New films, television spark the growth of North Carolina’s film industries


North Carolina film industries have grown drastically in previous years. New films and television shows are helping our local film to flourish and continue on an upward spiral.

As North Carolina becomes a more desirable setting for new movies and TV shows, our local film industry is taking this as an opportunity to grow. There are multiple shows that have been filmed and produced here in North Carolina within the past year, such as seasons one and two of “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” “Along for the Ride,” “Boys of Summer” and “Christmas in Harmony,” which were all filmed in the Wilmington area. Aside from Wilmington, other popular filming locations within the state are Charlotte, Asheville and Blowing Rock.

North Carolina has many beautiful and diverse features with beaches to the east of the state and mountains to the west. Naturally, many film productions have taken the opportunity to use the Tar Heel State as the perfect backdrop for their stories. As the popularity of our state begins to grow, our film industry needs to keep up to meet demands. Looking back a few decades ago, this task was very challenging. 

Due to new productions rolling into our state, the film industries are making a comeback and they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

In the early 2000s, North Carolina was a hotspot for film, but in 2013, everything started to go downhill. State lawmakers decided to lean away from incentives such as tax benefits offered by the state to encourage in-state film production and move towards grants: resources and money given by organizations to support film production. Although the two may sound equally beneficial, producers found it difficult to quickly adapt to this change. 

Despite the limitations on money given to TV series, the state offers grants on 25 percent of production costs, meaning local films receive a 25 percent rebate on expenses made by productions while in-state, due to our film incentive. Although the grants have changed throughout the years, the grant money has still been extremely beneficial to local film industries, and within the past 10 years, producers have learned to cooperate with the grants and provide a great example of North Carolina’s determination to succeed. In recent years, North Carolina has also regained its success in film, and the state has now decided to invest in high-quality projects to work on. This incentive project is allowing North Carolina to support new productions as long as they are being filmed specifically within the state. In 2021, North Carolina made a comeback in film and spent a record-breaking $409 million on productions

With more people coming to North Carolina for a multitude of reasons, the film industry continues to thrive as the many necessary jobs are being filled. One example of this expansion was in 2021, film studios provided work for over 25,000 people. With this number having grown drastically throughout these last few years we can only infer that it will continue to grow.

While looking to the future of local film, we can expect to see many more popular hits and films centered around North Carolina. Due to new productions rolling into our state, the film industries are making a comeback and they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. These new projects are also allowing more people to become employed in these industries overall, allowing North Carolina to not only grow, but thrive.