North Carolina’s film industry is slowly dying as crew members struggle to find jobs.
North Carolina’s film industry used to be booming with lights, cameras, and actors posted up on every corner of Wilmington, North Carolina. But, on Jan. 1 the North Carolina General Assembly agreed to changing the state’s film and TV tax credit and turning it into a $10 million grant program, forcing many filmmakers to travel to surrounding areas with a larger tax break.
Now the state’s film industry has become a desert with only short films, independent movies and a very few jobs for the aspiring actors and filmmakers.
According to a report by WRAL, crew members have left the state in droves as the number of jobs in North Carolina plummeted.
Less than a month ago, however, Wiley joined the growing exodus of crew members who have sought refuge in other states as film jobs in North Carolina become scarce and prospects for future work dim as the state’s new grant fund quickly runs dry. According to Jason Rosin, business manager for the local film crew union IATSE 491, an estimated 20 percent of the state’s 4,000-member crew base has vacated – and more are expected to follow.
In the first quarter of the year, Wilmington has seen only three productions: the tail end of season two for Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow,” which will relocate to Atlanta for season three; the long-in-production feature film “Bolden!,” scheduled to run through early summer; and CBS’ “Under the Dome,” currently filming through late summer.
In the two months since the grant program opened enrollment on Jan. 26, three productions have arisen as good candidates for funding. Based on previous spending, “Dome” is considered a lock to max out at $5 million. Two projects in the western part of the state, including a possible TV movie remake of “Dirty Dancing,” also are being strongly considered, according to multiple industry sources.
So long are the good old days when aspiring actors had several acting opportunities a week. Now with only three productions filming ata time state’s like Georgia are reaping in the rewards and putting thousands of people to work.