Rep. Tillis and Gov. Chris Christie sneak out back door to escape film supporters?

This morning on Market St between Front and 2nd, a total of 63 film supporters came out for a last minute mini-rally.  Not a bad turn out considering the rest of the folks are working. And what better place to hold one when the NJ Governor Chris Christie came into town to support the Koch Brothers’  funded Thom Tillis Campaign for US Senate.  We gathered and shared voting information, discussed which NCGA members are for and against our NC Film Incentives  (See Filmmakers voting guide – NCGA_FilmmakersVotingGuide_2014) and also to express our feelings about Thom Tillis showing up in Southeastern North Carolina to do some fundraising. As you know his campaign will fail without SENC on his side, and we will do everything we can to stop him.

When the cars came around in front of the Dixie Grill, Gov. Christie looked a little surprised at the crowd before him. Thom, not so much.  He’s got a good poker face. We gave them their respected breathing room and stood on the median 20 feet away. As media from Charlotte, Raleigh and, of course, Wilmington rolled their cameras and audio devices, the film supporters chanted, “Film =Jobs” until their vocal chords needed a rest.  As Tillis and Christie sashayed through the restaurant doors, a film truck rolled by with joyous honks to support those holding signs.

Meanwhile, Thom Goolsby snuck through the back door to get into the event.

While indoors they smiled and shook hands with their supporters, but the crowd moved on either side of the doorway, lining the curb and still chanting every few minutes.  As expected, Tillis said what we predicted he would say the minute he did his thing in the short session. “Well, I voted for film.”  When one knows the Senate won’t take it up, one can say anything he or she likes to look good.  Perhaps he shouldn’t have had his people whipping up votes against film the first time around!  I am not sure if he thinks we would not remember, or we are just plain dumb, but whatever the case, it was a nice effort on his part.  Bless his heart.

Knowing that we would not leave, it appeared that he chose to exit through the back door in order to avoid us like the plague as did Gov. Christie and Thom Goolsby. Is there any other explanation? Can’t think of any, either. We left the walkway clear for them to exit. I consider that quite a cowardice move, don’t you?

If you were unsure of what they really think about film in this state, you know now.  We have got to let them know just because you have billionaires in your back pocket, and “celebrity” politicians supporting you, doesn’t mean you will get elected.

As NC FILM fades to black who NOT to vote for at the polls.

Even though his very own Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker says that the JDIG program will run out of money by October unless the General Assembly acts, the Governor put the nail in the coffin today announcing he would NOT call the General Assembly back into a special session.

He is choosing fracking over film, he is choosing potential jobs over those that already exist.

So, you officially know what that means. The film incentives will not exist come January 1, 2015.  As you know we already lost Banshee.  We will not see the return of Sleepy Hollow, we will not see ABC’s Secrets & Lies go to Charlotte for a second season. We have lost two indie projects that were projected to come to Wilmington at the beginning of 2015.  We have lost a network television series and a mini-series, one to to Charleston, SC and one to New Orleans, LA.  We have also been passed over for 9 other productions because of the uncertainty. And unless Under the Dome is getting some “special” deal with the grant program, they will likely head to Charleston, SC or somewhere else.

Gov McCrory is touting about jobs, yet he is clearly just fine and dandy with losing 4200 in the film industry and he is clearly okay with the affects it will have on approximately 25,000 people across the state who are supplemented by it in some way.

The House was ready to be called back, however the Senate is another story.  And a majority of them MUST go!  The General Elections are November 4th, and we must all get EVERYONE to the polls!  We might have lost this battle, but just like Sleepy Hollow has proclaimed, “war is coming,” and we will not lose it!

Please view the complete list of all the members of the House and the Senate. You will see statewide, who is for and who is against the current film incentives. We need to make sure the General Assembly FEELS the affects of the film industry, ESPECIALLY at the polls!



CHARLOTTE, NC: One more film before the end of the year?

TheLongestRide071014_0152Rumor has it, Producer Marty Bowen is bringing Temple Hill Entertainment back to North Carolina yet again this year.  And if the rumors are true, it looks like he will be heading to Charlotte, NC with his partner in crime Wyck Godfrey. Both, of course, were just here in Wilmington this summer producing the Nicholas Sparks adaptation, The Longest Ride.

