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2012 A Record Breaking Year for Film Industry in NC
Dec 20, 2012

Governor's office reports productions accounted for $376 million in spending, 20,000 job opportunities

RALEIGH – As in 2011, the state of North Carolina witnessed another year of record-breaking film numbers as 2012 comes to an end.

Year end projections show productions had a direct in-state spend in excess of $376 million and created more than 4,100 well-paying crew positions for the state’s highly skilled workforce.  All told, productions created nearly 20,000 job opportunities—including talent and background extra positions-- for North Carolinians These numbers eclipsed last year’s record breaking $220 million in spending and 3,300 crew positions.

“During my tenure, jobs have been my top priority and the enhanced film credit has resulted in thousands of opportunities for North Carolinians as well as created record spending by production companies in the state,” said Gov. Bev Perdue.  “The film industry is thriving once again in our state and we must continue to build on these record breaking numbers, creating even more opportunities for jobs and economic development.”

All told, nearly 50 productions registered with the state film office and filmed in North Carolina in 2012.  Those productions amassed over 4,100 production days with filming taking place in more than 30 of the state’s 100 counties.

“It is amazing to see what has taken place the past two years in North Carolina,” said NC Film Office Director Aaron Syrett.  “Not only were we able to exceed our record-breaking numbers from 2011, but we continue to grow throughout the state.”

Highlights of the 2012 year include the production of the blockbuster feature Iron Man 3 and Season 2 of the award winning television drama Homeland.  Other major motion pictures that filmed in the state were: Safe Haven, We’re The Millers, The Warren Files (The Conjuring), The Occult, Jessabelle and independent features You Are Here, Goodbye to All That and Toronto International Film Festival selection Writers (recently renamed Stuck in Love).  In addition to Homeland, North Carolina served as the backdrop for the hit NBC television series Revolution as well as the soon-to-be released first season of HBO’s  Banshee for Cinemax.   National commercials for Mountain Dew, ESPN, NASCAR, Under Armour and Hillshire Farm all shot in the state.  Additionally, television productions for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon also filmed in North Carolina as well as Mary and Martha, a made-for-television movie for HBO, the 8th season of the hit ABC reality series The Bachelorette and the upcoming Stars in Danger.  Television pilots that shot in the state in 2012 include Shelter for The CW and Witches of East End for Lifetime Television.

Much of the success from the past two years for the film industry in North Carolina can be attributed to the bi-partisan legislation pushed by the governor in 2010.  Under the incentive, productions receive a 25 percent refundable tax credit based on their direct in-state spending on goods, services and labor.  Productions must spend at least $250,000, and the credit is given to the productions only after they have completed their spending and have been audited by the state’s Department of Revenue.

“We have one of the smartest incentives in the industry as it takes into account the wealth of resources our state offers including our well established infrastructure and diverse locations,” said Syrett.  “North Carolina really is an ideal place for filmmakers.”

Beyond the more than $370 million in direct spending, additional spending and job creation has taken place on numerous lower budget projects and commercials whose costs did not meet the state’s minimum requirement for the tax incentive.

Established in 1980, the North Carolina Film Office is part of the state’s Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development within the Department of Commerce.  Its primary responsibilities are to recruit productions to the state by marketing the many assets—including the film incentive, crew base, established infrastructure and locations statewide—North Carolina has to offer.  In addition, the film office assists productions with permitting and other logistics and works hand-in-hand with regional film commissions in the Wilmington, Research Triangle, Piedmont Triad, Charlotte and Western regions of the state.  Since its creation, 400+ projects have filmed in the state, directly spending over $1 billion and creating more than 70,000 job opportunities for crew, talent and extras.

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