NC Film Industry Feels Impact from Ongoing Writers' Strike

Impact of Ongoing Writers' Strike on the NC Film Industry

The ongoing writers' strike is taking its toll on the North Carolina Film Office, resulting in a noticeable decline in film and TV projects coming to the state. As the strike enters its fifth week, the film office has experienced a 25% decrease in the number of productions reaching out for assistance compared to last year. Guy Gaster, the state's film commissioner, confirms this trend and mentions that North Carolina is not the only region affected by the strike.

The slowdown in inquiries began in November 2022 when studios started preparing for the possible strike. Gaster believes that his counterparts in Georgia, New Mexico, and other prominent filming hubs would concur. The Writer's Guild of America advocates for higher pay, a stable pay structure, and provisions concerning artificial intelligence, among other demands.

In contrast to the previous year, only 96 productions have engaged with the state's film office thus far, whereas the number stood at 130 during the same timeframe in the previous year. This decline doesn't just impact local film and TV writers; it affects various industry professionals as well. Gaster highlights the adverse effects on professional crew members, local acting talent, and small businesses that regularly collaborate with the film industry and productions in the state.

One particular instance that reflects the strike's impact is the halting of production for an untitled Starz series called "J&L Project" in Wilmington. The show commenced filming in March but was forced to halt production in early May due to the strike, according to a report from WWAY.

This slowdown in production arrives after several prosperous years for the North Carolina film industry. In 2022, the state witnessed approximately $259 million in production spending, a decrease from the record-breaking $416 million recorded in 2021. However, Gaster emphasizes that the spending in 2022 still ranks among the top six highest levels of annual production spending reported by the office.

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