WILMINGTON -- The trend continues to change in the film and television industry, and as it does, Wilmington tries to adapt to stay in the game. So as we look toward the year 2020, where will Hollywood East stand? That's a hard question to answer since the industry is continually evolving. Johnny Griffin with the Wilmington Regional Film Commission said, "In this town we used to produce 20-25 television movies-of-the-week per year. Now, I think the last movie of the week we did was two or three years ago because that segment of the industry has gone away." Griffin says right now the trend is leaning toward reality TV, which is shot in Los Angeles or a unique location. "I think we've got to stay cognizant of what's developing out there and figuring out how we can stay in touch with those different segments of the industry to continually try to recruit new type of business in community," Griffin said. But as we try to gauge Wilmington's film future not only do we have to consider what type of entertainment we'll watch...we also have to consider how its delivered. Bill Vassar with Screen Gems Studios said, "I don't think we necessarily know what a television series will be in 12 years. Granted, you're going to have multiple means of distribution it's going to be on internet, handheld devices, something on the phone." If we're getting content from various devices, like the internet or cell phone, will there be enough advertising to support it all? "Proctor & Gamble pulled $100 million out of television to invest in advertising on the internet. That's a big hunk of change for some major corporations," Vassar said. Will we even be calling it a "film" industry by 2020? Craig Fincannon says film is quickly going away from the whole process. It's being captured digitally through the use of computers. Fincannon said, "So many things changing so fast it's a technological curve it feels like when color came in, sound came in, it feels like it's that whole technological change is in the wind." Knowing what we do now the consensus is by the year 2020 Wilmington will still be pulling in some form of a television series and feature films. Fincannon said, "But who knows? There's so much competing for your leisure time: video games, reality TV, a lot of things that don't relate to our industry it's like William Goldman, a great screenwriter and teacher once said, 'Nobody knows nothing.'" While we can't say exactly what will happen to the film industry by the year 2020 we can look a few months into the future. Griffin expects to have about a half dozen projects shooting in our area by June.
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