FEATURED ART: Local artist Tym Dvorak shares his feelings about the current state of turmoil that is the North Carolina film industry.
After soaking in all that happened last week and hearing from government officials, studio managers and you, I am finally ready to share my own take. Governor McCrory slapped us in the face. It’s as simple as that. Numerous times over the past couple of months he has been invited to visit our studios and film sets to get a better understanding of how we do business and who does business with who; how film benefits the communities in North Carolina.
First of all, McCrory flew in to Wilmington using our tax dollars to pay for his mode of transportation and fuel. Screen Gems was less than a mile from the airport. Did he decide to educate himself on a major industry that is green and supports thousands of people in the state he runs? No. All requests were denied. He refused to come to the film workers, so they came to him. From what I am hearing his people were furious, citing the TV station set them up because over 50 film workers and supporters gathered yielding signs for him to save our jobs while he took the time to do an interview (of course that wasn’t true). The one thousand other folks in the area couldn’t make it, they were WORKING (Sleepy Hollow, Under the Dome, The Longest Ride, Bolden!, Secrets & Lies). He didn’t acknowledge anyone on the way in, but feeling the pressure, he did walk up to the people on the way out. The 52 people split up to cover both exits.
McCrory put on that political Cheshire cat grin and thanked the folks for coming out, standing in the heat. He looked workers right in the eye and touted how much he loved the film industry, and that he was actually in a couple of flicks, just an hour after he told the Star News he would not support extending the film incentives for another year( in order to further study the impact on this state). He gave the same old schpeel about long term goals and that he is working on a plan and a compromise.
You want long term? How about a rich 30 year history of filmmaking in just Southeastern NC alone. Of course there was that dry spell when the state took away our incentives and it took about 6 or 7 years to get it going again.
Again, if one refuses to educate him or herself on how a business works, that person is clearly not the one to make a decision on how it operates in the first place.
The governor needs to stop pandering to his election campaign donors, including the Koch Brothers’ Americans for Prosperity. His actions have made it very clear that all he cares about is turning North Carolina into an oil and energy mecca like Texas. Everything else is put on the way side, including Medicaid, teachers, healthcare, you name it. Fracking, however, no problem.
It’s time for McCrory to look in the mirror and take off his “stupid” hat and put his “thinking” cap on.
We say that the ball is in the Governor’s court to decide the fate of our film incentives, however, the GOP controlled House/Senate can override any vetoed legislation that McCrory doesn’t like, therefore does he truly have power?
So, this is why it is so important that we contact our legislators THIS WEEK, especially those who are running for reelection this fall. This will be the week that the legislators will play the trading game. “I will give you this, if you vote for this.” The whole back scratching scenario. There are a lot of legislators who need the film incentives vote to get themselves reelected. This is not just a local issue. Film/TV productions have filmed in 77 of the 100 counties in North Carolina. Make sure you get this message out state wide.
Let them know you are a voter and ask them to extend the film incentives. This is something we need to do ONCE A DAY this entire week. Show them power in numbers. We all know we have over 25,000 people across the state that are somehow affected by the film industry in a positive way, from workers, to actors to extras to vendors. All of us need to reach out and make sure all 25,000 contact their legislators.
We will need to set aside 10 minutes a day. I think we can all find the time. Everyone has a lunch break. Here are the folks you need to contact everyday this week!
Sen. Phil Berger (President Pro Tempore)
Sen. Bill Rabon
Rep. Julia Howard
If you have time, also include others on the Sen. Finance Chairs:
Sen. Bob Rucho
Sen. David Curtis
Sen. Ron Rabin
HERE’S THE CONTACT LIST FOR ALL NC HOUSE MEMBERS, CONTACT THOSE IN YOUR DISTRICT: http://keepncfilm.org/contact-nc-representatives/
Perhaps a letter to the editor of the Star News is more your kind of thing? We are urging crew members and small businesses to express their feelings on the matter and tell them how losing film would effect you.
Tricia Vance – Letters to the Editor
Yes, we are the underdogs, but I’ve always believed in them. After all, we’ve seen Braveheart. We know what it takes to win. And if by chance you are not inspired by what I am telling you, perhaps a little Europe can help!