Gov. McCrory tours Screen Gems studios - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Gov. McCrory tours Screen Gems studios

Gov. Pat McCrory visited Screen Gems studios in Wilmington Thursday. (Source: WECT) Gov. Pat McCrory visited Screen Gems studios in Wilmington Thursday. (Source: WECT)

Gov. Pat McCrory made a last-minute visit to Screen Gems studios Thursday after catching heat from film industry workers for not going there during a trip to Wilmington two weeks ago. 

The only publicly announced event for the governor's latest trip to the Port City was a meeting with area business leaders at Corning.  

McCrory apologized for being late to that event, telling the group he had been touring the movie studio.  

"The governor's people said he has some extra time between meetings and wanted to stop by," said Bill Vassar, Screen Gems executive vice president, who said he received a call just after lunch. "It was an unexpected but welcome surprise. The governor wanted to see the studio, meet members of the crew and better understand our industry."

McCrory toured the sets of Under the Dome, Sleepy Hollow, and Secrets and Lies. He was at the studio for more than an hour, according to Vassar. 

During a press conference last month at the Legislative Building in Raleigh, Rep. Susi Hamilton and Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo called on the governor to visit a film set to see the industry's economic impact on the area.  

The next week, McCrory traveled to Wilmington but didn't stop at the movie studio. Several dozen film workers demonstrated outside WECT as the governor was interviewed inside.

"My position on the incentives remains," McCrory said Thursday. "I had it in my budget. We understand there are going to have to be some revisions to it now. My goal is to hopefully get it in the final budget that's being discussed right now between the House and Senate, and I have confidence we'll have some sort of compromise. I just don't know in what form yet."

The governor's budget would make significant changes to the film tax credit, that is set to expire at the end of the year. Among other things, the plan would cap the amount any production could receive at $6 million, compared to the current $20 million.

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