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Gov. Cooper visits set of Good Behavior. (Photo: Basil John/WWAY)

HAMPSTEAD, NC (WWAY) — The governor had a busy day in the Cape Fear region. Governor Roy Cooper made a special stop by the set of “Good Behavior”, a TNT series currently filming in Wilmington and Hampstead.

The governor wanted to see how filming was going.

He spoke with the cast and crew and emphasized the importance of helping the film industry.

Under Cooper, the film industry’s budget got a big boost when it comes to film incentives.

Some people on the set say the governor’s support will help keep film alive in the state.

“People are leaving,” Cooper said. “They are going out, out of their way, sometimes across the country for work that we don’t have in this state because of the incentives. So I definitely think getting that back would definitely keep people home, where they want to be an having the support from the governor of North Carolina definitely makes that a lot more possible.”

Good Behavior is currently filming the last episode of the season.

Now that North Carolina has $30 million in film incentives available annually some cast and crew members hope more shows and movies will return.

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  • Slaw

    You guys are a joke. You claim that no subsidized industry should be allowed whatsoever, but practically every major industry in Wilmington is subsidized. NHRMC, UNCW, CFCC, PPD(tax incentives), and pretty much every manufacturer that ever sets up shop in NC is subsidized. Not to mention, every business is subsidized by the infrastructure like roads and the port, although the roads are terrible in Wilmington. You claim to have superiority in your economic knowledge, but inconsistently apply it and neglect entire concepts like the economic multiplier.

    Here is reality for you. Unlike the manufacturers Republicans love to subsidize that maybe provide jobs averaging around $30K, the film industry provides jobs averaging around $60K in this area. The lowest paid crew is still around $50K+ and many crew are making $90K+ all paying income tax. Then you have the actual main actors whose income is in the hundreds of thousands to millions all taxable in the state. That’s just part 1 of where the state gets their money back.

    Part 2 is all the other vendors and businesses the film industry employs. In addition the crews of 100-200 paying income tax, then you have a net effect of local business paying corporate or income tax with their employees all benefiting from that also paying income tax. Many businesses reported being down 40-80% after the film industry left. These are everything from food, equipment, real estate, signs, makeup, and many more where the amount the film industry contributed was a huge chunk of their business. Then many of those sales are also subject to sales tax even more now since the Republicans have INCREASED SALES TAX by making more things subject to it. You also have the gas tax along with registration and highway use tax if their vehicle is registered in NC.

    You then get a massive multiplier effect from all of this because those people are moving here with their families, and local businesses hire more people with their families also contributing spending money in the area. On top of that, you have tourism driven by the film locations seen in movies here which once again supports local businesses where they spend their money and that multiplier effect.

    Finally, that ties in to the hypocrisy here. You think no industry should be subsidized although I never see manufacturing being called a socialist or liberal cause when subsidized. In an ideal world, where no other states or countries existed, then yes we should tax and do whatever we’d like. In reality, similar to the CEO pay argument, NC has to remain competitive. They don’t have to blow the budget up with huge incentives, but they have to compete with Georgia, other states, Canada, European countries, and many more. This is just like how you say the reason a CEO is paid that much is because if that company paid less, they’d just leave for a different company. Of course, that same logic is also applied to government officials’ pay which is 100% tax subsidized because if the state doesn’t pay them enough, they will just go to the private sector for more pay.

    We’re in a global economy competing against countries like China that subsidize companies to the tune of billions of dollars to crush our industry. You can’t pretend NC is in a bubble where we can ignore what other states and countries do. In addition, at the absolute least, the tax incentive is revenue neutral and economically positive. In reality, with the multiple state revenue streams and multiplier effect along with the building of a workforce when the incentive is stable, it likely earns back more in state revenue. I don’t think we should ever scale up to Georgia’s level of funding, but we need a stable program in place to reassure industry.

