WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - As state leaders go back and forth on whether or not to continue with film incentives, one local actor is weighing in.
JW Burriss says leaders need to listen to people who make their living by being in the business. Burriss says he's been in everything from Safe Haven to Revolution to Sleepy Hollow, and says acting is how he pays the bills.
He worries if film incentives are cut or altered, that productions will go elsewhere, costing him his job.
"It would be devastating, I would have to find another profession to go into, or I would have to move to where the productions go," explained Burriss. "This is my home, I grew up here, I was raised here, when I got out of the military I came right back here, I don't want to leave."
It wouldn't just be him. He says the decision would impact hundreds of others.
"A lot of those people are retirees that supplement their income by doing background work, if the incentives were to be taken away or modified in such a way that they moved elsewhere, they would be in hurting status, there could be a lot of people on unemployment."
He argues the money paid back in film incentives pales in comparison to how much revenue productions bring in. Burriss says last year alone, film production brought in $278 million to the state of North Carolina. He says that includes goods, services, rental cars, gas machinery, permits and so much more.
Additionally he says it is upsetting, because he claims local actors helped out during Rep. Rick Catlin's campaign, and now he says the representative is against keeping the incentives.
While local leaders seem split on the issue, the head of the GOP says as a whole they are against all types of incentives, not just film.
If nothing is done, film incentives will expire at the end of 2014.
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