by Sam Hieb
Interesting Winston-Salem Journal article on North Carolina’s film grant program, which currently is worth $65 million:
State Commerce and Visit NC officials sought to remind Hollywood film production companies that North Carolina has fortified a grant program that currently has a $65 million pool.
The $31 million in annual funding, included in the state budget, rolls over if not spent. A potential July 1, 2020, sunset was removed last fall.
Although Visit NC officials were hopeful at last week’s annual conference held in Winston-Salem that the ads would attract interest, they acknowledge scrambling to secure grant takers among film, TV and commercial producers.
So far in fiscal 2017-18, the program has committed just $500,000 toward production of five 60-second commercials, Commerce spokesman David Rhoades said.
Yes there are lingering issues, such as the “stability” of N.C. film grant program (with Republicans in charge of the General Assembly) and the passing and later repeal of HB2, but the bottom line is Georgia is “just killing it with film production” (as Visit NC’s executive director put it) with its film incentives program, which is basically to look at what other states (such as N.C.) are offering and undercut it.