  • Donna Edwards

    Um, sounds like you are not aware that tax dollars go to subsidize all sorts of industry in the state and at the federal level. For decades, fossil fuel has been and is subsidized to the tune of billions annually and that’s just one industry. We would be in a much better position if renewables received even 1/4 the subsidies that fossil fuel receives. Be thankful that tax breaks are given to the film industry. Do you not understand that the state, local business and the people employed here make a ton of money from the film industry. I advise you to do the math before complaining.

    • Heimie Schmelter

      The business subsidies you speak of are “permanent” businesses that consistently contribute to their area economics, not of the nomadic nature of the film industry. They’re here one day, gone the next, they’re unstable, unreliable, spotty at best and just go where the dollar leads them. If the “film industry” cared anything for the roadie-style workers that are consistently displaced due to their camel movements, they would pay them and try to keep them! The “film industry” has gazillions of bucks and hoard it all for the top few directors, producers and actors.
      What would possibly make you think that would be the taxpayers responsibility?

    • Bryan Leonard

      I am fully aware that tax dollars go to other industries and that should not be the case. Companies should be able to compete on their own in the market place without government assistance. The free market will determine if a business should be successful or not, not a governing body. See my comment earlier about giving the money to a more profitable industry like technology companies or manufacturing? That would sound like a better return on investment. But after all, that is not that states job and it’s borderline bribery.

  • exitzero

    Interesting that the exact same government incentives/tax breaks/whatever under the exact same policies are given to myriad other industries in the state, yet you goopers piss yourselves over an industry in which you disapprove.
    You want state investment in jobs and the corporate investment in our communities they bring but only for certain industries.

    Who do you think donates to gooper candidates?

    Hypocrisy in its purest form.
    Get your stories straight.

    • Heimie Schmelter

      The movie industry is “nomadic” zero. They’re here today, gone tomorrow. They aren’t regular, they aren’t dependable and they aren’t consistent. Doesn’t your salary show you these facts? They are NOT a stable , reliable and dependable resource for local employment. If you work for a production, you are a “roadie”.
      The movie industry does not consistently add to the tax base here or employ people here. Everything is at THEIR convenience, on their time table and totally unreliable. It ain’t happnin’ with MY tax money Zero!!

    • ProudNCGirl

      Just save your time typing – you aren’t going to win this argument.

  • Scott Homewood

    Yes Governor Cooper bring back the jobs that we lost under that last morons regime. Film work equals jobs… as well as money flooding into the restaurants, clothing stores, and all the other businesses that benefit from the film industry.

    • Heimie Schmelter

      Film = Wasted taxpayer dollars! PROVEN!

      • Scott Homewood

        I don’t think you have a grasp on economics. In the ’90’s, when Wilmington had all those TV shows, their economy was booming, now not so much. If you’re the kind of Carolinian that doesn’t like “interlopers” and “Yankees” well, yeah, they will come. But if you’re looking for more options and a better quality of life with more restaurants, more boutiques, stores etc. A movie crew of say 200 people working full time and paying taxes adds a lot to the economy. They have to eat, buy gas, buy clothes, they buy stuff for parties, they rent hotel rooms and apartments, buy houses if the work is good and they stay. Every state with a healthy film community has a great economy. New Orleans is booming since they took all our film work.

      • Bryan Leonard

        Wilmington was not booming in the 90s because of some 3rd rate t.v. shows that no one really watched. Real Estate, tourism, along with more industry that used to be in this area were the result of that. Based on your economic beliefs, why not do that with Tech companies or factories that employs hundreds of more people with higher average pay than most other industries where they can afford more expensive houses, cars, etcs? Sounds like a much better bang for the buck with a much greater multiplier effect instead of lower wage film crews.

      • Scott Homewood

        You know nothing about economy. If it brings jobs, it is worth the money.

      • Heimie Schmelter

        I know the economy AND the facts very well indeed! My tax monies will not support the worthless film industry. I’m already supporting a government that doesn’t know how to balance a checkbook.
        Start barking up the RIGHT tree! go to the gazillionaire actors produces, directors and film agencies! If they don’t want to pay you, go find another career, you’re not using mine!

