are so firmly entrenched in our Liberal/Conservative view points that we can’t ever possibly consider a compromise. It’s not always Coke or Pepsi and McDonalds or Burger King. It’s time we all swallow our pride and start moving a little closer to the middle. PS I didn’t get an invite for the picture and neither did the 300 families in my neighborhood who are also being compensated.

2015 years 9 months ago

“They say a picture is worth a thousand words.” In this case it says it all.

About 400 film industry workers, plus perhaps an equal number of spouses and dependent children showed up. The person who purportedly organized this, instead of being an industry leader was a sort of part-time casting director from Castle Hayne (http://wilmonfilm.ning.com/profile/EmilyYoungKeeley ), not that there’s anything thing wrong with that.

Supposedly about 1000 film industry people work in the Wilmington area and yet only about 400 show up? And not one industry leader, including Johnny What’s-His-Name helped organize this?

Our local film industry has inadvertently outed itself as an industry of very little consequence to NC. Regardless of what they tell themselves, this non-massive group photo is physical proof of how little even our local film people really think of themselves.

There are over 150 thousand migrant farm workers who contribute to our state’s well being every year at harvest time and they don’t hang around collecting unemployment between jobs. There are over 97 thousand teachers in NC educating our kids. Heck, there are over 14 thousand members of the NC Association of CPA’s and that’s only a percentage of all of the accountants in NC who help keep our businesses running. These are just some of the people in our state who really make a difference.

And then there’s God’s chosen ones; the film people: About 4000 people statewide, a measly four one hundredths of one percent (.0004) of our population. A number so small, it’s the equivalent in importance of a speck of dust on a gnat’s behind. And now they’re the one’s who are threatening the rest of us with leaving if we don’t want to pay to play? That’s like a mouse threatening to swallow an elephant. How stupid is that?

They have all become so over inflated with their own hubris it has become impossible for most of them to have any actual grasp of reality anymore. To portray such a failed event as depicting impact, when even their own photo proves that is not the case, is a PR disaster of epic proportion.

I for one am getting really tired of self important little egotists demanding extortion money or threatening to leave. To be succinct: Either shut up or pack up.

Guest Reply Redux
2015 years 9 months ago

Here’s a new gripe for you North Carolinians…a huge tax increase coming your way in the near future.
Most Politicians screw up state budgets, but as you all know the solution is a tax increase 99% of the time.
You’ve seen it in Wilmington…you will see it come from Raleigh and you will pay the higher taxes…regardless!
Aren’t Republicans against the arts as a rule? Must be…and Atlanta is laughing all the way to the bank ;-()

2015 years 9 months ago

Just how stupid are you?

To say your elected officials are kicking you out is so dumb it almost defies belief. How can you continue to be that dumb and yet still have the capability to remember to breath out after you breath in?

You are aware of the fact that the film industry, and the people who run it have a profitability ratio well above the norm, aren’t you? Unless you’ve spent the better part of your life living on Uranus, you must also be aware of the fact that this profitable industry plays one state/city against one another in an extortion scheme of huge proportion in an attempt to rake in even more profits than they ever deserved.

Too bad for you that some of the people in NC who finally put pencil to paper, figured out that this is a money losing scam. So what do morons like yourself do? You say your politicians are kicking you out instead of blaming your bosses for setting up this extortion racket in the first place. Your fat cat bosses are laughing at you for acting like the dumb cattle you’ve turned out to be. They have every right to laugh at you. You fools have bought into their self proclaimed gospel of just how much more important you are than everyone else, and you continue to believe it even when the numbers prove how wrong that is. How pathetic.

Sooner or later all of the states will figure it out. What are you going to do then; threaten to move to Mars? Pack you space suit oh “most important” person; it’s time to thin the herd.

2015 years 9 months ago

Furniture and textiles left North Carolina for cheaper foreign wages. The film/TV industry was KICKED out by our own elected “representatives”.

A few years ago, Michigan did the same thing with their film incentives after thousands of unemployed auto workers re-trained as grips, electricians, etc. and a huge studio facility built. The politicians saw the devastating impact of losing jobs and revenue and reinstated their incentives–reduced, however.

Will NC wake up? Maybe it will be too late when all the jobs, families and businesses leave for Georgia, SC and/or Louisiana.

We had a 30+ year head start on those states! November can’t get here fast enough!

2015 years 9 months ago

Crowds were estimated at 800 folks.
10% were children
About 40% were spouses
That leaves about 400 actual film workers.
No lumber salesmen that would be hurt by the loss of incentives.
No realtors hurt by the loss of rentals.
No Enterprise employees hurt by the lack of car rentals.
No lightning sales people.
Heck not even a majority of the 1000 employees locally showed up.
And this is LESS than the rally down town.

It would appear as though their resolve is diminishing…..
Perhaps the vote AGAINST incentives showed them how weak they are?


2015 years 9 months ago

“Members of the community who have ever benefited from the film industry” becomes “film community.”

Nice “journalistic” slant, WWAY.

2015 years 9 months ago

the supporters knew this was the future over a year ago. The future unless they took direct action, a year ago.

They failed to do so. Throw all the reasons out that they will; in the end the responsibility rests at their feet.

Over stated rally in Wilmington. Photo op in Wilmington after the legislature adjourns. And then of course there’s Johnny.

You need a better game plan with effective leadership and a proven lobbyist.

You need to start building that infrastructure now. It will cost time and money.

2015 years 9 months ago

Massive group photo?

The word “massive” strikes me as too exaggerated a word to describe this unimpressive assembly.

I see a “group” of film people, but the photo (a public relations mistake) does not convince me that hordes of film workers will go hungry if Hollywood productions go elsewhere.

Our tax monies will be better spent on education and infrastructure–our buildings, roads, power supplies, and especially, quality of life issues.

Let’s all wave goodbye to Hollywood, a multibillion industry that dares to extort tax incentives just to film here. The nerve!

NC TVmovie Jobs
2015 years 9 months ago

Pat McCrory and the NCGA to NC’s film industry workers: drop dead.


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