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Film industry looking for bigger tax incentives from North Carolina

READ MORE: Film industry looking for bigger tax incentives from North Carolina
This is not a great time to be looking for a bigger tax break from the cash-strapped state of North Carolina, but that's exactly what our film industry is doing. They say they have to in order to stay competitive. North Carolina currently offers production companies a 15% tax break. That used to be sufficient, however Screen Gems’ Bill Vassar and the Greater Wilmington Film Commission's Johnny Griffin, two leading players on Wilmington’s production stage report they're losing business to other states that have upped the ante considerably. Michigan offers 40%, and in our part of the country, Georgia and South Carolina are up to 30%. North Carolina is back in the pack with the current 15%. "Most of them are 20, 25, 30%, so to be competitive you have to be up in that range now," Griffin said. One big advantage we have here in Wilmington is our infrastructure and crew base, offsetting the need to go to extremes as some states have. That said, making movies, TV shows, and commercials is a big money, bottom line intensive business. The sound stage represents a big gamble on the part of Screen Gems, and it represents a lot of confidence in Wilmington’s film future. If the state legislature would raise that incentive to 25%, both Vassar and Griffin feel Wilmington would once again be in the driver’s seat. State Senator Julia Boseman has introduced legislation in Raleigh pushing for the 25% film incentive. It is now in the Senate Finance Committee, and has the bi-partisan support of our local house and senate delegation.

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Nope if we need to put our tax dollars into something make it a little less competitive and a lot more stable than the movie industry. This is a group that, depending on if a viewer changes channels means a person has to go on unemployment. And if someone is already offering up to a 40% tax cut already how long will 25% keep them here 1 yr maybe 2 yrs then we will have to offer 40% or 50%. Just let them go. Sorry but if you love it here find you something else to do here. I gave up an 80k job after a transfer to Ga. just because this is my home.

The fact is the movie

The fact is the movie industry brings in a lot of money for NC and Wilmington. If they don't film here they will just film elsewhere. Films give locals a chance to be in movies and a bigger chance for college students to get into acting. As long as the incentives do not hurt us, I say go for it

Raise the film incentive

The film community spends a lot of money in the state when they film here. They pay taxes to NC and spend with local vendors. The NC crew members as well as producers, actors, etc...spend money at local restaurants, hotels and clothing stores. The vehicles that they drive use NC fuel that has NC taxes attached. All of the out of state crew and actors are housed at local hotels that is also paying NC sales tax. The props and clothes that are worn and used in the making of the movie are purchased and rented from NC. What industry do you know of that comes to our state and infuses millions of dollars immediately into the economy? That money spent stays here in NC. So you tell me how the film industry is not helping NC? Taxes are paid and money is spent that would not have been here if not for them. You're mistaken if you don't think that large corporations in NC are not receiving tax incentives as well.

Film guys in line for mo money

How utterly stupid. Why should there be any taxpayer money to fund fat, cigar chomping union reps, drug addicted movie stars, leturous producers and brain dead scientologist who only come here for the dirt cheap locations and talent so they can further perpetrate their bigoted interpretation of southern (redneck) lifestyle. Only Julia Boseman who hired an out of state film production company to do her own campaign TV commercials would come up with this bill. If it is such a good idea why not give any out of state company a 25% rebate? Why not give the owners of WWAY 25% rebate? Next thing you know she will want taxpayers to fund child porn, oh I forgot, they already did that with that Dakota Fanning rape movie.


Just plain ignorant.

Do you work in the Film Industry?

Have you even seen Hound Dog? It is very apparent that you have no idea how this works. Making a film is like any other business, except we have more money and shorter time to complete the job. The amount of personnel that the industry brings to this town makes up for the locals who CANNOT SUPPORT Wilmington and their concept of it. Being a resident of Wilmington for 12 years and a proud member of the Film Community, I find your comment predictable and utterly laughable. If you want to judge people by checkout-line tabloids and TMZ, then you play the fool. I spend GOBS of $$CASH$$ in this town and for what? To listen to ignorant locals, hell, even the Sheriff, rant about a scene in a movie that they have never even laid eyes upon. I'm willing to bet that you spend more time watching television, have a huge DVD collection - which you are probably way too proud of, and an uneducated opinion about more movies than you have seen. I think you need to step back and look at the real problems of this little Port City, that claims to be bigger than it really is, and see that the real crime going on here lies in the City Council (i.e. the Good Old Boy Network). The practices that are suffocating your community are coming directly from the poor decisions made by the individuals in charge. Just take a look at the two lanes on Front. St - aligned with parking meters, talk about anti-capitalist, anti-tourism, anti-sustainability! (For risk of offending I will halt the Anti rant.) Oh, and by the way, its a TAX Re-bate! We spend the money, then get a percentage of the money back. Not your money. Never was. So the day you stop regurgitating you Entertainment Tonight faux news we might listen.

