It's that time of year for TV and movie producers to come to Wilmington to scout locations for pilots. With luck, it could lead to a whole new series shooting here like "Dawson's Creek" or "One Tree Hill."
The Wilmington Regional Film Commission has high hopes at this critical time of year. We now have better state film incentives, but are they enough to attract more productions to \Hollywood East?
Film Commission Director Johnny Griffin says "Yes." He says thanks to the film incentives, Wilmington's had a lot of nibbles so far this year. The tax break for production companies shooting in North Carolina is up from 15 to 25 percent, making us more competitive with neighboring states. And more likely to attract producers here to shoot a pilot, which could potentially lead to them coming.
"We feel confident that in the next few months, we'll have some real success stories," Griffin said. "But I tell somebody, it's kind of like fishing, and we're at the point right now where we're fishing. We've got a lot of leads and a lot of opportunities and hopefully soon we'll actually have some that we'll be successful with."
Even if producers decide not to shoot a pilot here, just getting them to check out our area may entice them to come back for future filming.
To clarify, just because a film shoots a pilot here, doesn't mean they're going to shoot the whole series here. It could go to LA or another location and vice versa.
Producers typically shoot pilots in March, and if a network approves the series, production usually starts in the summer.