The Council Will Advise on Efforts to Grow North Carolina’s Flourishing Film Industry
On Tuesday, October 22, 2019, Governor Roy Cooper announced the creation of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Film, Television and Digital Streaming, which will lead efforts to continue growing North Carolina’s successful film industry.
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order 111 to create the council at Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina. He was joined by Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary and Council Chair Susi Hamilton, Screen Gems Executive Vice President Bill Vassar, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, newly named members of the film council, and local individuals employed in the film industry.
Said Governor Cooper:
“North Carolina’s natural beauty, welcoming communities, and local talent make it a perfect home for the film industry. This advisory council will play a critical role in helping the industry flourish, which creates good-paying jobs right here in North Carolina.”
Said Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary and Council Chair Susi Hamilton:
“North Carolina’s burgeoning film industry already has created many jobs and expanded opportunities for companies to invest in our state. Governor Cooper’s decision to create this council will greatly aid efforts to expand this industry and help North Carolina continue to prosper.”
Governor Cooper was joined by Sabrina Davis, a local business owner who spoke about the importance of a thriving film industry for North Carolina’s economy. Said Sabrina Davis, owner of Port City Signs and Graphics:
“An investment in the film industry is not an investment in the Wilmington area or the Asheville area or any of the other popular shoot locations, it is an investment in North Carolina and the small businesses here. And small businesses help drive the economy and employ our North Carolina residents.”
Since taking office, Governor Cooper has been committed to gaining back recent losses in North Carolina’s film industry. Under his leadership, film job opportunities in 2019 are up to 10,976 after dropping off over the last several years. Production spending has also increased and stands at $165 million so far in 2019.
Governor Cooper has recommended budgets that adopt to the changing marketplace and regulatory environment for films. In those proposed budgets, Governor Cooper has recommended both a grant program and a tax incentive to promote the film industry, with efforts targeting both small and large productions. In his 2019 budget, Governor Cooper sought to modernize the film grant program by dropping minimum spend requirements for feature-length films and raising per projects caps for films and TV series.
Secretary of State Elaine Marshall was present to attest to the Executive Order.
The Council will advise Governor Cooper on efforts to grow and develop North Carolina’s film industry and support the work of the State Film Office.
An initial list of council members have been named and are as follows: Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susi Hamilton, Dr. Amy Tiemann, Beth Petty, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, Bill Vassar, Chris Cooney, Chip Hackler, Dale Williams, Darla McGlamery, David Burris, Eric Johnson, Herman A. Stone, John Bankson, Johnny Griffin, Judy Girard, Lana Garland, Lauren Vilchik, Mike McGaha, Rebecca Clark, Robert Newton, Tim Bourne, and Tod Thorne.
Additional members may be added.
Source: Ford Porter, NC Office of the Governor