Two new pilots on horizon for Wilmington film industry

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The film industry is on an upward climb in the Cape Fear region. Two new pilots are reportedly in pre-production here in Wilmington.

“We’re in a real good position right now,” Wilmington Regional Film Commission Director Johnny Griffin.

Griffin says that hasn’t always been the case though.

“The past few years, Wilmington has had a decrease in film production activity,” he said.

Now, Griffin says the film industry in the Port City is on the upswing. While he can’t comment on any productions that may be in the works, the Wilmington Film Commission website lists two new T.V. pilots in pre-production phase – “The Lost Boys” and “This Country”.

It’s a big start to 2020, following a booming 2019.

“Last year, 2019, was really sort of a rebuilding year for us,” Griffin said. “We had several productions here. Productions in the area spent about $137 million. That was the most they’ve spent here since 2014.”

Several productions wrapped in 2019, including Swamp Thing, Reprisal and Halloween Kills. Griffin says incentive funding and Governor Roy Cooper’s Film Council have been crucial.

“It shows our clients that we’re willing to keep it on the forefront, have discussions about it, bring leaders in to talk about it and just stay relevant with the industry,” he said.

Griffin says they got a great response from clients who filmed in Wilmington last year, and he expects 2020 will be just as great.

“In our conversations with clients, they’re basically saying, ‘Look, you’ve got everything,'” Griffin said. “‘We’ve just got to find the right project that can fit there, and that we can bring there. But otherwise, there’s really nothing holding us back.'”

Griffin says the recent successes the film industry in Wilmington has had help build a stronger reputation to attract future clients.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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