Not that expect you to

Not that expect you to realize this, but the 25% only counts towards qualified in-state expenses. So if Tom Cruise gets paid 2 million to do a movie, the state is not picking up that tab. If the movie buys costumes and vehicles from local businesses, the state does pick up that tab. So in effect, it rewards LA money that is being spent in NC. Go ask the Hilton, L&L tent rentals, or any number of other local businesses if they would suffer from films not being made here....their answer would be YES. Then again, judging by your uninformed and ignorant probably work in some branch of legislature yourself!

Incentives for Hollywood

Incentives feed Hollywood not Wilmington. Wilmington gets their business from producers wanting to find a southern location with a local crew base to pull from. It should be Screen Germs money that lures them here, not my money. This is the way capitalism works. If Screen Gems loses then all the workers lose. But I imagine that some fat nose picker with a rolex will still want to come to the south to film their little girl gets raped by a redneck movie and there will be enough potheads with nothing better to do than step and fetch for $1,000 a week for 6 weeks. 85% of the film business coming into this area does so because of the location and the fact that NC is a right to work state. Let's put things into perspective. One idiot posting said something about am I willing to go back 30 years and give up all the great things the film business has brought Wilmington. What exactly is it that the film business did for wilmington? Where is the after school program, the day care center, old folks home DONATED by film workers? Im not counting the charity basketball thing the OTH actor was required to do when he got caught carrying a concealed weapon. Court ordered community service doesnt count. Where is the generous monument left behind by you guys? All I see are traffic jams and arrogant jerks.


I have to reply to the above statement because it is completely ridiculous. I would have to ask to you... Are you aware of the revenue, and job placement that occurs when a film comes to town?? Are you willing to watch everything this town has built itself up to the past almost thirty years go away. Do you not realize that people don't just travel to Wilmington because of the beach but because there favorite TV show or film was made here. Our film community is one of the strongest attractions for revenue in Wilmington. Billions of dollars has been pumped in here over the years. Money that could have gone to NY,LA,etc. Julia Boseman knows how to do simple math. the math adds up, your statement doesn't.

I agree

with almost everything you said. But let's give some credit where credit is due. Dino deLaurentis came here in the 1980s. Firestarter and Raw Deal were the first 2 films made at his studio. I remember Arnold and his dog Conan jogging on Wrightsville Beach. I remember Kiefer Southerland and Julia Roberts stopping in a local establishment to shoot pool wheile she was filming. Shoot, Dennis Hopper and Anthony Hopkins spent New Years Eve at a Sneads Ferry restaurant in 1992 or 1993. Ms. Boseman has sponsored the referenced bill. But a lot of folks before her deserve some well earned applause. Long before she sponsored that bill or even thought about a Senate seat, others started the process of making Wilmington the Hollywood of the East.

Film business is a ponzi scheme

You said, "Billions of dollars has been pumped in here over the years. " Prove it. Dennis Anderson does more for Wilmington's economy with his McDonald's franchise than the film "industry". How many of you guys are on unemployment half the year? Nice scam. You put in $2,000 a year and draw out $2,000 a month for 6 months. And how many of you guys actually are native to Wilmington? 20%? What equipment rental company is headquartered in Wilmington? EUE (PU) Screen Gems a North Carolina company? Nope, New York. How many dollars has the union given to Mizzzzzzzzz Booseman? Getting tax money to feed 300 people who work full time in the movie making business is a sham. Where is Denny Anderson's money? Where is the incentives for all these home builders going under? How many people do you think they employ versus the film rats? Put down your bong long enough to realize your dialing for dollars days are just about over. We need this money for our schools and our mentally ill, speaking of which....

I'll prove it... Now prove your statement...

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Film Nutz or just plain Nutz, you have to understand not only does the filming bring revenue, but also the attraction to wilmington brings revenue. Did you know that Movie Stars buy houses here. They come here love the area and also purchase very expensive homes, and guess what else they do ... They pay ... you got it property tax. Wow it is amazing how that works. There is property owned in this area by some of Hollywoods richest, and you know how they heard about us??? They did a movie HERE!!!!! Just ONE example of how film attracts money to Wilmington. They are a lot of Local mom and pop shops like Cine Partners who supply Lights, and Grip equipment to Productions, and Wilmington Camera Service (Once Joe Dunton Cameras) That is a motion picture camera rental house. How about JONCO who is a team of skilled craftsmen who build sets?? Did you know that?? and these company's pay to play here bud. These are not fancy chains with Global Marketing like McDonalds, these businesses struggle to make ends meet when there is no film work. So stop with your stupid remarks, especially when you don't have enough facts to state your case. Thank you

You are completely uninformed!

