N.C. film spending estimated to exceed $300M
July 25, 2012By Alison Lee Satake
The film and television industry has spent a record high – more than $300 million – in North Carolina this year, according to data released Wednesday by the N.C. Film Office and Gov. Beverly Perdue. Last year, the industry brought in $220 million to the state.
So far this year, more than 35 productions including national commercials, feature films and television series have notified the state film office of their intent to film. The influx of work here is expected to result in more than 15,000 jobs of which 3,300 are local film crew positions.
“My top priority is creating jobs and the enhanced film credit has created record spending by production companies in this state and resulted in thousands of jobs,” Perdue said in a release. “It’s great to see this industry thriving again in North Carolina, and we must continue to build on this momentum by creating even more of an economic impact.”
Such feature and independent films as Iron Man 3, Safe Haven, We’re the Millers, The Warren Files (The Conjuring), The Occult, Jessabelle, You Are Here and Writers either have or are in the process of filming in 30 of the state’s 100 counties.
Television production is also up. The second season of Homeland, the next season of The Bachelorette, and two new series, Banshee and Revolution are in production.
Commercials also have been shot for Under Armour, ESPN and Mountain Dew this year.
Such work has increased since the General Assembly in 2010 approved a 25 percent refundable film tax credit. Under the current incentive, productions must spend at least $250,000 to be eligible for a 25 percent refund on spending of in-state goods, services and labor up to $7.5 million. Productions receive the refund after spending has occurred and they have been audited by the N.C. Department of Revenue.
Several lower budget projects and commercials whose cost didn’t meet the state’s minimum requirement for the tax incentive have also brought in jobs and revenue.
“We have one of the smartest incentives in the nation, and when combined with our talented crew base and diverse locations, it makes our state ideal for filmmakers,” N.C. Film Office director Aaron Syrett said in a release.
Syrett’s office is responsible for recruiting productions to the state by marketing its assets, which include the film incentive, crew base, infrastructure and locations. It also assists productions with permitting, logistics and collaborates with regional film commissions in the Wilmington, Research Triangle, Piedmont Triad, Charlotte and western regions of the state.