×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Georgia, Louisiana May Benefit From End of North Carolina’s Production Tax Credits in 2015

The sun may be setting soon on North Carolina as a site for movie and TV production. But its loss will likely be Georgia’s and Louisiana’s gain.

On Aug. 20, North Carolina lawmakers decided to replace the state’s current incentive program — which is providing 25% tax credits on more than $300 million in production coin spent there this year — with a grant program that will cover just $40 million in 2015.  The move followed pressure from the Tea Party to do away with tax credits.

North Carolina has been home to some 800 productions, including “Under the Dome,” “Iron Man 3” and “The Hunger Games,” over the past three decades. Backers of retaining the credit assert that the industry provides regular employment for more than 4,000.

“It’s a shame,” said Chris Cates, president of 15-year-old C3 Studios in Charlotte. “We’ve built up a crew base. The state has a lot of attributes, but producers are not going to shoot here with a subpar (incentive) program.”

Cates is weighing whether to close or to move operations either to Georgia or South Carolina, the latter less than a dozen miles away. “They do have incentives in South Carolina,” he noted, “but there’s not much of a crew base, and the major cities don’t have the variety of locations that there are in North Carolina.”

There’s still hope for the current program in North Carolina, according to Rep. Susi Hamilton, a Democrat who’s battled to keep the incentives. She noted that Republican Gov. Pat McCrory is under pressure to reconvene the legislature no later than the end of September to support several imperiled economic incentive programs. “The shame of this is that we had positioned ourselves to be the home to a lot of series TV, which will probably go to Georgia now,” Hamilton noted. “But I’m an optimist, so I have not given up.”

The state of Georgia recently announced that film and TV productions generated an economic impact of $5.1 billion during its fiscal year 2014, with 158 productions spending $1.4 billion during that time. Nearly 23,500 people are directly employed by the industry in Georgia. Projects include “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 & 2,” “Insurgent,” “Taken 3,” “Fast & Furious 7,” “The Walking Dead” and “The Vampire Diaries.”

Louisiana, meanwhile, trails only California and New York in film and TV production. Some recent projects: “American Horror Story: Coven,” “True Detective,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Jurassic World,” “The Fantastic Four,” “Terminator: Genisys” and “NCIS: New Orleans.” Chris Stelly, exec director of the state’s film office, said he could not comment on the North Carolina program, or lack thereof, but noted that Louisiana has come a long way since it launched its incentive program in 2002.

“The film production tax credit program has been very successful at helping to create and sustain a thriving industry in our state,” Stelly said.

More Artisans

  • Jeff Goldblum performs in a sketch

    Inside the High-Pressure World of Late-Night Talk-Show Prop Demands

    Television production is an area where “Hurry up and wait” is a common refrain. However, for the prop teams that work on late-night talk shows like “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “The Late Late Show With James Corden,” that’s not an option. They typically have only a matter of hours to deliver what’s necessary. Lou A. [...]

  • Smithsonian Handmaids Tale Costume

    Why the Smithsonian Chose to Enshrine 'Handmaid's Tale' Servant Costume

    The iconic red-caped, white-bonneted outfits worn by Elisabeth Moss and the other childbearing servants in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” created by costume designer Ane Crabtree, have become that show’s signature visual.  Hulu immediately knew it had a good thing, hiring groups of women around the country to parade in the garments to promote the show. [...]

  • Sir Lionel Frost (left) voiced by

    Why 'Missing Link's' Title Character Was One of Laika's Biggest Challenges

    Stop-motion studio Laika pushes design boundaries in every film it makes, and the lead character in “Missing Link” is no exception. “It became pretty apparent that [the character] Link was going to be the cornerstone,” says director and writer Chris Butler. “I did this rough drawing many years ago, and it was basically like a [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    New 3D-Printing Technology Was 'Missing Link' for Laika's Latest Stop-Motion Project

    For the upcoming animated comedy adventure “Missing Link,” stop-motion studio Laika set the bar very high. To execute the designs created by director and writer Chris Butler, artists would have to speed up their 3D printing of character faces — and those faces would have to be the most complex they’d ever created. “Missing Link” [...]

  • The Old Man and the Gun

    Ohio’s Midwest Locations and Flexible Tax Credit Lure Producers

    With its small towns, rolling farmlands and industrial cities, Ohio embodies the American Midwest. Other location lures for filmmakers include the shore along Lake Erie, the campus of Ohio State University, the striking skyline of Cincinnati and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. The Buckeye State also provides producers with a 30% [...]

  • Nancy Schreiber Mapplethorpe Cinematographer

    DP Nancy Schreiber Captures Life of Artist Robert Mapplethorpe in Grimy Gotham

    Don’t tell cinematographer Nancy Schreiber that she’s having a renaissance. That would imply there’ve been slumps in her long career, and she won’t have any of that, even if for a time she was taking smaller jobs as the gaps widened between larger gigs. “It’s never been about the money, for me,” says Schreiber over [...]

  • What Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga Share:

    LeRoy Bennett Keeps Top Acts Like Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande in the Spotlight

    You might say that LeRoy Bennett is a shining light among lighting and production designers for pop music. Doing double duty creating both touring sets and their illumination, he started out with a 14-year run as Prince’s collaborator, went on to work with Nine Inch Nails and Madonna and has counted Beyoncé’s and Bruno Mars’ [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content