NORTH CAROLINA – $4 MILLION IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE AS PART OF NC FILM INCENTIVE

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JULY 27th, 2015

NORTH CAROLINA – $4 MILLION IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE 
AS PART OF NC FILM INCENTIVE

Today, North Carolina has opened the application process to award $ 4 million in immediate funding from the NC Film Grant.  These are unused funds that were returned from the previous funding cycle earlier this year.  Applications for projects are being accepted beginning today through 5pm on Friday, August 7.  Click here to learn more about the qualifications and the application process.

Regarding future funding for the NC Film Grant Fund, the North Carolina Legislature has yet to finalize the State Budget for FY 15/16 and FY 16/17.  We expect this process to be completed in the next two months.  At that time, we will release further information regarding future availability of funds and the application process.

Meanwhile, film and television work continues in North Carolina with seasoned crews, exceptional facilities, diverse locations, and great weather.  So Just Relax, and give us a call today.

Regards,

Johnny Griffin
Director
Wilmington Regional Film Commission

SEE GRANT INFO HERE

North Carolina loses another production to Georgia

(Photo Source: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/)

Well, we can thank the General Assembly for this news…

I have just been told the original Netflix series starring Winona Ryder which had a close eye on Wilmywood, ultimately decided to go where most do these days. Georgia. A couple of heads of production scouted here last week and were very pleased with Wilmington. The creatives especially. One of the main reasons they really liked Wilmington is it could easily double for the town of Montauk which is located on the very eastern tip of Long Island. It’s a fishing village but also has very expensive estates, and a lot of very old money. Certain areas of Wilmington could perfectly double for Montauk and from what I have been told the creatives agreed.

But money always wins in the end. Because North Carolina is into its new fiscal year with absolutely ZERO dollars for film, Wilmington lost yet another show.

Some folks are saying they are going to Atlanta, however, the closest thing they will get for Montauk is Tybee Island — where they shot Sponge Bob 2. It will be a much harder task to recreate Montauk in Georgia, but until North Carolina gets their shit together (pardon my French), productions will just be a passing ship through the night for us.

Is very heartbreaking as it would have that worked out perfectly especially for the Under the Dome crew who possibly could have rolled over to that show which will be filming through 2016.

300 jobs. Poof.

UTDradio

NCFILM UPDATE: $60M for film for 2015-2016 and 2016-2017

The 1st draft of the NC House budget for 2015-2016 has come out.  And of course I went straight to film (page 162). I am not sure how this makes any sense what so ever. If you look at the numbers column you will see $0 for 2015-2016, but $60M for 2016-2017. HOWEVER, the verbage says otherwise:

Provides funds to the Film and Entertainment Grant Fund established NR in G.S. 143B-437.02A, to encourage the production of motion pictures, television shows, and commercials and to develop the filmmaking industry within the State. In addition to the $60 million appropriated for FY 2016-17, another $60 million is earmarked and appropriated to the Fund from the FY 2014-15, bringing the total amount available for grants to $120 million.

housedraft

UPDATE: This is going to sound quite confusing but I’m just telling you what was told to me.  The reason why there is no $60M for the 2015-2016 fical year in this budget is because it is coming from the “Unreserved Fund Balance.” From what I’ve been told, that is part of the $400M surplus we had.

So, it looks as though $60M for two consecutive years is a decent starting point. Now, this is not a final budget; it’s just a starting point.  We shall see how it all plays out.  Honestly, it wont be shocking to see that number go down to $30-40M when the NC House is all done with it.  Remember, it still has to go through the Senate too. I will keep you posted!

 

 

 

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:
NC HOUSE CONTACTS 
NC SENATE CONTACTS

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.

underthedome03102014

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

 

NC FILM: The 2015 Grant Recipients.

Raleigh, N.C.- North Carolina Commerce Secretary John E. Skvarla, III and the Economic Development Partnership of N.C. announced three productions will receive funds from the newly established North Carolina Film and Entertainment Grant.

The three productions altogether are expected to have direct in-state spending of about $61 million across North Carolina this year with the grant program. Remember, just 6 months into 2014, the North Carolina Film Office reported an estimated $268 million in direct in-state spending when we had our previous 25% film incentives.

According to the NCFO, the film and entertainment grant recipients include:

Under The Dome (Season 3) shooting again in Wilmington. The television series uses the cities of Burgaw, Southport and Wilmington to create its fictitious town of Chester’s Mill. The eligible grant amount is $5 million.

An Untitled Lionsgate Television Project will also receive funding and is expected to shoot in Western North Carolina. The eligible grant amount is $4 million. (I believe this is Dirty Dancing, but don’t quote me on it)

Late in the Season is a story of a 31-year old Seattle stockbroker with a mysterious past who walks on to a small North Carolina college basketball team and inspires his struggling teammates’ lives with hope as they reach for a championship. The production will use the picturesque Davidson campus as its main location and will base in the greater Charlotte area. The eligible grant amount is $1 million.

In 2014, they boasted about nearly 19,000 job opportunities for North Carolinians. No mention yet how many job opportunities they are as of 2015.

During the past six years, productions have had a direct in-state spend of more than $1.3 billion.

RELATED ARTICLES:

New film grants support three productions (WRAL)
Film and Entertainment Grant Recipients Announced (NC Film Office)

NC FILM Update: New House Bill Includes Film Incentives.

The Omnibus Economic Development Improvements Bill aka HB 89 was filed today and was sponsored by House Reps Susi Hamilton (New Hanover, Brunswick) and Rodney Moore (Mecklenburg). This house bill is an act to restore various tax credits such as the jobs catalyst fund, the Mill Property Rehabilitation Tax Credit, Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits and yes the North Carolina Film Incentives.  You heard me right.  Not the grant.  The film Incentives.  That’s what the language certainly looks like.

At first glance, starting on page 20, HB 89 is reverting to the 25% film incentive we had in previous years, with some very minor changes.  Minimum would revert back to $250,000 and the cap again on the 25% back would be $20 million.  Slight changes such as certified CPAs to audit instead on IRS, and other minor details have been added.  The sunset proposed is January 1, 2020.

Take a look and see what other differences you can find.  I wouldn’t get your hopes up too high, but I am glad that Susi and Rodney have gotten the ball rolling.  We gotta start somewhere in this fight to keep NC Film.

We know recently, Small Business for Film has collected more than 450 memberships statewide in less than 30 days and Governor Pat McCrory has recently stated the urgency for JDIG to be reinstated.

Of course, it was proven that when the film incentive is gone, production companies with medium to large budgets will not come to North Carolina to employ film workers and inject money in the local economy.  We have seen two existing shows with big budgets (Banshee and Sleepy Hollow) cease to return.  And of course, still a sore subject, Danny McBride and Jody Hill’s latest HBO show, Vice Principals setting up shop in South Carolina.

Now, it’s between the House and the Senate to decide on the “state of the slate.”

READ HB 89 NOW: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2015/Bills/House/PDF/H89v0.pdf