????????????This fall,  Paper Towns just might be heading to Charlotte.  This is a story of friendship, come and gone and has a very Stand by Me feel to it (without the dead body).  Taking on the lead role, is Nat Wolff who will be returning to North Carolina for the 3rd time in his career, the second this year alone.  Nat was just here a few months ago in NC for the Mickey Rourke flick, Ashby.   Nat and Marty have already worked together on The Fault in our Stars. Directing is the award winning Jake Schreier.

If these rumors are true, this will a huge relief to the Charlotte area filmmakers and will get them through the holidays with their families.  This of course is especially needed after Cinemax (or HBO) decided to move Banshee to Louisiana for the next two seasons due to the film incentives expiring at the end of the year. (See related article)

While working on The Longest Ride here in Wilmington, Marty did mention Paper Towns, but he did not reveal the location.   Marty was already seasoned to the area as he was also the producer for Sparks’ Safe Haven and Dear John.  He absolutely loves North Carolina and has a strong bond with our state.  In fact, his son was born here in Wilmywood! Besides already having a connection to our state, he also has a strong tie to our North Carolina Film Crew.  I caught up with him a few months back and asked if he could explain exactly why our NC Film crew is world class and what it actually means.  LISTEN NOW

Paper Towns is expected to begin production in November with offices projected to open at the end of September. More details to come and let all the rumors be true! 🙂

ABOUT PAPER TOWNS: Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life-dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge-he follows. After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues-and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew. ~GoodReads


Banshee’s Director Greg Yaitanes’ wrap speech

Last week, Cinemax’s Banshee wrapped it’s third season in Charlotte, North Carolina. Director Greg Yaitanes gathered the cast and crew.  In a heartfelt speech of gratitude and sadness, he ended his talk with a farewell.

“The hardest thing I want to touch on is I want to thank this gang, North Carolina as our home. We’ve all talked to you individually, but…

It’s a very sad time when you look at what we built, both in the community, in relationships, what we physically built on stage to be pushed out essentially by state politics, not by our own doing, or our own failures.

bansheeWe’ve built up something great here and it’s sad for so many reasons, but yet I wanna look at the these years we have had here, the incredible show that we built, and the work we’ve done together is hard, I know, I work everybody here hard, I know it’s a tough show, I know we rolled with a lot of punched this year. But the work that has resulted that we will see in January is phenomenal and this crew and this gang which is a mix of people I have worked with on House and beyond…it’s exciting to see new and old everybody came together in a way that it’s been a time in my life I will always remember in my career, I will always cherish it. Thank you so much for everything.”

Just a couple of days ago, Governor Pat McCrory just wasn’t exactly sure if the film incentives expiring was the reason for Banshee‘s move to Louisiana.

Are we clear now, Governor?


Pender County leaders urge Governor to call special session for economic development including film.

The Pender County Board of Commissioners sent out a letter today to Governor Pat McCrory, Senator Phil Berger and Speaker Thom Tillis urging the Governor to call a special session of the General Assembly to reconsider a “broad range of economic development opportunities,” with film incentives being a top priority.

Board Members J. David Williams, Fred McCoy, George Brown, Jr., Jimmy Tate, Chester Ward as well as Interim county manager, Robert Murphy and county attorney Trey Thurman expressed their concern saying the loss of the current film incentives will hit their area hard.  They also stated that they have spent a lot of money developing the industrial park and the loss of a number of incentive programs could mean they will lose the tools they need in order to “effectively secure tenants.”

They have asked the Governor to please call the special session so that they can reinstate the much needed economic programs that has served North Carolina well over the years.

READ LETTER NOW: Letter from Pender County BOC

Wilmywood leaders urge Governor to call special session for film incentives

Local leaders urge Governor to call special session for film incentives

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – Today, elected leaders from New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington sent a letter to Governor Pat McCrory, Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis, with a collective voice urging the Governor to call a special session of the General Assembly to reconsider film incentives.

The economic vitality of business and film was identified as one of the County’s three legislative agenda items earlier this year and at an August 26th joint meeting of the New Hanover County Commission and the City of Wilmington Council, support for the film industry was again identified as a top priority. The elected leaders urged reconsideration of film incentives and support of an existing industry as a key economic driver for our region and state.

