Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH — Film production companies spent more than $167 million in direct in-state expenses in North Carolina in 2019, the most money spent on TV and film projects in the state in the last five years.
Combined, the projects created 11,820 job opportunities for North Carolina’s highly-skilled film professionals.
The year concluded with three more North Carolina Film and Entertainment Grant recipients completing production: “Halloween Kills,” “The Georgetown Project,” and “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” Together, these three productions had a direct in-state spend of more than $56 million while creating more than 3,200 job opportunities, including nearly 500 well-paying crew positions.
“North Carolina continues to be a desirable production location for the film industry,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. “With our infrastructure and experienced film talent, North Carolina can confidently support television and film projects anywhere in the state, which is an economic development success for everyone.”
Set for release this fall, “Halloween Kills” is the latest installment of the famous Halloween movie series. Laurie Strode returns to this feature film with her daughter, granddaughter, and the residents of Haddonfield, as they try to end Michael Myers’ reign of terror on Halloween night. Filmed in the Greater Wilmington area, the project is eligible for a rebate up to $7 million through the North Carolina Film and Entertainment Grant.
“The Eyes of Tammy Faye” tells the story of the rise and fall of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. The production filmed in the Greater Charlotte area and is approved for a rebate of up to $3.7 million from the film and entertainment grant.
The final grant recipient of 2019 is “The Georgetown Project,” a thriller about a troubled actor who begins to unravel while shooting a horror film. His estranged daughter wonders if he’s slipping back into old habits or if there’s something more sinister at play. Qualifying for a rebate up to $3.3 million, the Miramax project filmed in the Wilmington area, with extensive production at EUE/Screen Gems Studios.
“Television and film production saw great activity in North Carolina last year,” added N.C. Film Office director Guy Gaster. “These high-profile projects filmed at the end of the year have brought added exposure to our state’s film industry and will serve as a great springboard as we move ahead in 2020.”
Gov. Roy Cooper recently revived the Advisory Council on Film, Television and Digital Streaming. The council plays a critical role in advising Governor Cooper on economic development strategies to increase film and television production in North Carolina.
The North Carolina Film and Entertainment Grant provides financial assistance to attract feature film and television productions that will stimulate economic activity and create jobs in the state. Production companies receive no money up front and must meet direct in-state spending requirements to qualify for grant funds, which are paid out following the completion of the project and a successful audit. The program is administered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce and promoted by the North Carolina Film Office, part of VisitNC and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.