Revised language for $30M NCFilm Grant. Raises Cap for TV series.

Last week, Senator Michael Lee announced that the leadership of the House and Senate agreed to replenish the NC Film Grant with $60M for the next 2 fiscal years — $30M per fiscal year.  The next step was to revise the language of the film grant.  The goal was to focus more on television series rather than features which would be more beneficial to NC Film Crew and small businesses.  Most of the changes relate to that.

The budget compromise is 429 pages long and the Senate will be voting on the deal tomorrow.  Someone bring in the coffee, Jolt Cola and Red Bull please cuz it’s gonna be a long night!  Seriously, how on earth can one human carefully go through 429 pages and know what the hell they are voting on?  I’m definitely NOT saying to NOT end this thing. Lord knows this budget is almost 11 weeks overdue, but…well, I’m just sayin’! At least the House requires 72 hours before voting after receiving a monster like this budget.  The Senate, however, does not.  FYI, according to Colin Campbell over at the N&O, this year’s budget will be the longest-delayed spending plan since 2002.

Our legislators in the NC Senate in general as you know are NOT fans of the film industry. So you can imagine what it would be like to fight for it.  It’s like trying to run up a tidal wave. So, any changes that were made, were nothing short of a miracle. So, if you have a moment, please make a call or send an email to Michael Lee, Bill Rabon, and Harry Brown on the Senate side and of course Rep. Ted Davis in the House and thank them for fighting for us.

Anyway, let’s get to it. What are the major changes in the language?

First, the NC Film Grant is a five year plan, expiring July 1, 2020. In this budget we are replenished for the first two years.

Currently the NC Film Grant has a minimum spend of $250,000 per episode for video or television series. The minimum spend will increase to $1M per episode.  As a dear friend of mine put it, that will assure we don’t get a lot of low budget/low rate crapola. Yeah, I’d say that’s a good way to put it.

Feature Films remain at $5M. Commercials remain the same as well at $250,000.

Now for the cap! We all detest the $5M cap. The current cap has a max rebate of $5M, up to 25% on qualified expenses/purchases of productions for an entire television series or feature film.  We lost out on a few projects because of that! So, the good news is that the max payout will be raised from $5M to $9M for a single television series.

Now here’s where it gets interesting.  All things are not created equal.  Like feature films. The current the rebate would remain the same at $5M.

You see what they did there? Do I love it? Not really. But should we focus on longer term projects such as television? Yes. As I stated earlier, the goal was to focus more on television series – longer term jobs for the crew and more spending with our vendors. Television is more important to our film folks.

Of course we all wish we could just go back to our good old film incentives, and throw the grant out the window. But it is what it is and we can only move forward from here. What we have in the new budget will get us back on our feet, so in the end it’s worth smiling about.

Other changes include fringe benefits for those who work less than 35 hours per week. In the new grant language, it removes the 35 hours.  I don’t have a complete understanding about this yet.

So now the Senate will vote then the House this week.  Will they make their Friday deadline?  Will the Governor veto? We shall see…

SEE HOUSE BILL 97 NOW (Film Grant on page 299)


FILM INCENTIVES INTERVIEW: (AUDIO) Dr. Ernie Ward – Running for District 8 against Rabon

This morning I had the chance to speak with Dr. Ernie Ward who is against Sen. Rabon vying for district 8 in this November’s election.  He is a world renown veterinarian who had been involved in the media and film for years.  His focus is on the  public school system, our water and land, animal welfare and of course film.  here what he has to say aboutt he NC Film Incentives and why the grant program that Rabon is pushing just won’t work!



Dr. Ernie Ward
Phone: 910-849-1295
Email: Clay Pittman, Campaign Manger:
Twitter: @ErnieWard_

If you are an animal advocate, here’s a little video from his web site – Dr. Ernie Ward for NC Senate – North Carolina Advocate

THE WILMYWOOD DAILY – 06/10/2014 Film Incentives, Longest Ride Rodeo for Charity and more!

NCFilmRally050414_0082The state Senate gave final approval to the “grant” bill last night.  It’s being sent to the House.  However, from what I am hearing, it will die there.  So no Susi Hamilton bill, and no Bill Rabon bill. However, others still have the hope that HB 1142 will still make it.  If that is the case, it is in the finance committee.  Feel free to contact them and tell them you want HB1142 which keeps our 25% film incentives and ends the sunset.

Currently, the film incentives are not in the budget.  So, to put it bluntly we have nothing.  House Speaker Thom Tillis along with the House Republicans plan to reveal their spending plan as early as today.   That’s why today is so important.  Today is THE day my friends!

thom_tillisPlease Call, call and call Thom Tillis.  It only takes 20 seconds and human beings actually answer the phones.  They have to document every call they get, and they will take down your message!  Tell the folks who answer the phones to pass the message on to Thom that you are a voter, you want film to stay and you NEED him to put the film incentives in the budget.  Tell him to HELP us!  Email:   Phone: 919-733-3451

We need YOU to do it, not someone else and not later.  We need you now!

