Keeping Hollywood in Charlotte - myfoxcarolinas.com

Keeping Hollywood in Charlotte

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When you watch Banshee and Homeland, pay attention to some of the streets or signs – the TV shows are shot in Charlotte.

Next week as city council picks a new mayor, some local activists hope they’ll also push for more TV and film projects in our area.

The group, based out of East Charlotte, says it’s important to bring this type of work to our area because it creates jobs.

Over the past few years, the TV/film industry in North Carolina has created thousands of jobs from acting roles, behind-the-scenes crew and even indirect jobs.

But that may not be the case going forward if state leaders don't extend a 25% tax credit.

Many production companies may choose to shift base to other states like South Carolina or Georgia and that means many jobs here could be on the chopping block.

On Thursday, several actors, producers, casting agents and members of Charlotte’s film community celebrated 5 years of filmmaking in the state.

 “We have so many people living here. I lived in LA and my agent told me to move back,” said Oberer, who runs Lifelong Productions.

Casting Director Julie Emmons co-founded the Charlotte Film Community 5 years back.

 “We believe work brings work – everyone here is working and we need our incentives to stay,” said Emmons.

Emmons says if state leaders don’t extend the tax credit that expires at the end of this year, she and many others may have to attend casting calls out of state.

“I wouldn’t be able to work. I work as a casting director. I’d have to go SC or GA which I don’t want to do.,” said Emmons.

 “Keep these incentives alive so we can keep jobs here, keep our families here and don’t have to move to Atlanta or LA,” said Oberer.

“It’s not just crucial for the film industry but also east side Charlotte,” said community rights activist Justin Goff.

Community activists in East Charlotte pushed for Studio Charlotte – a large scale project that would bring jobs to the area – but city council recently tabled it because of a lack of financial data.

“The city council refused to give an extension to allow Studio Charlotte here,” said Goff.

“Studio Charlotte is looking at other areas but they are looking at other states,” said Goff.

Group leaders have filed 2 petitions – one to revisit Charlotte and another to extend the state’s film incentives. This way, it’ll not only keep jobs but also create more projects.

The North Carolina General Assembly decides on film incentives next month.

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