The TV and film industry marked a successful year in North Carolina with $167 million in direct in-state expenses, according to the state’s Department of Commerce.
TV and film projects funneled more money into the state’s economy in 2019 than it has over the past five years and created nearly 12,000 jobs.
“North Carolina continues to be a desirable production location for the film industry,” N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland said. “With our infrastructure and experienced film talent, North Carolina can confidently support television and film projects anywhere in the state, which is an economic development success for everyone.”
Officials have credited the boost in the film industry to the state’s Film and Entertainment Grant Fund. The grant program offers a 25 percent rebate to production companies that have expenses that range from $3 million to $250,000.
During the last quarter of the year, three projects raked in more than $56 million and 3,200 jobs, according to the Department of Commerce: “Halloween Kills,” “The Georgetown Project” and “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”
“These high-profile projects filmed at the end of the year have brought added exposure to our state’s film industry and will serve as a great springboard as we move ahead in 2020,” North Carolina Film Office Director Guy Gaster said.
Lawmakers in October passed a bill to raise the cap on the grant funding to include more incentives for filmmakers. The bill, which would have dropped the expense limit required for production companies to be eligible for the grant, was vetoed by Gov. Roy Cooper.
Cooper said the bill did not make all of the “needed funding provisions for the grant program.” He also vetoed the bill because it included provisions that would reduce the franchise tax.
In Cooper’s proposed budget, the governor recommended dropping minimum spend requirements for feature-length films and raising per project caps for films and TV series.
The governor in October launched a film advisory council at Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington to focus on industry development.
Wilmington, the state's production hub, has made MovieMaker magazine's list as the best places to live and work as a moviemaker.