      • mike gerics

        wasted tax dollars are in everything you look at…..roads, water pipes, schools, traffic lights, stop signs, the military……..we should get rid of all those things too, huh?

        folks that worry about and freak out about tax dollars….are ding dongs. taxes aren’t going anywhere….nor are wasted tax dollars.

        movies being filmed here…..is cool as hell.
        weirdos that post their weirdo political views all over every news article on-line….are not cool.

        make like a tree…..and beat it. your stuff’s tired.

      • Bryan Leonard

        Each one of those that you mentioned are not a competitive market, they are laws, public utilities, and services (minus schools which can and is being served in the private market place). Each are supposed to be roles of local, state, and federal government as they fill in the need where the private market place cannot, will not, and/or should not provide services for.

  • Bryan Leonard

    30 million for film huh… Starting teacher pay is $35,000/year. That would equal close to 850 new incoming teacher positions, but never mind that.

    • Justin Cole

      It would also create numerous jobs for crew, gaffers, grips, lighting, set construction, security, etc….not to mention the film industry brought almost 10 billion into Georgia’s economy last year, but never mind that.

      • Bryan Leonard

        Well, duh, of course it would pay for numerous jobs, regardless of what industry got the taxpayer dollars, that is not the states role. Why can’t the so called “industry” do that on it’s own? If it’s an industry it should be able to sustain itself. Surely with all the money Hollywood film companies make they can afford to pay for that expansion on their own. no need to subsidize it.

      • Heimie Schmelter

        Perfect point! There’s so much money in the upper echelon of the film industry, it’s near sickening, but they aren’t going to share that with the grunts that really make it all happen! It’s known as greed and is as rampant as ignorance in that industry. The last VMA was total, in-your-face proof of those facts!

      • Heimie Schmelter

        Then why don’t you saddle up and head to Georgia cowgirl?

    • Shaun Patrick O’Rourke

      It’s actually not $30 million. $15 million rolled over from last year unspent which makes it $30 mil do to HB2 running away multiple industries including the film industry.

      • Bryan Leonard

        $30 million is still $30 million, regardless of how you add it up and where it comes from. HB2 was just a solution looking for a problem. Many other states have passed similar measures but NC just so happened to be the target for political sniping. But I’m not debating whose better D or R. Truth is both sides waste state money on pointless items or crony corporations. My point is that it’s not the states job to pay a private company just to come NC.

    • Denise Van

      Hey Bryan, I thought the schools were being subsidized by lottery?

      • Bryan Leonard

        Not sure what the lottery has to do with anything in this discussion. Only a small percentage of the lottery actually goes to schools (around 25 percent) and even that 25 percent gets divided up even more through administrative fees so it’s not much after it’s said and done.

      • guest45

        Lotteries are like the ABC stores and car inspections schemes, all just one big MONEY GRAB! very little money get’s past the “administrative” fee’s.

  • Are Buntz

    Political payback for their support during his campaign… stop using taxes to bribe supporters.

  • guest45

    that is because film makers are liberals with no morals and they will be willing to drink the kool-aid that Cooper spews and accept all the handouts that he can skim away from the NC taxpayer, Cooper loves to spend taxpayer money

    • vnisanian2001

      People like you are why I’m glad I’m not a right-wing extremist. All you people do is whine about taxes 24/7, 365 days. Stop it, already, it’s unhealthy.

      • Bryan Leonard

        There is nothing extreme about being concerned and wanting money that is forcefully taken from you to be directed to things it should go to such as public schools, not private companies.

      • Shaun Patrick O’Rourke

        Yeah, but you guys tend to want to cut education as well.

        The film grant cost tax payers roughly $9 bucks a year.

        $9 bucks a year out of your pocket to help 4K crew workers. Not a bad trade off.