Lets pick you apart one falsehood at a time! 1.) McDonald's does what? Poisons our community? Enough about this non-related premise. Its a fallacious argument you have interjected in to our discussion to disguise your knowledge of this, and apparently many other uninformed opinions you have on the matter. Leave out the waistless fodder! 2.)Unemployment is a Government funded saving program, if you will. We in the film industry are lucky enough to make good money when we work. A percentage of our money, and all other Working Americans, is deducted from our pay check and put into a savings account. When we have finished working on a show and have the dreaded downtime that all of us dislike, we are then allowed to draw from the money we have paid into the system. If you do not make a lot of money, in turn do not pay much into your Unemployment Account, then you will not get the max amount from your benefit. The Maximum Unemployment benefit is $495.00 a week, not $2000.00. 3.) What does it matter, if you are native to Wilmington? As stated in my response above, I have lived here 12 years. I attended both Cape Fear Community College AND UNCW. I have worked in several realms of the work force here in Wilmington and feel as though I have given my part by working with in the community. Oh, and I spend most, if not 98% of my paychecks in Wilmington! But again, I see another fallacious premise and consider it to be unsound in your over all argument structure. NEXT! 4.)Long story with EUE but I will save you the trouble. EUE is not a film studio, its a filmmaking facility - for rent! They do not produce films. EUE is owned by a North Carolina family and only the name remains. 5.)What Union are you referring to? Do you think there is one all encompassing union for the film industry? WOW, you don't watch, listen, or ever read much news. 6.) The fact of the matter is, you don't get a check before you start filming, you get once you have completed filming! And you said it yourself, 300 people are a lot of people to feed. Now think about the possibility of two, three, or even ten shows filming at the same time. 10 shows x 300 people = 3000 people = 3000 paid positions = $$$ in Wilmington. The fact of the matter is, this industry is self sustaining. If Mickey D's can't get a loan to operate then guess what, Mickey D better hope he made enough money and has paid enough in to Unemployment so he doesn't starve when he goes out of business. 7.) The money needed for the schools, mentally ill, and you apparently, will not come to Wilmington, if this incentive does not pass. This has nothing to do with the Film Business, it has to do with local government being smart and taxing the citizens responsibly. This has never been the case on either, "side-of-the-isle". In summation, the film incentive is only paid to those Companies that qualify, due to the amount of money in their budget. The incentive is only paid to the company once they have spent a specific amount in state. The money is not recouped, usually, until the film has already packed up and left. THAT IS ALL! (for now...)

Film Business Drains the Economy

I said $2,00 a month not a week. You guys use it every chance you get. You are bleeding the system with your greed. Admit it, half the year you collect unemployment, that's big bucks, 100 times more than you put in. You're telling me that Screen Gems is owned by someone from NC? Im sure that's news to the Cooney guy in New York. How many movies have they shot here? Why not bring their soap operas here? Im serious, ten movies? Ten? 3000 workers? You must be high. More like 3 movies and 100 people. 6 weeks of work, $1,000 a week, $600,000 per show, times 3, $1,800,000. 17% tax, $360,000 in taxes. Meanwhile, those three movies receive a kickback of roughly 10 million. Sounds fair huh? Just curious, 100 people making 500 a week in unemployment for 26 weeks is $1,300,000. Nice job if you can get it and the unions will see to it that you dont. Is this why Julia Boseman won? Because she promised you dopes money? Even after she used an out of state film company to do her tv commercials and not a local company? Talk about the irony.


Your numbers are completely off. Your completely out of touch. And since your so bright. Did it ever occur to you that Julia Boseman is a politican... she used an out of state company for her TV spots because she didn't want to show favor to a particular Co. here in NC. It is common practice. It's Politics!!! end of story. Also this incentive isn't coming out of your or my pocket. It is a coupon. I'm sure you've used one of those before... We'll the state is offering a Tax coupon to production saying you brought out of state business to NC instead of paying 100% tax, give us 75% and nice doing business with you. That's all it is... if you can't wrap your head around that I don't know what else to say to you.


I'm sorry Guestfilmnutz but you remind me of a barking dog at a fence, making a lot of noise for no reason except to hear yourself bark. What has made you so angry with me? Let me give you a dose of my reality. I too work in the film industry. I am in Wilmington because I like it hear and want to work hear and have made this place my home. Like most of my colleages we have families, children in local schools, spouses working in other industries.We are members of local groups and clubs. We are a part of the community and your neighbors. You can't tell us apart from anyone else. We as a group are not asking you to give us anything. We are not trying to give hand outs to the producers. We are asking the state to help us to be competative with other states so when we are working it is here in our home. We like living and working hear and nothing is worse than having to explain to your child or tell your spouse that you have to go out of town for 6 months without them to work because there is no work here. Trust me when I tell you that unemployment is no joy ride to live off of. Try to put the shoe on the other foot and maybe you can see why this increase is so important to us. I am writing you this as I will soon be telling my daughter that I will be leaving town for a few months to work....


APPARENT that you don't even have a GED....just another handout to help the uneducated get through life.

Hear Hear!

I here ya 7969! :)