There was a major victory for North Carolina's film industry. A bill increasing the state's film incentives from 15 to 25 percent passed the Senate Friday after passing the House last night. All it needs now is the Governor's signature. It has been a long-fought battle for members of Wilmington’s film community, and tonight, they're breathing a sigh of relief. The lots at Screen Gems studios have been pretty quiet recently leaving everyone from set builders to caterers who work in the film and television industry feeling uneasy. "For me personally, I mean I haven't worked since December of last year and that was in South Carolina,” said Philippe Gallichet of Cinema Catering. Philippe and Phyllis Gallichet run Cinema Catering. Business is so slim, they’ve considered taking it to other states. But not anymore, now that film incentives in the Tar Heel state are increasing to 25 percent. Thanks to One Tree Hill, some are working, but the tax boost is expected to help many more. "It's going to be great to get all the local people who work in the industry back home again,” said Bill Vassar, vice president of Screen Gems. It's also great news for filmmakers like Dan Brawley, who says there's a renewed energy within the film community. "A little bit of boost to the morale of the film crew who live here in Wilmington, 'cause I think we're all anticipating that there's going to be a big surge of production next year." The bill needs Governor Perdue's signature to become law, and she has expressed her support of this issue. The film incentives would take effect in January.
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