North Carolina Film Office

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North Carolina Film Office
Type Government Agency
Industry Film
Founded 1980
Headquarters Raleigh, North Carolina
Key people Aaron Syrett, Director
Employees 4
Website http://www.ncfilm.com

The North Carolina Film Office, originally called the "North Carolina Film Commission," is a member of the Association of Film Commissioners International.[1]

History[edit]

Founded in 1980 by Governor James B. Hunt, the office was commissioned to help facilitate and provide a base of operation for North Carolina's burgeoning film industry. Governor Hunt appointed William "Bill" Arnold to lead the office.[2] In 1984, producer Dino De Laurentiis created De Laurentiis Entertainment Group. He built and based a studio complex (now EUE/Screen Gems [3]) in Wilmington, North Carolina. The area quickly became one of the busiest production centers for film and television east of Hollywood. The North Carolina Film Office was created during a time when new technology, audience demand for location authenticity, and Hollywood’s need for lower production costs were driving filmmakers to search distant sites throughout the United States for fresh places to make movies.[2]

With Bill Arnold leading, the North Carolina Film Commission witnessed a dramatic increase in production during the 1980s and the 1990s. Notable films during this time include: The Color Purple (1985),[4] Dirty Dancing (1987),[5] Bull Durham (1988),[6] Days of Thunder (1990),[7] Sleeping with the Enemy (1991),[8] Last of the Mohicans (1992),[9] The Fugitive (1993),[10] and The Crow (1994).[11] In 1998 Wilmington, NC became the home of the WB's critically acclaimed television network series Dawson's Creek. The series remained in Wilmington until 2003 when it was cancelled and replaced with One Tree Hill—a series on The WB/CW that calls North Carolina "home." One Tree Hill ended in 2012 after nine seasons. [12]

While Wilmington, NC continued to sustain itself with television, the international film climate began to shift out of North Carolina's favor. In an effort to keep production costs even cheaper, early 2000 saw production companies making films internationally.[13] The North Carolina Film Commission was made most aware of this trend when it lost Charles Frazier's North Carolina tale, Cold Mountain,[14] to the country of Romania.[15] Hoping to bring an international industry back to the United States, many law-makers across the US began creating incentives packages to encourage filming in individual states. North Carolina's legislature decided on pursuing a competitive incentive program.[16] On August 8, 2006, Governor Mike F. Easley signed into law a legislation offering productions a full 15% tax credit on a minimum $250,000 spend in North Carolina (and not to exceed a $7.5M credit.) [17] Since this program's inception, the NC Film Office has seen a substantial increase in production, as have other state's that have established similar programs.[18] Since 2006, the North Carolina Film Office has recruited the following films: George Clooney's Leatherheads (2008),[19] Nights in Rodanthe (2008) [20] starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane, The Marc Pease Experience (2008) [21] with Ben Stiller, and Bolden! (2008),[22] a film about the life of jazz legend Buddy Bolden.

In September 2006, Commissioner Bill Arnold retired after 26 years of service to North Carolina's film industry.[23] The North Carolina Film Office is now part of the NC Department of Commerce's Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development. Aaron Syrett (former Director of the Utah Film Commission) was hired as Director of the North Carolina Film Office in spring 2007.[24] While building upon North Carolina's legacy, Syrett is taking a 21st-century approach to boost the global visibility of North Carolina's resources. [25]

Organization[edit]

Responsibilities[edit]

The North Carolina Film Office has 3 main responsibilities: market the State of North Carolina, serve the film industry, and serve the State of North Carolina. The office actively works to create a healthy climate in which to grow film industry economic development. A marketing agency as well, the film office educates the film industry on North Carolina's incentives program, promotes the state's infrastructure, and showcases North Carolina's diverse locations.

Projects (including film, television and commercial) are actively recruited and nurturted by the office. The office encourages industry-related companies to headquarter or have satellite companies in the state. The office ultimately serves the State of North Carolina by keeping and creating jobs in North Carolina for film crew and related businesses. As such, the film office must serve the film industry in an efficient and engaging capacity. The office hosts location scouts for producers and also provides on-the-ground assistance before and during filming. The North Carolina Film Office is the official liaison between the industry and state agencies for state property use, highway assistance, and other issues.

The office has always maintained sophisticated communications with the film industry. Not only has it maintained an informative website, but also it has supported the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and for 9 years sponsored the American Film Market. Every spring the office participates in the Locations Trade Show hosted by the Association of Film Commissioners International in Santa Monica, CA. Members of the office make regular trips to Los Angeles, CA to meet with producers and also visit Park City, UT every January to network at the Sundance Film Festival.

