No dance this time: NC film industry is on life support

Unlike the usual news stories about how a heavily subsidized industry is an amazing success story, today’s WRAL article about the state’s film credits was all about how the North Carolina film industry is completely, absolutely, utterly dependent on corporate welfare.

Basically, the message is, if North Carolinians want major movies and award-winning TV series filmed here, they must be forced to pay production companies to do it here. Otherwise, they could go to other states (or nations) who will pay them.

How that could make a compelling argument for anything, I don’t see. It doesn’t even sound like effective extortion, as the implied threat is that we could no longer boast of seeing a familiar location in the background. Oh, and we’d have to give up being harassed on the sidewalks and highways by self-important corporate welfare queens.

If anything, this tack seems to invite the Fine, don’t let the door hit ya on the way out rejoinder.

Anyway, here’s the article breakdown:

Tax breaks aren’t enough; NC has to pay people to get them to film here
“This show would not even have looked at North Carolina if it weren’t for the tax incentives that are here,” said David Brightbill, co-producer of ‘Homeland'”
“The credits have helped attract blockbuster moves such as ‘Iron Man 3’ and ‘The Hunger Games,’ as well as TV series such as NBC’s ‘Revolution,’ CBS’ ‘Under the Dome’ and Showtime’s ‘Homeland.’

“‘It means everything. It’s the whole reason this show is here,’ Brightbill said of the tax credit.”

“‘The incentive goes away, the industry goes away,’ said Aaron Syrett, commissioner of the North Carolina Film Office.”
“Syrett said producers need certainty before they invest money. ‘Let’s say, this session, they don’t extend anything, and right after the session is over, you’ll see a migration of this industry to Louisiana and Georgia,’ he said.”
“‘It’s easy to imagine picking up and telling stories in a new place. It happens all the time,’ Brightbill said. ‘If the incentive goes away, the switch will be turned off.'”

 

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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