McCrory touts film industry’s presence in North Carolina

Posted by Patrick Gannon on December 17, 2013 

UPDATED: Gov. Pat McCrory’s office on Tuesday sent out a news release touting a strong year for the film industry in the state, one driven by television series as much as movies.

It comes as North Carolina’s film incentives program, credited with much of the industry’s success, faces elimination at the end of 2014 without General Assembly action.

More than 60 productions were filmed in North Carolina in 2013, and filming took place in more than 30 of the state’s 100 counties, the governor’s office said. “In addition to our state’s beauty, we’ve developed the workforce and artists that make North Carolina an ideal place to produce quality projects efficiently,” McCrory said in the release.

Projections show that productions spent more than $254 million and created more than 4,000 crew positions in 2013. They also created nearly 25,000 "job opportunities," including talent and extra positions, the governor's office said. It's the state's second best year for spending by production companies, trailing only 2012, when $377 million was spent.

If all of the $254 million spent was eligible for the state's 25 percent film tax credit, production companies would be expected to receive about $64 million back in incentives from the state. But state film officials said the state wouldn't know how much of that spending qualifies for incentives until the Department of Revenue releases a report in May. In the fiscal year ending June 30, film incentives cost the state general fund $60.1 million, according to a Department of Revenue report.

Aaron Syrett, director of the N.C. Film Office, said he anticipates a debate in the upcoming legislative short session, which begins in May, over whether to extend the state's film incentives beyond 2014.

Five major series — the summer’s top show “Under The Dome,” Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow,” the second season of the Cinemax series “Banshee,” the third season of the Showtime series “Homeland” and the final season of HBO’s “Eastbound and Down” — filmed in the state.

Production on the feature films “Tammy,” “Careful What You Wish For,” “The Ultimate Life,” “The World Made Straight,” “Grass Stains,” “The Squeeze,” “Captive” and “Tusk” also took place in North Carolina. Made-for-television movies filmed and aired in 2013 included “Christmas In Conway,” Norman Rockwell’s “Shuffleton Barbershop” and “The Perfect Summer.” National commercials for Mountain Dew, ESPN, NASCAR, Planters, Audi and Fiat also shot in the state.

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