North Carolina Film Office
|Headquarters||Raleigh, North Carolina|
|Guy Gaster, Director|
Number of employees
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. In 1984, producer Dino De Laurentiis created De Laurentiis Entertainment Group. He built and based a studio complex (now EUE/Screen Gems ) 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.
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), Dirty Dancing (1987), Bull Durham (1988), Days of Thunder (1990), Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), Last of the Mohicans (1992), The Fugitive (1993), and The Crow (1994). 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.
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. The North Carolina Film Commission was made most aware of this trend when it lost Charles Frazier's North Carolina tale, Cold Mountain, to the country of Romania. 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. 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.)  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. Since 2006, the North Carolina Film Office has recruited the following films: George Clooney's Leatherheads (2008), Nights in Rodanthe (2008)  starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane, The Marc Pease Experience (2008)  with Ben Stiller, and Bolden! (2008), 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. 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; his tenure ended at the end of July 2014. While building upon North Carolina's legacy, Syrett is taking a 21st-century approach to boost the global visibility of North Carolina's resources.
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
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.
- Charlotte Regional Film Commission 
- Triangle Regional Film Commission 
- Eastern North Carolina Regional Film Commission 
- Piedmont-Triad Film Commission 
- Western North Carolina Film Commission 
- Wilmington Regional Film Commission, Inc. 
Staff and Film Council
The North Carolina Film Office has a 4-person staff. Until July 2014, the director of the North Carolina Film Office was Aaron Syrett (2007-2014). 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.
Film Incentives Program
- As of January 2015, North Carolina has implemented a new Film and Entertainment Grant program. Funds from the $10 million grant will serve as a rebate of up to 25% on qualified expenses/purchases of productions.
- The previous tax credit ended as of January 1, 2015.
- Complete information on the new grant program is available at 
Notable Films/Television made in North Carolina
- 28 Days
- A Walk to Remember
- Being There
- Blue Velvet
- Bull Durham
- The Butcher's Wife
- The Color Purple
- The Crow
- Dawson’s Creek
- Days of Thunder
- Dirty Dancing
- Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
- Dream a Little Dream
- Eastbound and Down
- Empire Records
- Forrest Gump
- The Fugitive
- Ghosts In The Ballpark--History of the Durham Bulls
- The Green Mile
- The Hunt for Red October
- The Hunger Games
- I Know What You Did Last Summer
- Iron Man 3
- Kiss the Girls
- Last of the Mohicans
- Legacy of the Golden Leaf-- A History of Tobacco and the Dukes of Durham
- Main Street
- The Marc Pease Experience
- Message in a Bottle
- Mr. Destiny
- Muppets from Space
- Nights in Rodanthe
- One Tree Hill
- Patch Adams
- The Quality of Light--North Carolina's Claude Howell
- Richie Rich
- Safe Haven
- The Secret Life of Bees
- Shallow Hal
- Sleeping with the Enemy
- Sleepy Hollow
- Super Mario Brothers
- Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
- Teen Spirit
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze
- To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday
- Under the Dome
- Weekend at Bernie's
- North Carolina Film Office website
- The Hollywood Reporter, Made in America: Incentive to Stay
- The Hollywood Reporter: North Carolina
- Film Junkie's Guide to North Carolina By Connie Nelson and Floyd Harris
- Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI)
- "North Carolina Film Office", Association of Film Commissioners International, Retrieved 2007-11-19.
- "About Us", North Carolina Film Office, Retrieved 2008-02-15.
- "EUE/Screen Gems". Screengemsstudios.com. Retrieved 2013-08-19.
- The Color Purple (1985) - Filming Locations - IMDb
- Dirty Dancing (1987) - Filming Locations - IMDb
- Bull Durham (1988) - Filming Locations - IMDb
- Days of Thunder (1990) - Filming Locations - IMDb
- Sleeping with the Enemy (1991) - Filming Locations - IMDb
- The Last of the Mohicans (1992) - Filming Locations - IMDb
- The Fugitive (1993) - Filming Locations - IMDb
- The Crow (1994) - Filming Locations - IMDb
- "ONE TREE HILL: Filming Locations", Internet Movie Database, Retrieved on 2007-11-19.
- Carvajal, Doreen "The Cannes Festival: A modern twist on 'location, location, location'", International Herald Tribune, May 18, 2005, Retrieved on 2007-11-19
- "COLD MOUNTAIN: Filming Locations", Internet Movie Database, Retrieved on 2007-11-19.
- Fellerath, David, "North Carolina gets its close-up", Independent Weekly, December 13, 2003, Retrieved 2007-11-19.
- Sperling, Nicole, "North Carolina trying to lure more prod'ns", The Hollywood Reporter, May 22, 2002, Retrieved on 2007-11-19.
- "NC Film Incentive", North Carolina Film Office, Retrieved 2008-02-15.
- Donnahue, Ann, "MADE IN AMERICA: Incentive to stay", The Hollywood Reporter, November 1, 2006, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
- Leatherheads (2008) - Filming Locations - IMDb
- Nights in Rodanthe (2008) - Filming Locations - IMDb
- The Marc Pease Experience (2009) - Filming Locations - IMDb
- Bolden! (2014) - Filming Locations - IMDb
- "State Film Office Hires New Director", North Carolina Film Office, March 3, 2007, Retrieved 2008-02-15.
- "NC State Film Office Hires New Director", Association of Film Commissioners International, no date, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
-  Archived January 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Regional Commissions", North Carolina Film Office, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
- "Charlotte Regional Film Commission", Association of Film Commissioners International, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
- , Association of Film Commissioners International, Retrieved on 2015-02-18.
- "Eastern North Carolina Regional Film Commission", Association of Film Commissioners International, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
- "Piedmont-Triad Film Commission", Association of Film Commissioners International, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
- "Western North Carolina Film Commission", Association of Film Commissioners International, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
- "Wilmington Regional Film Commission, Inc.", Association of Film Commissioners International, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.
- "North Carolina Film Council", North Carolina Film Office, Retrieved on 2008-02-15.