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JLF’s Jon Sanders Comments on Film Incentives for Radio Show “Mornings with Joe Catenacci”

Last week, JLF’s Jon Sanders went on the radio with Joe Catenacci of Wilmington’s Big Talker 106.7 FM to talk about North Carolina’s film incentives. Sanders explains how the incentives work:

“It is basically a reimbursement on spending they have done.”

“[If they] reach a threshold for qualified spending within the state they trigger the grant money which is 25% of their qualified spending up to certain levels depending on the type of production it is.”

According to Sanders, the incentives don’t seem to be influencing many companies to move production to North Carolina:

“One thing that comes through the research too is not that ‘if we have an incentive then we have film production,’ and ‘if we don’t have an incentive there are no film productions.’”

“The incentives have a slight effect but there are many reasons to film in North Carolina or to choose to film somewhere else. That is one of the reasons the film incentives don’t have a great effect – because it is only moving production decision on the margins.”

In addition, unlike other business incentives, Sanders says the film industry does not leave lasting effects once production is over, such as a building or permanent jobs:

“The interesting thing about the film industry is they are a series of jobs.” “The idea [of these other business incentives] is that you are building something that is going to last, [but] film jobs are transient, that is just part of the business.”

Listen to Sanders’ interview on Mornings with Joe Catenacci (from 01:03:00 to 01:15:00) here. You can read Sanders most recent research brief on film incentives in North Carolina here.

Brenee Goforth / Marketing and Communications Associate

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