“The time is now for our elected leaders in Raleigh to act. Saving the film industry is vital to our state and region. If they do nothing these jobs will evaporate.” said New Hanover County Chairman Woody White.

The State’s $21.25 billion budget plan, unveiled last month, allocates $10 million for a film incentive grant program, a significant reduction from the current package that allows productions that spend at least $250,000 in the state to claim 25 percent of their qualifying expenses up to $20 million.

The letter can be viewed here.


Release Contact:

Carey Disney Ricks
Public and Legislative Affairs Manager
(910) 798-7177

THE WILMYWOOD DAILY – 08/27/2014 HBO scouts for fall before film incentives expire, Wilmington officials plea with Governor McCrory, UTD Ratings

Mornin’ Sunshine! Happy Humpday.  Not too much going on today, but we do have a few things noteworthy.

The Emmys kicked everyone in the tail. Under the Dome did decent enough, but showed lower numbers with a 1.4 A18-49, 6.59M viewers.


ABC’s Secrets & Lies is in Porter’s Neck today and Sleepy Hollow is at the sound stages today.

DIckCheneyHBO has been scouting North Carolina, among other states for their mini series Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency (adaptation  of the book by Washington Post investigative reporter Barton Gellman published in 2008).  Some sources say they have made their decision and are shooting in New York and North Carolina, however, other sources say they have not locked in NC as a location. At least not yet anyway. Wherever they shoot, they will need to make a decision soon as production is supposed to start in October. The Line Producer is Louise Rosner. David Frankel is directing. More on this project from The Hollywood Reporter. READ NOW 

FILM INCENTIVE UPDATE: The Port City Daily reports, “City of Wilmington and New Hanover County officials are formally asking Gov. Pat McCrory to reconvene the North Carolina General Assembly to resolve the issue of the state’s film credit.”  READ MORE AT PORT CITY DAILY


That just about does it for me; I will have more Wilmywood updates for you tomorrow 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!!

THE WILMYWOOD DAILY – 08/13/2014 Johnny Pemberton coming to town, Marketplace highlights Film Incentives, Film Foto and more.

Johnny_AdJohnny Pemberton is coming to the Dead Crow Comedy Room on  August 16th and 17th shows at 8 pm and 10 pm Johnny is a comedian and actor who lives in Los Angeles.  You’ve seen him as Delroy in 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street as well as The Watch, This is 40 and more.  Tickets are $12.00.

If you are a member of the NC Film Industry, however, you can attend the Sunday, 8pm show for only $5.00. Timmy Sherrill invites you to check out the new digs and come have some laughs.

remainingCoverICYMI: Even though it won’t be in theaters until September 5th, it looks like our Wilmywood shot flick, The Remaining, has been adapted into a comic.  Kingstone Comics is launching the graphic novel digitally on ComiXology, a website of comics collections, this Friday and will be available in retail stores the following Friday, August 22. READ MORE NOW


FILM INCENTIVE UPDATE: Make sure you click on the above link.  You can read or listen to the 2 minute piece.  Today, the Senate will convene tomorrow 10am.  No calendar up yet.  They convened today however it was just a skeleton session.  The House convenes tomorrow at 4pm, however they have no calendar yet.  I will update you as soon as I know.

Last night, the New Hanover County Republican Party Executive Committee tonight nominated Michael Lee to finish out Sen. Thom Goolsby’s second term in Raleigh. Now Gov. McCrory has to approve it within the next 7 days. READ MORE NOW


FilmPhotoSaturday, August 23, ALL those who are affected by the film industry will gather. The fabulous Brownie Harris will take a group photograph of the vendors, support staff, and the Greater Wilmington Film Community.  This is a way to show just how many people there are that benefit from NC Film.   They are looking for Film Crew Families, All Actors, Background “Extras” and their families, Business Owners and families, Location Providers, Support Services & Vendors, anyone who has ever worked with, on, or for a production that has filmed in North Carolina. I will be at Battleship Park and 4pm.  RSVP NOW!



That just about does it for me; I will have more Wilmywood updates for you tomorrow 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!!


