Halfway through the 2012 calendar year, film productions in North Carolina have already eclipsed 2011's recording setting numbers for in-state spending.
As of July, the North Carolina Film Office has received notification from more than 35 productions in regards to filming in the Tar Heel state this year. The projects are expected to have a direct in-state spend of more than $300 million while creating 15,000-plus job opportunities, including more than 3,300 well-paying crew positions for the state's skilled film professional workforce.
"My top priority is creating jobs and the enhanced film credit has created record spending by production companies in this state and resulted in thousands of jobs," said Gov. Perdue. "It's great to see this industry thriving again in North Carolina and we must continue to build on this momentum by creating even more of an economic impact."
Production has taken place or is scheduled to take place in 30 of the state's 100 counties so far this year with highlights including "Iron Man 3," "Safe Haven," "We're the Millers," "The Warren Files (The Conjuring)," "The Occult," "Jessabelle" and the independent features "You Are Here" and "Writers." Television production has also increased with cameras rolling on the second season of the award winning series "Homeland" and two new series, "Banshee" and "Revolution," as well as the most recent season of "The Bachelorette." National commercials for Under Armour, ESPN and Mountain Dew have also lensed in the state.
Much of the success of North Carolina's film industry over the past two years is a result of bi-partisan legislation to enhance the state's film tax incentive that was championed by Gov. Perdue and approved by the General Assembly 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 nation, and when combined with our talented crew base and diverse locations, it makes our state ideal for filmmakers," said North Carolina Film Office director Aaron Syrett.
Beyond the $300 million in direct spending, additional spending and job creation have taken place on numerous lower budget projects and commercials whose cost didn't 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, 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.