Thursday marks the first day of 2015 and the dawn of a new era in the North Carolina film industry.
In September, following a drawn-out battle during the N.C. General Assembly short session, the state opted to cut its attractive film incentive program, credited with luring big productions to the state since being implemented in 2011. A new grant program, in effect Jan. 1, offers $10 million to productions to spar over, provided they meet the hefty $5 million feature film minimum spend requirements and aren’t deterred by the $5 million credit cap.
It’s a heavy blow for the industry that paid out $61 million in tax credits to productions that spent more than $240 million in the state in 2013.
Heading into the new year, many in the local industry, and those in the entertainment business nationwide, have expressed serious concerns that North Carolina will no longer remain competitive when it comes to attracting productions to the state. As of Jan. 1, only CBS’ “Under the Dome” has announced it will return to Wilmington, while the area’s perennial musical biopic “Bolden!” will continue to film into the spring. Fox’s locally filmed “Sleepy Hollow” will wrap up Jan. 22.
Be sure to stick with the StarNews into 2015 as we cover the continued effects of the new grant program.