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This time around, North Carolina’s film industry could benefit from political outcry


The cameras are rolling in North Carolina’s Hollywood East, also known as Wilmington. The coastal city has hosted a slew of film and TV projects over the years, from “Dawson’s Creek” to the in-progress series “Hightown” and upcoming space thriller “I.S.S.”

And more could be coming.

“We think this will be the biggest year we’ve had in 10 years,” said Johnny Griffin, head of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission.

And it could get even bigger, as one of North Carolina’s biggest competitors – Georgia – when it comes to film sites has a public relations problem. Reports show that Georgia’s new voting law is getting staunch criticism from Hollywood – potentially the kind of outcry that causes production companies to ship their projects elsewhere.

Bill Vassar, executive vice president of EUE/Screen Gems Studio in Wilmington, said he wouldn’t speculate about the future, but said he had seen “no direct inquiries caused by the Georgia voting bill.”

But filmmakers in North Carolina in particular know boycotts are exactly what can happen with the passage of state bills. After all, when North Carolina’s now defunct “Bathroom Bill,” HB2, was passed, multiple productions elected to go elsewhere. Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), for example, chose not to film its teen drama “OBX” in North Carolina two years ago over the measure’s remaining anti-LGBTQ clause. See more here.


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