Is Phil Berger trying to kill off NC's film industry?


Cutting off funds and stealing the reserves:

The Senate budget proposal does not include $31 million in new film grant funding that the state House budget has for 2019-20. Any leftover funding amount each fiscal year rolls over into surplus. At last count, there was $65 million in the film grant fund balance.

Berger said during a Tuesday press conference the Senate plans to siphon an unspecified amount of the film grant surplus toward other state funding needs.

This is what happens when you let somebody have absolute power over the process; they pull idiotic moves like this knowing they won't suffer any personal consequences. This would be a bad idea in any annual budget, but considering our biggest competitor (Georgia) just pissed off a bunch of producers with their new abortion law, the timing couldn't be worse:

On Tuesday, Netflix became the first major studio to publicly oppose the law.

“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in a statement. “It’s why we will work with the ACLU and others to fight it in court. Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll continue to film there — while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to. Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.”

The question on many minds is if North Carolina will see the benefits of a mass exodus from Georgia should the law move forward.

At this point, Wilmington Regional Film Commission director Johnny Griffin said he has not received any calls from prospective producers looking to relocate from Georgia because of the law.

“But I think it is because it is still too early,” he said. “Since it is still fresh within the last few weeks, I think a lot of people are uncertain about what is going to happen.”

Don't hold your breath. When those film companies see what Phil Berger is up to, they're liable to write us off permanently.