Tonight, the short session came to an end with film almost last on their list. The amendment came from Rep. Ted Davis. Ted, was the one who proposed the best bill (2nd to Susi Hamiltons) this week and it failed. He isn’t giving up as you can plainly see. This time around he went in with the “grant” proposal such like the one Bill Rabon presented to the Senate. The results VOTES: 90 Yays 26 Nays. The film incentives are now in the House budget, with a $5 appropriation. Now it will go to conference.
The original grant program proposed by Bill Rabon would have a $20 million reserve for the 2014-15 fiscal year (the year end would be summer 2015, I believe) The money would come from two state reserve funds.
For features, you have to spend a minimum of $10 million and the grant payout would be capped at $5 million. TV would have to spend at least $1 million per episode with the same cap, $5 million. Commercials need to spend a minimum of $500,000, with a payout cap of $250,000.
Now that it is has passed, they can now go into negotiations. So as you can already see, Under the Dome, Sleepy Hollow and any feature film that spends over $20 million in the state would not benefit from this program. Also, this would also mean that we can only have so many projects until the well went dry. Once $20 million has been given out, we must wait until the next fiscal year. Also, the original proposal would sunset in July, 2020. Sooo, they will go and and get to work to make the new proposal more viable for the industry.
(Now in my personal opinion – the only way to make this proposal work for our industry would be basically to at least double the cap and increase the reserve. )
It’s not over yet. We won the battle of the budget. Yes, the battle, not the war! We still have a ways to go. But let’s focus on this. We got it in the budget because of you. Your phone calls. Your emails. You did it!
I know this grant is not what everyone wants, but let’s see how it all plays out. They still have a lot of work to do to get it viable. I will keep you posted.
Also, it might be a great idea to contact and thank these folks who helped us immensely:
Rep. Susi Hamilton: Susi.Hamilton@ncleg.net 919-733-5754
Rep. Ted Davis: Ted.Davis@ncleg.net 919-733-5786
Rep. Beck Carney: Becky.Carney@ncleg.net 919-733-5827
Rep. Frank Iler: Frank.Iler@ncleg.net 919-301-1450