RALEIGH – As 2011 comes to an end, and two final projects—Hornet’s Nest in the Wilmington Region and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in the Charlotte Region, the North Carolina Film Office has announced that spending by production companies within the state for the 2011 calendar year will top $220 million. The in-state spend figure will be the greatest in the history of the state’s film industry.
“It’s been a great year here in North Carolina and even better is that 2012 looks like it is on pace to top 2011,” said NC Film Office Director Aaron Syrett. “Not only have we had a record number of jobs created and money spent in the state, we have seen production taking place in all areas of North Carolina.”
In addition to the direct-spend, productions have created over 3,300 crew positions and provided in excess of 23,000 talent and background extra opportunities—making for over 26,000 total jobs.
The increase in spending and job opportunities is a direct result of new legislation that went into effect this past January that created a 25 percent incentive program offering production companies a refundable tax credit based on their in-state spending on qualified purchases and job creation. Productions must spend a minimum of $250,000 in North Carolina to qualify for the incentive.
“We are delighted that the industry is once again providing high-paying, quality jobs for our residents and having a big impact on businesses and local communities,” Syrett added.
The $220 million-plus figure is based on 37 projects that have registered with the state film office and whose spending qualifies the production for the state incentive. When combined, those 38 projects have accounted for nearly 2,600 production days within the state. The actual year-end direct-spend total is expected to be higher than the $220 million-plus figure as numerous industry projects that do not meet the minimum spending requirement for the incentive, such as television commercials, photo shoots, reality television shows, and low-budget independent features, have also taken place in the state but their figures are not available at this time.
Highlights of 2011 include the exclusive filming of the highly anticipated release of THE HUNGER GAMES as well as the critically-acclaimed and Golden Globe nominated television series Homeland. In addition, production returned to the state on the filming of several made-for-television features—something that North Carolina specialized in during the 1990’s. Independent filmmakers continued to come to the state as evident by the features THE HEALER and ARTHUR NEWMAN, GOLF PRO. National commercials also shot in the state including spots for Tums and K-Swiss. Additionally, the state announced that IRON MAN 3 would be shooting in North Carolina in 2012. And finally, filming concluded on the state’s longest running production, One Tree Hill, which filmed in the Wilmington Region for just over nine years.
The North Carolina Film Office is part of the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development. The NCFO actively works to promote filmmaking — including motion pictures, television shows and commercials — within the state, thus providing high-paying jobs for North Carolinians. Since 2006, and including 2011’s preliminary numbers, over 332 projects have filmed in North Carolina, directly spending more than $700 million and creating in excess of 51,000 job opportunities for crew, talent and extras.