This is statewide! Go gather up all the film supporters and job advocates in Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and everywhere in between.  Please SHARE this with everyone!

The Senate still has not confirmed whether or not they will be in a full session to discuss some serious matters at hand.  Have these 50 members  forgotten why they ran for the opportunity to represent us?  Meanwhile, while they continue to gavel in and gavel out with nothing on their calendar, over 25,000 people who live in North Carolina, are struggling with a decision to leave the state, layoff workers, file for unemployment, look for new ways to supplement their income or look for other employment which is already extremely difficult.  These are the folks that are affected by the film industry and others who work for companies that are depending on money that is waiting to be voted on.

The Senate MUST come together with the House and finish what they started.

Sen. Bill Rabon stood on that stage in Wilmington during the 2014 NC Film Rally and pledged his devotion and loyalty to the NC Film Industry. More than a 1,000 of us witnessed it.  We appreciate the safety net that he has given us, however, we all know it’s not a sustainable solution.  Let me remind you that I have not posted a new production that is coming to NC in quite a while. We should have had at least one but more like 3 announcements by this time.

On the outskirts of the budget that has already been signed, waiting patiently inside S763, is Ted Davis’ Amendment, a lower Tier 1, one year extension of the film incentives. We all know we cannot do business with the Grant.

Without the Senate taking session, here’s what else is on the line.

  • Two proposed manufacturing plants and their 1,400 jobs that the Commerce Department is seeking will not come.
  • The EPA will close the plant in Canton laying off 1,200 workers.
  • The elimination of a major recruitment tool, JDIG.  This will effectively take NC out of the job recruitment business for one year. If past performance is a guide, this will cost 6,000 jobs just in the recruits the Secretary is engaged with now.

8,600 jobs. Add film in the equation and you get a total of 12,000 that are at stake.

It is up to us, North Carolina, to ask our Senate leaders to go back to session and do what they promised to do when they got elected. Put People BEFORE Politics. Create and sustain jobs.

Please contact your Senators NOW!

Be nice!  Be Polite!  Do NOT give them any reason to say film supporters are crazy lunatics! And please use your own words.  Here’s the gist of it:

“Please, get your team back into session. Jobs are on the line. The job creation legislation already approved by the House and Governor McCrory. We need 763, and my job will rely on Ted Davis’ amendment to extend the film incentives.”

Wilmington Area: 

Bill Rabon is the co-chair of the finance committee. He has a seat at the big table, and he has the power to sway the Senate leadership to get back into session.

Bill Rabon.

Phone: (919) 733-5963

Asheville area:

Tom Apodaca. You guys have more than film on the line for you.  Including 1,200 jobs at risk in Canton, NC alone.

(919) 733-5745


Charlotte area: 

(919) 733-5955

(919) 715-8331

(919) 733-5655

(919) 733-7223

(919) 715-3050


Raleigh area:
(919) 733-5850

(919) 715-6400

(919) 733-5752


Greensboro  area: 

(919) 715-3042


Winston-Salem area:
(919) 733-7850


All of North Carolina: 

(919) 733-5708

Remind them why they ran for the opportunity to represent us. They speak for us.

All of North Carolina:


FILM INCENTIVES UPDATE: Saturday, August 2, 2014


Because of Susi Hamilton, Ted Davis and Frank Iler’s incredible efforts, we have managed to keep the film incentives debate front and center.

As of this moment SB763 is still alive.

And just so you know, it has a lot more than film within it.  There are things in there that is needed badly for North Carolina to continue to do business.  Bill 881,  the adjournment resolution, that has 763 and all the film language within it, has been sent to the Senate. The Senate reconvened at 11:15am this morning only to adjourn w/out taking up adjournment resolutions. Back next week.  I believe the Senate will reconvene this Tuesday at 10 am.

So, the battle begins all over again.

As for HB1224, the bill that many of the Senate members want so damn bad, the House refused to take it on yesterday and they did not take it on today.  It’s still sitting in the rules committee.

So once again, PLEASE send your emails and make those calls and THANK Hamilton, Davis and Iler for kicking some major ass for us!

Susi Hamilton

Ted Davis

Frank Iler


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