        You pay about $400 a year in taxes to the military. That’s your pork spending that you should be frustrated about.

      • Bryan Leonard

        Actually it was a Republican governor with a republican senate in this state that increased teacher pay for the first time in many years. But both sides always cry teacher shortage and claim there is not enough money for education when the truth is there is, it’s just not allocated properly. It’s a horrible trade off especially when there is no stipulation to make them stay and they up and leave to the next state that’s the highest bidder which has happened to this state and others. Also it is not what state money is supposed to be used for. State funds need to be going to state employees and schools, roads, etc. not private firms that are completely capable of funding themselves.

      • Heimie Schmelter

        Why do you believe it’s acceptable to burden ANY taxpayer for ANY amount of dollars to provide you or anyone else with an “on and off” job? The actors, directors and producers are swimming in money 100 ft deep! They don’t share it with you or any other set roadie. When you begin to understand that the film industry is making a select few filthy rich while you guys go begging the government and taxpayers for subsidies to support you, you’ll understand the big picture; that the film industry really doesn’t give a rat’s backside about you or your families. They have plenty of money to pay you, they just won’t and don’t! Until you do something different, they never will!
        Oh, and by the way. I love my country and will give my life and last dime to help protect our freedoms! “Film” is simply “entertainment” that has absolutely no intrinsic value and it’s getting worse by the film!

      • ProudNCGirl

        Funny that every job I have had throughout my life hasn’t cost the NC taxpayers 1 penny.

      • VoiceOfReason

        So you’ve never had to use electricity (government subsidized) or used a road for your job? I get your point about not wanting tax dollars to go to the film industry; I am rather neutral on the subject – I think the ROI on the incentives are break even. The point that I’m making is that tax dollars are used for a lot of things we take for granted and we all benefit from certain investments and expenditures of those tax dollars.

      • ProudNCGirl

        I have paid federal and state income taxes since I was a teenager so I have contributed to the government dollars that are used for infrastructures in NC. Now I do believe in inventing companies to come to NC but it has got to be a better deal for the state.

      • guest45

        try paying some once in a while, you will understand why we don’t like the government spending, every nickel they spend they stole from a tax paying citizen.The IRS will always accept donations if you are inclined to send them some.

    • James Jenkins

      Politics is not our concern if whatever company you work for laid you off after every job, and kept money out of your pocket to feed your children with, Or if you have to be away from your family all the time just to keep working. We just want a fair shake. This is how we feed our family and every show is a new job. Nothing is guaranteed. It’d be nice to at least have the work available here. Besides, the incentive is a rebate after the money is spent here already. Let me break it down for you. 20% of 1 million still puts 800 thousand in the economy here. 0% from 0 dollars means 0 dollars into the economy here. Simple math not politics. I think we all want a steady and reliable job.

      • Bryan Leonard

        Perhaps a career change should be an option if the current one isn’t enough to provide for a family. No one is against the film industry being in the area, but it shouldn’t be subsidized by taxpayers. It should be done with private funding from film companies. Thousands of people in this state work jobs that are seasonal, or have external factors that effect take home pay like shutdown work and/or construction jobs that can be effected by the weather, or slow economy that force them out of work for short periods of time but none of those are given millions in taxpayer dollars.

      • guest45

        bud many a career requires you work out of town and follow the work, look at the steel workers, the airline pilots, truck drivers, but the one difference is they are actually producing and providing a service.

      • Guest28451

        James, I have a question. you brought up the concept of “whatever company you work for laid you off after every job” Is that actually what happens in the movie industry? If so,do you end up applying for unemployment benefits between jobs?

    • CCMcBee

      So if Clint Eastwood wants to film here we can tell him to buzz off?

      • Not unless you want to “make his day!

      • guest45

        if you were lucky enough to get Clint Eastwood in this one horse town he will pay his own way, he only makes films that he expects to actually be watched by a paying audience, he doesn’t need subsidies for his films to pay for themselves.

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