NC FILM INCENTIVES – Open letter from Rosin IATSE Local 491

Dear Film Friends:

Our mission remains the same: Do all we can to return the healthy film industry to North Carolina.

During this legislative session, while the exodus of our friends and jobs accelerates, the North Carolina House of Representatives has passed several economic development bills that could be used to address the harm done to the film industry. The Senate has not acted on a single one, and seems uninterested in economic development, even as Volvo, another auto plant, announces it is opening a new facility in South Carolina.

The news in the last few days has reported a total state coffer surplus of $1.1 billion. This reflects $400 million more in collections and roughly $70 million in existing reserves. So the argument that “tough times” is why we cannot return the film industry to a competitive national level simply will NOT fly this year. We should also ask, why does JONES STREET have a surplus, but MAIN STEET does not?

During the “Ironman” season, $84 million was granted as incentives for that banner year. As a result, our industry grew by leaps and bounds! Small business start-ups took root in Charlotte, Wilmington, Asheville and across the state. This year, legislation to increase the feeble $10 million grant amount has been introduced in both chambers, as well as a bi-partisan economic development bill which has been introduced in the House with the old film program included. But the fact is, at this late stage in the game, it’s all about a “grant.”

Representatives Ted Davis, Frank Iler, and Susi Hamilton continue to fight for our industry. The House has never been the challenge. Last year Representative Davis, with help from Frank and Susi, passed legislation that would have basically returned us to the film credit system we have long enjoyed, only to see that proposal die in the Senate.

Your House delegation is fighting hard for you, and I feel certain they will in the short term be able to increase the amount of the grant significantly when the House budget is rolled out soon.

We need to thank them and support them.

Whatever they are able to cobble together, and it will not be easy, we must demand that the Senate add a like amount to the fund. Please be clear on what I am saying: for every $100 the House puts in, the Senate needs to add a $100, or $200 total. Otherwise the Senate has not done anything!

Jason Rosin
IATSE Local 491
“Concerned for the Future of Film and TV in NC!”

To contact your legislatures:

‘Sleepy Hollow’ has a new night on FOX.

Courtesy of FOX

Sleepy Hollow is following Under the Dome‘s footsteps and moving to Thursday nights. The third season of Sleepy Hollow will air at 9 p.m.  The Fox show which is no longer an NC Film production is getting a showrunner change for season 3 as well.

Last week, the announcement was made regarding Sleepy Hollow heading to Conyers, GA which brings the area about 300 local jobs.  They will be injecting $4 million into the town.  What really made me wanna pull my hair out was when CREDC’s film production liaison Gina Hartsell said this: “We stole them away from North Carolina.”

It made me so angry simply because it’s true. Argh!  I am getting really tired of Georgia and South Carolina taking everything from us! From film to manufacturing. So now we wait as the NCGA takes their sweet time getting to the House and Senate bill that requested $66 million be added to the NC Film Grant. It could happen tomorrow or in June, there’s no time table yet. Everyday that goes by is another day we lose yet another production. I’ll keep you posted on that front.

Meanwhile last week, McCrory mentioned we had a $400 million surplus. Hey, I may have an idea what to do with some of it!


May the 4th be with you Wilmywood!

Today is the one year anniversary on the NC Film Rally which was held downtown Wilmington.  With over 1,000 people in attendance, we chanted, we cheered, we pleaded with our leaders, but it fell on deaf ears.

Now as we wait for the General Assembly to decide whether to add funds to the pathetic film grant we now have, perhaps we should remind them that We, the People, are just as passionate about keeping film jobs in North Carolina.

Today let’s honor our fight by reliving the NC Film Rally last year.  Post your photos and videos on ALL social media outlets from the rally and use the hashtags:

#NCFilm #SaveNCFilm #NCGA 

Wilmywood’s Joe Dunton and his successful jaunt from NC to LA.

Wilmington’s own Joe Dunton jetted west to Los Angeles  for  4 days of nonstop film fun and of course to talk serious NC Film Business on an International scale — as only Joe would do it.  As always Mr. Dunton does everything he can to keep Wilmington, NC in the forefront of Hollywood’s mind.  Here’s a ‘lil photo journal of his time in LA which was very well spent.


Joe Dunton meets with major financiers and Chinese investors interested in American properties (both film properties and the Real estate type) at the summit, as well as film producers and movie development companies targeting Chinese-American co-financing and co-productions in the United States and abroad.


Joe Dunton with Richard L. Anderson, Academy-Award nominated sound editor for Poltergeist, and Daylight, now a writer-director working with the Chinese. Richard was a keynote speaker at the Summit.


Joe Dunton talks NC Film with famed actor-producer James Hong, best known for Blade Runner, Chinatown, Big Trouble in Little China, Wayne’s World 2, and Seinfeld — among more than 500 roles in a seven-decade career.


