Officials push to bring movies, TV shows to Charlotte

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Channel 9 has exclusive new information about Charlotte's push to bring movie and TV productions to the area.
 
Eyewitness News anchor Scott Wickersham uncovered the changes and challenges for the Charlotte Film Commission.
 
The film commission will move from the Charlotte Regional Partnership to the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.
 
Leaders think the CRVA’s built-in marketing machine can better attract these productions.
 
But one of their biggest weapons is North Carolina’s film incentives that could end.
 
Charlotte hosted “The Hunger Games" and "Homeland" but "The Hunger Games" moved to Atlanta and “Homeland” moved to Africa for filming.

Officials hope it’s possible that a shift to the CRVA could breathe new life into the Charlotte movie scene.

“You can take and show people the different assets you have,” said Mike Butts.

The Charlotte Film Commission will move to Butts' department at Visit Charlotte.

He plans to use the CRVA's existing sales, marketing staff and connections to attract new productions. 

“We work with hotels and restaurants on a daily basis in bringing conventions and events to town but their biggest tool -- state film incentives expire at the end of this year,” Butts said. “They allow filmmakers to get back 25 percent of what they spend in North Carolina up to $20 million.

Mecklenburg County Republican Bill Brawley said he isn't aware of any bills to extend it.

“At this point, I think the chances of the film-tax incentive going forward are very slight,” Brawley said.

Ronnie Bryant with the Charlotte Regional Partnership said losing the incentives could be an obstacle even the CRVA's enhanced marketing can't overcome.

“It makes its substantially harder,” Bryant said. “I truly believe without the incentive, we lose the business.”

He hopes the governor or a lawmaker will eventually come forward with a plan to extend or replace those incentives.
If not, some worry the sun may have already set on Charlotte's Hollywood days.

Secretary of Commerce Director Sharon Decker also hopes the governor will present an alternative idea but said, "We have to make whatever incentive we put in place less expensive to the state. We've got to reduce the cost."

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