North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory was in Wilmington Monday to speak at a ceremony held on the Battleship North Carolina honoring veterans for their service. Following the ceremony we caught up with the Governor to ask him a few questions about where he thought the state of the film industry is and where it's going.
"I have critics who don't want any and some critics who are saying it's not enough," the Governor said in regards to film incentives. With critics on both sides of the fence McCrory said, "this just might be the right proposal." He continued, "I think it's a common sense proposal because it rewards long term capital investment."
Many in Wilmington and the surrounding area are hoping the Governor will increase the $6 million cap on film incentives, but when asked if the cap will increase the Governor deflected the question with attention to his $20 billion budget that was submitted for approval by the North Carolina House and Senate.
"I've got to respect the process the House and Senate are going through now. Again, I think it was a quite unique proposal. It really, I think, redefines the film industry for North Carolina for more long term capital investments, that doesn't just stay here for the making of a commercial for several days, but stays here for decades."
McCrory said he is aiming at drawing "long-term, sustainable investments" to North Carolina and that those are the type of investments he is interested in supporting.
McCrory said he looked at local successes verses how the whole state benefited, or didn't benefit from money going towards the film industry. "We have to look at how much money was taken directly out of the budget verses how much was returned, and I think this is a very good compromise," McCrory said weighing the options.
McCrory said his initial goal is to get teachers pay raises and he is willing to revise film subsidies, and even provisions under his own responsibilities on how they do work, in order to get the best return on their investments.
Governor McCrory said film incentives aren't the only areas seeing cuts in funding. He referred to last year's Democratic National Convention comedy show when it was held in Charlotte. According to McCrory the comedy show cost in upwards of $300,000. "We had to make some change and frankly that's where we're finding some of the money to help pay our school teachers and meet the other needs of government and service to our citizens at this point in time," McCrory said.
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