Business for area film industry still booming

Published: Feb. 17, 2012 at 10:09 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 21, 2012 at 10:41 PM EST
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Film industry leaders say Wilmington has a lot to offer filmmakers.
Film industry leaders say Wilmington has a lot to offer filmmakers.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – While companies like Caterpillar and Continental Tire opted not to build new facilities in the area, another local industry continues to boom.

Film industry leaders rely on several factors to bring filmmakers to Wilmington, dubbed "Hollywood East" by some for the growing number of films and TV shows produced and filmed.

Wilmington Regional Film Commission Executive Director Johnny Griffin just got back from a trip to Los Angeles, where he marketed the Wilmington area to folks in the industry.

Griffin says for the film industry, the number one factor when a filmmaker is looking for a location is cost.

He says they need to be able to compete with what it costs to shoot a film overseas. Filmmakers, he adds, are not interested in any kind of long-term plans, focusing on one project at a time.

Griffin also says the studios and other film facilities are big draw for filmmakers, but it's the incentive packages that really help to persuade companies to shoot in the Port City versus other places.

He explains that when someone's shot something in the area once, they're more likely to come back in the future to work on other projects.

Griffin believes his trip to California, which included a packed four-day schedule, was a big success.

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