With the North Carolina film incentives remaining unrenewed, niche studios could see the portion of their business that supports larger studios leaving.

California has expanded its film incentive to $400 million, while North Carolina’s 25 percent film incentive expires at the end of the year. Proponents of North Carolina’s film industry hoped the legislature would agree to renew the incentives, but as the session ends, the film industry hopes for a last-minute extension. Unless Gov. Pat McCrory can extend the incentives, the program will be replaced with a grant program that will have an annual $10 million cap.

L.A. film producer Allan Smith, owner of DreamQuest Productions LLC, which recently relocated to Cary, says he was hoping to bring his services to larger studios in North Carolina.

“The larger studios use the services of smaller niche studios for a variety of services,” says Smith. “Sure, for DreamQuest there will always be a jungle, desert or mountain for us to film on, but once back in the office, we count on providing services from Color Correction, editing and providing ancillary services to the larger production houses. If or when that leaves, we then reduce our staff or adjust accordingly.”

Smith says ending the film incentives will likely drive larger studios out of the state in search of better incentives, and says that “once the big dogs leave, that portion of our back-end revenue disappears.”

While less than 10 percent of Smith’s business comes from providing these services, he’s added to the suites he offers in anticipation of his move to the Triangle, “to be a major player in the Triangle for feature color work.”

By Dawn Kurry