Park City, UT hosts the Sundance Film Festival. (Source: North Carolina Film Office Facebook page)
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Aaron Syrett, the director of the North Carolina Film Office, is expecting another busy year for the film industry in the state.
Syrett is currently in Park City, Utah at the Sundance Film Festival, pitching producers on bringing projects to North Carolina.
The annual festival brings together industry leaders as filmmakers showcase their work.
He said the state's 25% tax incentive program is a big selling point.
Syrett explained, in North Carolina, the incentive is a post-performance rebate, meaning filmmakers only get it after spending money on a project here. Syrett said a new trend that a lot of folks in the industry are talking about involves investors giving filmmakers loans borrowed against a state's incentive program before the project starts shooting. Syrett said because North Carolina's incentive program is easy to use when compared to other states, the state's at an advantage.
"Other states' incentives are really complicated to access and where ours are straightforward," he said. "It's simple. It makes it really easy for the filmmakers.
Overall, Syrett said Sundance has been a success for the film office, in that they are cultivating relationships with key decision makers.
"I just have to keep hitting these people over the head," he said. "We will meet with them here. We will meet with them in LA. We might meet with them at another event. It is really about building those relationships. You know, in 2012, we had the largest year ever and that's because of the activation we do in Park City, South by Southwest and Tribeca."
Syrett said it will be hard to top 2012, because it's not every year that you land a project like Iron Man 3. However, he remains positive about the industry outlook for 2013.