Joe Dunton accepts special invitation to the screening of the re-mastered Blade Runner, directed by his old pal Ridley Scott, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Joe and Ridley began as “mates in the UK”, their close working and personal relationship has spanned decades.

image6Joe Dunton experienced the most advanced IMAX system in the world in 3D at the TCL Chinese Theatre. ​He was invited by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) to a technical demonstration and screening of the new Imax laser-illuminated projector and immersive-sound system (LIPS) in 3D on the Chinese Theatre’s screen — 90 feet wide and 45 feet tall, the only theatre in the U.S. to boast such as system, though more are planned, touted as “the science of cinema raised to the level of magic.”

​The lasers allow a 50 percent increase in illumination, especially noticeable in 3D. ​Joe is reported to have nodded in approval. ​He and his SMPTE friends stayed to see Fast and Furious 7 the premiere of IMAX LIPS in the U.S., financed in part by Chinese investors. F&F 7 is China’s highest grossing movie of all time.


​Joe Dunton with Natasha Braier, the internationally acclaimed cinematographer, on the set of The Neon Demon in Pasadena. ​Natasha, born in Argentina, was named one of 2013 Variety’s 10 Cinematographers to Watch and has lensed Glue, XXY, Chinese Puzzle, The Rover, and The Milk of Sorrow, winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and an Academy-Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film.

​Natasha earned her master of cinematography at the National Film and TV School in the United Kingdom, where she was a classmate and friend of Joe’s daughter, the director Erica Dunton.


​Joe is there in more than spirit: Natasha Braier, the cinematographer, is using Joe’s hand-designed specialty lenses throughout the entire shoot for The Neon Demon. ​The film stars Keanu Reeves, Elle Fanning and Christine Hendricks and is directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, who helmed the Pusher films, Valhalla Rising, Only God Forgives and the Academy Award nominated and critically acclaimed, Drive starring Ryan Gosling.


Joe received a warm on-set reception from a beaming Natasha, Elle Fanning, and a clearly impressed Nicholas Refn. Natasha made certain that Joe was on set to see the current exciting work these one of a kind Dunton lenses are producing on this very artistic, new Keanu movie.

ASHEVILLE, NC: Dirty Dancing coming this summer?

This summer don’t you dare put Baby in the corner!  The remake of Dirty Dancing which we have been talking about for a couple of months now, will indeed be heading back to the Asheville area, but when is the question.  When speaking with one of the production companies on this project, they still can’t even give a date as to when they are opening up offices in NC, citing no director or cast has even been selected yet.  Even so, it has been listed as Summer 2015. So, who knows, it could go into fall for all we know.

Although Production Weekly has Tim Bourne listed as Line Producer, don’t believe  it.  He’s currently working in Atlanta right now and is not attached to the project. I have notice that they have new producers and writers posted this time around. Producing are now Debra Martin Chase, Eleanor Bergstein and Judy Cairo.

The Citizen-Times has a little article that just came out.  They write,  “Application materials indicate the production will create an estimated 1,225 jobs in North Carolina, including 900 extras, 30 cast members and 225 “crew/full time” jobs. Total personnel is expected to be 1,300.” READ ARTICLE NOW

More details to come.

STATUS: Development / Pre-Production
LOCATION: Asheville, NC
PRODUCERS: Debra Martin Chase, Eleanor Bergstein, Judy Cairo

Coming from Martin Chase Productions, Allison Shearmur Productions and ABC (along with Lionsgate) is the remake of the 1987 romance film Dirty Dancing, a coming-of-age drama that documents a young debutante’s rebellion against her father by starting a relationship with a dance instructor during a family summer vacation.

DOR releases their report for 2014 direct film spending in NC.

The Department of Revenue released their report for direct spending. Productions spent $241,372,169 in North Carolina on goods, supplies, wages and employee benefits in 2014, receiving $60,343,039 (25%) in rebates.

Just a quick clarification from the NC Film Office: the numbers released by the NCDOR reflect what productions SUBMITTED on their required forms–which they can file at any time the production is ready– and does not necessarily mean that is what was spent or jobs created that specific year. For example, the NCDOR report does not have the full season of “Secrets and Lies” and its “Sleepy Hollow” numbers are for a previous year (not 2014’s S2); thus the total number is not ALL of what was spent in 2014. There are also productions listed that filmed prior to 2014, like “Well Wishes” and “Los Jets.”

Now, that being said, taking the top spot was who we expected. Sleepy Hollow spent a hefty $43,648,743. The Fox production also took the top spot when it comes to hires. Sleepy Hollow employed 1593 folks (Season One).

Our CBS show, Under the Dome spent $35,158,244 and employed 500.


The Cinemax series Banshee brought us $35,051,297. (no employment # listed)

Homeland was not far behind, spending $31,029,540. (no employment # listed) Submitted from 2013.

Other productions of note include The Longest Ride which spent $23,345,745 and hired close to 600 people. Another big job giver was the family film Max which hits theaters in July.  They spent $18,630,757 and employed 1082 people.

Further breaking down the report, productions spent $136 million in New Hanover County and just over $95 million in Mecklenberg County.

In total, $241,372,169 was spent in North Carolina by film and TV productions last year with 8381 jobs created. Check out the links below to see what’s film has spent in North Carolina over the last 9 years.

Spending in NC from 2005-2014