The film industry is picking up in North Carolina as the state's film grant program is seeing returns on the investment.
Three big films wrapped production last year that are now approved to receive $14 million from the North Carolina Film and Entertainment Grant.
That includes Halloween Kills, the latest in the Michael Myers slasher movie franchise. It was shot in the Wilmington area and directed by University of North Carolina School of the Arts alum David Gordon Green, and stars Jamie Lee Curtis. Another horror film, The Georgetown Project, was also shot in Wilmington at EUE/Screen Gems Studios and stars Russell Crowe
Eyes of Tammy Faye, about the rise and fall of televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, was filmed in greater Charlotte.
According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, these three productions alone generated more than $56 million of in-state spending, and created more than 3,200 jobs, including 500 crew positions.
Guy Gaster is the director of the North Carolina Film Office. He says the grants are helping the industry bounce back from the elimination of the film tax incentive.
“We're certainly finding our own niche," he says. "Feature-length films that have budgets under $40 million. And television series, particularly those that are more cable, or streaming-based, those budgets are working out quite nicely.”
Overall, television and film production companies spent more than $167 million in North Carolina in 2019, the most money spent on projects in the last five years. The projects also created 11,820 jobs.