WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Wilmington’s film industry has just had a banner year.
Final numbers are yet to be released, but early figures show Wilmington’s film industry has generated between $ 300 million and $ 325 million, according to Johnny Griffin, director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission.
Regarding the film in 2022, Griffin said everything was working in Wilmington’s favor, but it was difficult to plan the year in advance and point to an upcoming project.
“Our industry doesn’t really book their stay that far in advance, so it’s not like we know, you know, that we already have businesses coming up in March, June, and August of next year.” Griffin said. “They usually happen very quickly with a very short time frame, but what we do know is that everything is sort of lined up to work in our favor right now.”
Over the past few years, Griffin said there have been “bumps in the road” like a bathroom ban for transgender people that has scared new productions, hurricanes and incentive issues.
Right now, however, leaders in the region believe they can capitalize on 2021 as everything is in place for more success in the industry. The bathroom bill, HB2, is now canceled and big incentives are back on the table.
“Cinema has been here for 35, 40 years in Wilmington and we’ve seen a lot of ups and downs over the years. In the last few years I think some people have watched a movie in Wilmington and been like, ‘Well, maybe that was a thing of the past and maybe we’re never really going to get the movie back like we are. have done so in the past ”. Griffin said. “I think that this year having the greatest year in history resulting from covid shows what our potential is in the future.”
The fact that many projects and businesses have toured the area over the past year also works in Wilmington’s favor. Griffin said the best marketing and the best exposure is “to actually have your customers promoting you.” And that’s something they’ve had real success with in 2021.
“We market the area and we work to get productions here and we can talk to people about it, but what works best is having projects here where the industry is starting to talk about it itself.” , did he declare. “Lots of unique and different projects this year  leading us towards 2022 which we believe will be another great year. “
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