Regional Film Commissions[edit]

The North Carolina Film Office works in tandem with 6 affiliate offices that are both publicly and privately maintained. All are certified by the Association of Film Commissioners International.[26]

Staff and Film Council[edit]

The North Carolina Film Office has a 4 person staff. The director of the North Carolina Film Office is Aaron Syrett. In addition to working with affiliate commissions, the North Carolina Film Office is also supported by a governor-appointed group who offer advice and guidance in the interest of North Carolina's film industry. Notable members include casting director, Craig Fincannon, founder of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Nancy Buirski, and former President of Universal Pictures, Thom Mount. Studio Executive Frank Capra, Jr. was also a member of the council until his death in 2007.[33]

Film Incentives Program[edit]

  1. A production company that spends at least $250,000 in North Carolina on a motion picture or television production is eligible to receive a refundable tax credit of 25% on in-state spending for goods, services and labor.
  2. North Carolina’s film production tax credit is refundable. Companies earning the credit receive a check for the full value of their refund.
  3. Productions must file an INTENT TO FILM form with the North Carolina Film Office prior to filming in order to be eligible for the tax credit.
  4. Eligible film productions include theatrical, television, and direct-to-video/DVD features, episodic television series, television mini-series, animation productions, and commercials — except for news, sporting event coverage, and political advertising. For purposes of this tax credit, an episodic TV series is considered one production.
  5. The maximum tax credit for a feature film production is $20 million.
  6. Spending for goods purchased or leased from a North Carolina business is eligible for the tax credit. This includes fuel, food, airline tickets, and other goods if purchased in North Carolina including production-related insurance, fringes, per diems, and living stipends. On goods with a purchase price of $25,000 or more, the amount included as a qualifying expense is the purchase price less the fair market value of the goods at the time the production is completed.
  7. Spending for services is eligible for the tax credit regardless of whether paid to residents or non-residents, as long as the services are performed in North Carolina.
  8. Compensation and wages paid to employees for services performed in North Carolina on which withholding payments are remitted to the North Carolina Department of Revenue are eligible for the tax credit regardless of whether paid to residents or non-residents. Amounts paid to an individual who receives compensation in excess of $1 Million may count the first $1 Million towards the tax credit. Payments for per diem, living allowances, and fringe benefits are eligible to the extent they are included in the recipient’s taxable wages subject to withholding.
  9. Productions are require to give on-screen credit to North Carolina[34][35]

Notable Films/Television made in North Carolina[edit]

Alphabetically listed[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "North Carolina Film Office", Association of Film Commissioners International, Retrieved 2007-11-19.
  2. ^ a b "About Us", North Carolina Film Office, Retrieved 2008-02-15.
  3. ^ "EUE/Screen Gems". Screengemsstudios.com. Retrieved 2013-08-19. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^ [5]
  9. ^ [6]
  10. ^ [7]
  11. ^ [8]
  12. ^ "ONE TREE HILL: Filming Locations", Internet Movie Database, Retrieved on 2007-11-19.
  13. ^ Carvajal, Doreen "The Cannes Festival: A modern twist on 'location, location, location'", International Herald Tribune, May 18, 2005, Retrieved on 2007-11-19
  14. ^ "COLD MOUNTAIN: Filming Locations", Internet Movie Database, Retrieved on 2007-11-19.
  15. ^ Fellerath, David, "North Carolina gets its close-up", Independent Weekly, December 13, 2003, Retrieved 2007-11-19.
  16. ^ Sperling, Nicole, "North Carolina trying to lure more prod'ns", The Hollywood Reporter, May 22, 2002, Retrieved on 2007-11-19.
  17. ^ "NC Film Incentive", North Carolina Film Office, Retrieved 2008-02-15.
  18. ^ Donnahue, Ann, "MADE IN AMERICA: Incentive to stay", The Hollywood Reporter, November 1, 2006, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  19. ^ [9]
  20. ^ [10]
  21. ^ [11]
  22. ^ [12]
  23. ^ "State Film Office Hires New Director", North Carolina Film Office, March 3, 2007, Retrieved 2008-02-15.
  24. ^ "NC State Film Office Hires New Director", Association of Film Commissioners International, no date, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  25. ^ [13][dead link]
  26. ^ "Regional Commissions", North Carolina Film Office, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  27. ^ "Charlotte Regional Film Commission", Association of Film Commissioners International, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  28. ^ "Durham Film Commission", Association of Film Commissioners International, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  29. ^ "Eastern North Carolina Regional Film Commission", Association of Film Commissioners International, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  30. ^ "Piedmont-Triad Film Commission", Association of Film Commissioners International, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  31. ^ "Western North Carolina Film Commission", Association of Film Commissioners International, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  32. ^ "Wilmington Regional Film Commission, Inc.", Association of Film Commissioners International, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
  33. ^ "North Carolina Film Council", North Carolina Film Office, Retrieved on 2008-02-15.
  34. ^ "Credit for Qualifying Expenses of a Production Company (G.S. 105-130.47)", North Carolina Department of Revenue, Retrieved on 2008-07-25.
  35. ^ "EXPAND FILM INDUSTRY CREDIT AND EXTEND SUNSET SECTION 28.24.(a) G.S. 105-130.47 reads as rewritten", North Carolina Department of Revenue, Retrieved on 2008-07-25.