With that being said, the group “Americans for Prosperity” has created an anti-film radio campaign statewide which began last weekend, calling our film incentives “Hollywood Handouts.”  Now, most of you know how ignorant that statement is, however, again, we must educate the public and let the truth shine on.  Film = Jobs.  Film = Community.  Film =Tourism.


We are running an ad campaign of our own on radio statewide and we need your help!! Please throw in $5 or more so we can run our radio ads about keeping the NC Film Incentives in NC. We are almost up to $1600! We need about $5000.00 Let’s keep it going NC!!! We need to make this happen in 24 hours! Chip in! I threw in $200, but you can throw in whatever you can afford! DONATE NOW!

tscc3Calling All Volunteers for ‘The Longest Ride’ Movie to Benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

The Longest Ride will be filming a rodeo scene late July, where the production will need to fill the bleachers with over 4,000 audience members. They are looking for volunteers who want to help a great cause at the same time!

The Longest Ride will be filming a rodeo scene late July, where the production will need to fill the bleachers with over 4,000 audience members. They are looking for volunteers who want to help a great cause at the same time!
The team of Extra Casting Director, Marty Siu, has contacted several charities including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to VOLUNTEER for this one larger RODEO scene. They will sponsor each person for $20 per person – per day. For each person we get to commit and show up the day of filming, production will give $20 per person back to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. THIS is a NON-PAID VOLUNTEER opportunity! No further payment will be made to the person other than the donation to CF.

The rodeo scene is three days, so if each person commits to all three days, you could triple the donation to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation!  You do not have to commit to all three days in order to volunteer!  They are looking at late July around the Leland area. (Location subject to change).

If you are interested in volunteering, please email: 
Full name:
Phone number:
Age category: (adult, teen, or child – no one under 10)
Days committed – All three (OR) Name the day

Extra Casting Director, Marty Siu, will send out an email with the information (where to meet, what to bring, etc.) before the three days of filming. It could be a LONG day (up to 12 hours per day)  Again this is a volunteer position, but of course you will be fed handsomely!

screengems EUE/Screen Gems Studio Tours will NOT BE CONDUCTED this Saturday, June 14th due to filming on the lot. Tours will resume on Sunday, June 15th at regularly scheduled times: 10 am, 12 noon, and 2 pm.


Perry’s Emporium has the exclusive NC Film Pendants in stock now! They also ship everywhere, so call them to order one or stop by and pick one up! Price: $39.95 Located at 2520 Independence Blvd in Wilmington 910-392-6721  They are open Tues – Sat: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm.  I am wearing mine proudly!

filmjobsLOOKING FOR THOSE FILM=JOBS STICKERS? Sunrise Broadcasting has a few.  Feel free to stop by and grab one while they last at 25 N. Kerr Ave. (near the intersection of Market and Kerr across from the new Walgreens).  Offices are open 8:30am-5:30pm M-F.

FIlmWilm2WE GOT MORE!  Last time, they flew out of here in 24 hours!  Thanks to Jed and the gang over at Image Monster, you can now pick up these fab stickers at the Sunrise Broadcasting, too! Film=Jobs folks!  Spread the word!


That just about does it for me; I will have more Wilmywood updates for you Monday morning (unless something breaks) and every weekday morning we do “What’s Up in Wilmywood” at 7:30am & 8:30am LIVE on Sunny 104.5.  And on Thursdays during Cape Fear CW‘s Primetime News at 10!  Got Scoop?  Email me:  Or message me on Wilmywood’s FB  or on Twitter You can also just post your comments below!  Until then, that’s a wrap!!

Game Time: Senate passes the “film-incentive grant program”[Crown]-Keep-Calm-And-Keep-Filming-Nc-While most of us want to send hate mail to Bill Rabon (SEE ARTICLE), it has come to light that we must praise him. He has everyone and their mama trying to tear down the film incentives so he is fighting for our film lives. He is simply playing the game.

If he did not move this bill forward it would have died and we would have nothing. No other bill would have passed in the Senate. It would have stalled out like a Yugo trying to drive through Kill Devils Hills.

We are in the third quarter of the Superbowl. It is now going back to the House and if the game is played correctly it will go in to conference. This is exactly where we want it.

At that point our star players on our team can then craft it into the best film incentive we can get at this time.

It won’t be perfect, but it will hopefully be enough to continue to draw productions into North Carolina. The legislators have been schooled over the past few days on what will work and what won’t from some, let’s just say, VERY knowledgeable folks. Let’s not forget, we have a solid crew, and productions need our local crew to curb the otherwise insane expense of bringing them in.

Stay strong, stay positive. Remember how politics operate.  It’s all a strategic game.  We will be at :06 on the clock during the 4th quarter until we know the final outcome. In the meantime, let’s keep praising those who are fighting for us and continue to show our support.