North Carolina Film Office
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The North Carolina Film Office, originally called the "North Carolina Film Commission," is a member of the Association of Film Commissioners International.〔("North Carolina Film Office" ), ''Association of Film Commissioners International'', Retrieved 2007-11-19.〕
Founded in 1980 by Governor James B. Hunt, the office was commissioned to help facilitate and provide a base of operation for North Carolina's burgeoning film industry. Governor Hunt appointed William "Bill" Arnold to lead the office.〔("About Us" ), ''North Carolina Film Office'', Retrieved 2008-02-15.〕 In 1984, producer Dino De Laurentiis created De Laurentiis Entertainment Group. He built and based a studio complex (now EUE/Screen Gems ) in Wilmington, North Carolina. The area quickly became one of the busiest production centers for film and television east of Hollywood. The North Carolina Film Office was created during a time when new technology, audience demand for location authenticity, and Hollywood’s need for lower production costs were driving filmmakers to search distant sites throughout the United States for fresh places to make movies.〔
With Bill Arnold leading, the North Carolina Film Commission witnessed a dramatic increase in production during the 1980s and the 1990s. Notable films during this time include: ''The Color Purple'' (1985),〔(The Color Purple (1985) - Filming Locations - IMDb )〕 ''Dirty Dancing'' (1987),〔(Dirty Dancing (1987) - Filming Locations - IMDb )〕 ''Bull Durham'' (1988),〔(Bull Durham (1988) - Filming Locations - IMDb )〕 ''Days of Thunder'' (1990),〔(Days of Thunder (1990) - Filming Locations - IMDb )〕 ''Sleeping with the Enemy'' (1991),〔(Sleeping with the Enemy (1991) - Filming Locations - IMDb )〕 ''Last of the Mohicans'' (1992),〔(The Last of the Mohicans (1992) - Filming Locations - IMDb )〕 ''The Fugitive'' (1993),〔(The Fugitive (1993) - Filming Locations - IMDb )〕 and ''The Crow'' (1994).〔(The Crow (1994) - Filming Locations - IMDb )〕 In 1998 Wilmington, NC became the home of the WB's critically acclaimed television network series ''Dawson's Creek''. The series remained in Wilmington until 2003 when it was cancelled and replaced with ''One Tree Hill''—a series on The WB/CW that calls North Carolina "home." ''One Tree Hill'' ended in 2012 after nine seasons.〔("ONE TREE HILL: Filming Locations" ), ''Internet Movie Database'', Retrieved on 2007-11-19.〕
While Wilmington, NC continued to sustain itself with television, the international film climate began to shift out of North Carolina's favor. In an effort to keep production costs even cheaper, early 2000 saw production companies making films internationally.〔Carvajal, Doreen ("The Cannes Festival: A modern twist on 'location, location, location'" ), ''International Herald Tribune'', May 18, 2005, Retrieved on 2007-11-19〕 The North Carolina Film Commission was made most aware of this trend when it lost Charles Frazier's North Carolina tale, ''Cold Mountain'',〔("COLD MOUNTAIN: Filming Locations" ), ''Internet Movie Database'', Retrieved on 2007-11-19.〕 to the country of Romania.〔Fellerath, David, ("North Carolina gets its close-up" ), ''Independent Weekly'', December 13, 2003, Retrieved 2007-11-19.〕 Hoping to bring an international industry back to the United States, many law-makers across the US began creating incentives packages to encourage filming in individual states. North Carolina's legislature decided on pursuing a competitive incentive program.〔Sperling, Nicole, ("North Carolina trying to lure more prod'ns" ), ''The Hollywood Reporter'', May 22, 2002, Retrieved on 2007-11-19.〕 On August 8, 2006, Governor Mike F. Easley signed into law a legislation offering productions a full 15% tax credit on a minimum $250,000 spend in North Carolina (and not to exceed a $7.5M credit.) 〔("NC Film Incentive" ), ''North Carolina Film Office'', Retrieved 2008-02-15.〕 Since this program's inception, the NC Film Office has seen a substantial increase in production, as have other state's that have established similar programs.〔Donnahue, Ann, ("MADE IN AMERICA: Incentive to stay" ), ''The Hollywood Reporter'', November 1, 2006, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.〕 Since 2006, the North Carolina Film Office has recruited the following films: George Clooney's ''Leatherheads'' (2008),〔(Leatherheads (2008) - Filming Locations - IMDb )〕 ''Nights in Rodanthe'' (2008) 〔(Nights in Rodanthe (2008) - Filming Locations - IMDb )〕 starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane, ''The Marc Pease Experience'' (2008) 〔(The Marc Pease Experience (2009) - Filming Locations - IMDb )〕 with Ben Stiller, and ''Bolden!'' (2008),〔(Bolden! (2014) - Filming Locations - IMDb )〕 a film about the life of jazz legend Buddy Bolden.
In September 2006, Commissioner Bill Arnold retired after 26 years of service to North Carolina's film industry.〔("State Film Office Hires New Director" ), ''North Carolina Film Office'', March 3, 2007, Retrieved 2008-02-15.〕 The North Carolina Film Office is now part of the NC Department of Commerce's Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development. Aaron Syrett (former Director of the Utah Film Commission) was hired as Director of the North Carolina Film Office in spring 2007; his tenure ended at the end of July 2014.〔("NC State Film Office Hires New Director" ), ''Association of Film Commissioners International'', no date, Retrieved on 2007-11-20.〕〔http://www.wral.com/state-film-commissioner-leaving-post/13794133/〕 While building upon North Carolina's legacy, Syrett is taking a 21st-century approach to boost the global visibility of North Carolina's resources.〔()〕
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