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Productions spent $113M in Wilmington in 2011; more predicted for 2012

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Movie, TV and commercial productions spent more than $113 million on goods and services in the Wilmington area last year, according to the Wilmington Regional Film Commission. The commission expects an even better year in 2012.

"This was the best year we've had since 1998," Wilmington Regional Film Commission Director Johnny Griffin said in a statement.

The Film Commission says it fielded 178 production inquiries, and brought in feature films ranging from "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island," "Arthur Newman, Golf Pro" and "Piranha 3DD." Projects also included TV shows like "One Tree Hill" and "Eastbound and Down," as well as reality shows "Teen Mom 2" and "Swamp Loggers." Projects from Warner, Lionsgate, ABC Family, ABC Television and WBTV all produced in the area during 2011.

The commission says the 2011 numbers represent a 156-percent increase over the $44 million spent in 2010.  The numbers are based on actual dollars spent locally by productions. Griffin says improved tax credits helped create the jump.

"We are thrilled with the results," Griffin said. "In previous years there were projects that wanted to film here, but they couldn't justify it. We just weren't competitive. Now, thanks to the hard work done by our state legislators and governor, productions see our performance-based incentives as strong and stable. We've always had an outstanding crew base and excellent support services, and of course (Screen Gems) studio, and now, it is much easier to build a case for productions to come here."

The commission expects the increase in activity and production spending to continue. Projections reportedly indicate that 2012 will far surpass even 2011's numbers. The commission says there are currently seven projects in production, and it is fielding several serious inquiries for more, including just this week.

"We are definitely hot right now," Griffin said. "We will beat 2011 numbers by mid-year pretty easily. And we have several hundred crew, mostly locals, currently working, and we have productions talking to each other about how soon one will be wrapping so they'll know when those crew members will be available. That is really gratifying. And, there are vendors who are based in California that are considering expanding their businesses here, to our area, because of all the activity. I think that is a good indicator of how the industry is viewing us now."

WILMINGTON REGIONAL FILM COMMISSION, INC.
2011 PRODUCTION TOTALS

TOTAL INQUIRIES: 178
TOTAL PRODUCTION EXPENDITURES: $113,000,000

FEATURES
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (New Line Cinema)
Hick (Independent)
Piranha 3DD (Dimension Films)
Arthur Newman, Golf Pro (Independent)
Caged Heat (Marvel) (prep only)
The Conjuring (New Line Cinema) (prep only)           

TELEVISION
Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song (Warner Premier) - movie                    
Eastbound & Down (HBO) – season 3 - Series            
One Tree Hill (WBTV) – season 8, 7 episodes - Series         
One Tree Hill (WBTV) – season 9, 13 episodes - Series        
Playing With Guns (Lionsgate TV) – Pilot
Teen Spirit (ABC Family) - movie
Revenge (ABC Television) – Pilot
Hart of Dixie (WBTV) – Pilot
Game Time:  Tackling The Past (Proctor & Gamble) – movie
Hallmark Hall of Fame Presents - A Smile As Big As The Moon – (McGee Street Productions) – movie
Hornet’s Nest (TNT)-movie
Teen Mom 2--reality
Swamp Loggers--reality
Extreme Makeover Home Edition--reality

COMMERCIALS
K-Swiss                    
Sci-Fi Network Promo
Battleship
Stock Photography

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