You can almost count upon op-eds and editorials written in favor of keeping North Carolina’s film incentives to cite popular, well-known North Carolina productions such as “Bull Durham” (1988), “Dirty Dancing” (1987), “Last of the Mohicans” (1992), “Dawson’s Creek” (1998-2003), etc. in making their case. Even though those examples preceded the incentives by years, even decades.
— Yours truly, The Locker Room, 7/14/2014
From Jim Jenkins’ column today in The News & Observer:
… once North Carolina and others got in the game, most states with a variety of landscapes have competed heavily for the movie business, offering all sorts of economic incentives to bring Hollywood East.
Here, literally from the mountains to the coast, the movies made in part or in all within North Carolina’s borders include “Bull Durham,” “Days of Thunder,” “The Color Purple,” “Dirty Dancing” “Last of the Mohicans” and “The Hunger Games.” Several hundred films in all have included footage from North Carolina.
The state has been using a tax rebate program for movie and television producers as an incentive, and it’s worked. …
If North Carolina curbs its incentive program, the film industry simply will not come here. The business will be finished here, period.
The implication is that the incentives brought in all those memorable movies, but in fact only one of the films Jenkins mentions in his column actually received film incentives. Here’s today’s list (compare with previous lists):
- “Bull Durham” (1988) — before film incentives
- “Days of Thunder” (1990) — before film incentives
- “The Color Purple” (1985) — before film incentives
- “Dirty Dancing” (1987) — before film incentives
- “Last of the Mohicans” (1992) — before film incentives
- “The Hunger Games” (2012) — received $13.8 million in film incentives
- “The Angel Doll” (2002) — before film incentives
Here is a little North Carolina history from my Carolina Cronyism report on film incentives:
In the years before state film incentives, North Carolina was a popular off-Hollywood destination for film crews. A right-to-work state with a pleasant climate and a range of features — beaches to mountains, rural vistas to urban cityscapes — North Carolina held significant advantages for movie makers, including comparatively low wages and rental rates. For example, in the dozen years from 1983 to 1994, North Carolina was the site of such major features as “Brainstorm,” “Firestarter,” “A Breed Apart,” “The Color Purple,” “Maximum Overdrive,” “Dirty Dancing,” “Weekend at Bernie’s,” “Bull Durham,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Billy Bathgate,” “Sleeping with the Enemy,” “The Last of the Mohicans,” “The Fugitive,” and “Forrest Gump,” among others.