The incentives arms war continues in the southeastern U.S., where the state of North Carolina just upped the ante as it battles Georgia and Louisiana to lure film and TV production.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has signed legislation that that removes the program’s sunset language – effectively eliminating its July 2020 end date and providing much-needed stability for studio and network decision-makers who look to save money as they budget projects well into the future.
What’s more, an additional $31 million has been designated for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2018. This funding, coupled with the elimination of the program’s sunset date, bolsters the perception that North Carolina has a long-term commitment to the production of feature films – and especially to television series looking for locations they can use to shoot multiple episodes for seasons to come.
“This is wonderful news for Wilmington,” said Bill Vassar, executive VP at EUE/Screen Gems Studios, a 10-stage production complex based in that North Carolina city.
“The elimination of the sunset will allow a television series to start a production in town and settle in for the long term,” he continued. “We can again focus on attracting television programs that run many years. The industry will keep local people employed and local businesses busy. Our goal is to recruit shows such as ‘Dawson’s Creek’ that ran for six years and ‘One Tree Hill’ that ran for nine.”
North Carolina currently offers a rebate, funded through the North Carolina Film and Entertainment Grant, to productions of 25% of their direct in-state spend. Funding is available now.
Vassar says he’s promoting the studio’s 30-year history as North Carolina’s production center. The region offers experienced local crew members as well as longstanding equipment houses and vendors.