Governor’s Advisory Council on Film meets for first time


RALEIGH, NC (WWAY)– It was lights, camera, action in Raleigh on Tuesday as Governor Roy Cooper’s Advisory Council on Film, Television and Digital Streaming met for the first time.

The revamped council was chosen by Governor Cooper. Their main goal is to brainstorm ways to revitalize the film industry statewide and put those plans into action.

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UNCW Associate Film Professor Chip Hackler is one of the handful of Wilmington leaders selected for the council and he is happy to see the industry coming back to Wilmington.

“We’ve had a few years where it dropped of, but now it’s coming back. I think we’re on the verge of great things again,” Hackler said.

He says he already has ideas on how to bring the film industry back home to the Cape Fear area.

“I don’t think we have any weaknesses,” he said. “I think a strong incentive program will help. We’ve got great crew. We’ve got great infrastructure, so I see really nothing but strengths.”

Retired television executive Judy Girard was also chosen for the council and says there is a lot of potential in the Wilmington area.

“All of the talent is there,” Girard said. “The resources are there. There’s a great level of talent in that town, and they need the industry back.”

Girard also noted the many opportunities in the industry today, and how they’re growing.

“There are so many platforms today,” she said. “I’m not sure film is film and TV is TV and web is web.”

Some of the film council’s main goals include securing local financing, bringing production from out-of-state and increasing financial incentives for producers.

“Strengthening the incentives is always a good thing,” said Hackler, “and that brings the work back to our state and keeps the crew members at home.”

Hackler says the industry is on the up and up and hopes this council can create the new opportunities for Wilmington, and all of North Carolina.

“I’m encouraged that the governor has formed this commission,” he said, “and I’m looking forward to a bright future for the state and for film-making in our state.”

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo and Screen Gem Studios’ Bill Vassar were also chosen to be part of the council.

The group set four future meeting dates for 2020 with the next meeting set to take place in March.