Local film workers take big group photo

An estimated 800 people smiled and waved as the photographer snapped a massive group photo at Battleship Park. (Source: WECT)
An estimated 800 people smiled and waved as the photographer snapped a massive group photo at Battleship Park. (Source: WECT)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The future of North Carolina's film incentive program looks bleak with the tax credits set to expire at the end of the year. However, local film crews making sure they are not going down without a fight.

An estimated 800 people smiled and waved as the photographer snapped a massive group photo at Battleship Park.

Film incentive supports said this photo is to show legislature how many local people will be affected by their decision to cut the tax credits. They also said they wanted law makers to see the faces of local film industry.

"It's a grass roots, get together to try and make a difference," said Emily Young, the photo coordinator.

Local supports said 80 to 90 percent of the people who will be affected by the tax credit cut are not big money makers. Rather the single parent or working families who depend on their production pay checks.

They said now is the time for potential production companies to scout our area for upcoming films, but so far none have been seen. With the loss of business in our area means thousands of local films and their crew are faced with the decision to stay in their hometown, or move where the money is.

"A. I don't want to move. B. I can't afford to move," said film worker, Valerie Robinson.  "I know three of my friends who already made the decision to leave their family here til the end of the school year, and then move them to Atlanta incase the film incentives program is dead, but I can't afford to do that."

Kimmie Stewart is another film worker who does not want to up root her family.

"We have roots here in Wilmington, and my children are grounded in this area," said Stewart. "If we were to pack up and move to where the incentives go it would affect my children negatively."

The Tax credit is set to expire at the end of this year, but law makers are establishing a film grant that would potentially take its place. That grant is capped at $10 million dollars, and is on a first come first serve basis for filmmakers throughout the state.

Copyright 2014 WECT. All rights reserved.