Raleigh, N.C. — Halfway through 2012, film productions in North Carolina have already set a record for in-state spending, officials said Wednesday.
At least 35 productions plan to film in the state this year, and officials project they will spend more than $300 million and create more than 15,000 jobs, including 3,300 for skilled film crew workers.
"It’s great to see this industry thriving again in North Carolina, and we must continue to build on this momentum by creating even more of an economic impact,” Gov. Beverly Perdue said in a statement.
Film work has or is expected to take place in 30 of North Carolina's 100 counties, led by "Iron Man 3," which has filmed scenes from the Triangle to the coast; "We're the Millers," a Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy; and "Safe Haven," which is based on a Nicholas Sparks book.
Television production has also increased in the state, officials said, with cameras rolling on the second season of the award-winning Showtime series “Homeland” and new series “Banshee” on Cinemax and “Revolution” on NBC, as well as the most recent season of “The Bachelorette” on ABC. National commercials for Under Armour, ESPN and Mountain Dew have also filmed in the state this year.
Officials credited the growth in North Carolina’s film industry to bipartisan legislation to enhance the state’s film tax incentive, which was approved by the General Assembly in 2010 and extended this year.
Under the incentive, productions receive a 25 percent refundable tax credit based on their direct in-state spending on goods, services and labor. Productions must spend at least $250,000, and the credit is given to the productions only after they have completed their spending and have been audited by the state Department of Revenue.
“We have one of the smartest incentives in the nation, and when combined with our talented crew base and diverse locations, it makes our state ideal for filmmakers,” North Carolina Film Office director Aaron Syrett said in a statement.
The projected spending and jobs figures don't include work on numerous lower-budget projects and commercials that don’t meet the minimum requirement for the tax incentive, officials said.