Friday, March 10, 2023 - 00:00

Spending by Productions in N.C. Tops $258 Million in 2022, New Projects Kick Off 2023

Raleigh, N.C.
Mar 10, 2023

Filmmakers spent more than $258 million on productions in North Carolina last year, the sixth highest year-end total since 2000, when the state started offering incentives to support the state’s film industry.

“North Carolina continues to attract great film, television, and streaming projects that bring good jobs to our state,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Last year, these projects helped create 16,000 job opportunities, including 3,000 crew and talent positions for our state’s highly skilled production workforce.”

In 2022, 74 film, television, and streaming projects, had production-related activities in all eight of the state’s prosperity zones, including previously announced N.C. Film and Entertainment Grant awardees:

TV/streaming series

  • “George and Tammy”
  • “Welcome to Flatch”
  • “Hightown”
  • “The Summer I Turned Pretty

Studio feature-length films

  • “Untitled Please Don’t Destroy Project”
  • “The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat”

Independent feature-length films

  • “Boys of Summer”
  • “The Other Zoey”
  • “Providence”
  • “ABG and Her Monster”
  • “Site”
  • “Eric LaRue”
  • “Mother Couch”

Made-for-TV/streaming movies

  • “Heaven Sent” (filmed as “Second Time Around”)
  • “To Her, With Love.”

The year wrapped with two additional film grant awardees, “The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On”, a Netflix dating series, which filmed a full season in the greater Charlotte area with a reserved grant up to $1.57 million. “Untitled Band Pilot” has a $625,000 film grant reserved for its Wilmington area production.

In addition to the grant awardees, several local productions, travel shows and reality series, both full and partial seasons, and national commercials lensed in the state for the following projects: 

  • “Life in the Fast Lane”
  • “Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks”
  • “Indian Matchmaker”
  • “Beachfront Bargain Hunt”
  • “90 Day Fiancé”
  • “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”
  • “Pawn Stars”
  • “A Little Prayer”
  • “A Song for Imogene” 

Year-end production figures also included spending by national commercials for Twisted Tea, Chevrolet, U.S. Cellular and Smartwool, among others. 

“Our film industry is an economic multiplier for North Carolina,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “These projects not only provide thousands of job opportunities for our talented workforce, but they also support the small business communities surrounding every production set, positively impacting the local economies where they film.”

Filming for 2023 is off to a strong start with five new productions underway in North Carolina. Altogether, these projects filming in the state are estimated to generate direct in-state spending of more than $98.5 million while creating more than 9,700 job opportunities.

These latest productions include:

  • “A Biltmore Christmas” which follows a young writer who is researching a holiday movie that was previously filmed at the Biltmore Estate and then gets transported back in time.  Approved for a grant up to $1,087,500, the project completed filming in January and is scheduled to be part of the Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown to Christmas” later this year.
  • The recently wrapped made-for-TV/streaming feature “Zoey 102” (filmed as “Electric Love”) filmed in the greater Wilmington area about a group of high school friends who reunite for a friend’s wedding.  The project is approved for a film grant of up to $3.5 million.
  • “A Bigger Slice of Sky” is a made-for-TV/streaming feature that is currently filming in and around southeastern North Carolina.  The project is a about a struggling musician who moves back to her childhood home and discovers a recording from her deceased father confessing to a crime. The project is eligible for a grant rebate of $375,000.
  • A crime drama set in the mountains of North Carolina and will begin filming in early Spring in the greater Charlotte area, “Blue Ridge” features a modern-Western hero in an Appalachian town that time, and justice, have forgotten.  This series will be distributed by Imagicomm Entertainment and has been approved for a film grant up to $1,582,473.
  • “Summer Camp” is an independent feature that will be filming in western North Carolina later this spring. The film follows three childhood friends who spent every summer at a sleep away camp and decide to seize the opportunity to return for a camp reunion.  The production is approved for a grant rebate of up to $2,937,500.

“Following a successful year, it’s great to have multiple projects already making an impact in the state in 2023,” added Guy Gaster, director of the North Carolina Film Office.  “It’s no longer a secret that our state is wide open for filming, and we look forward to continuing to build off our successes in 2021 and 2022.”

The North Carolina Film and Entertainment Grant provides financial assistance to attract feature film and television productions that will stimulate economic activity and create jobs in the state. Production companies receive no money up front and must meet direct in-state spending requirements to qualify for grant funds, which are paid out following the completion of the project and a successful audit of the production’s spending.  Grants serve as a reimbursement for some of this spending.  The program is administered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce and promoted by the North Carolina Film Office, part of Visit NC and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

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