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Film incentive rally set for Thursday

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Film industry insiders say it’s a “reel” problem…North Carolina’s lack of a competitive film incentive. That’s why film crews from across the state are getting ready to rally in Raleigh, to show legislators why upping the current incentive from 15% to 25% is vital to keeping the film industry alive in North Carolina.

With spray paint in hand, Dan Brawley, with the Cucalorus Film Festival, is setting the stage for Thursday’s film incentive rally at the state capital.

Each of his cardboard cutouts he’s painting will represent a crewmember that lives in North Carolina, but has to work in other states.

“I think we counted somewhere around 250 people who are living in Wilmington, whose families live here, who’ve been here for years and years, but forced to go to Georgia and Louisiana to make a living,” Brawley said.

That role fits Bruce Stultz. He’s been a part of the local film industry since 1985, but he and his wife often travel elsewhere to work. “My wife just got back from a job in St. Louis. She was there for five months, it looks like one of the other of us will have to go out of town to work again,” Stultz said.

It’s faces like his legislators will see at the rally, everyday people who depend on films in order to make a living.

Hundreds of people from across the state will be there, wearing their “25 to survive” buttons. They’re urging lawmakers to increase the film incentive to 25 percent in an effort to keep productions from going to other states. Case in point: the Miley Cyrus movie.

“States like Louisiana, Georgia are offering 30%, Michigan is offering 42% so we’re just not competitive right now,” Brawley said.

Stultz believes it’s simple economic development; that if lawmakers vote for the increase, the state will see a return right away.

People from our area will be leaving tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. for the rally.

It begins in Raleigh at 9:00 a.m. Right now, both the House and Senate’s film incentive bills are sitting in committee.

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Story summary

Film industry insiders say it’s a “reel” problem…North Carolina’s lack of a competitive film incentive. That’s why film crews from across the state are getting ready to rally in Raleigh, to show legislators why upping the current incentive from 15% to 25% is vital to keeping the film industry alive in North Carolina.

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Associated poll

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