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Senator;

I know June will be a busy month for Budget issues. I would like to express an outlook about the NC Film and Entertainment Grant Program.

I know the House of Representatives slated $60 million to begin with and then through negotiations lowered it to $40 million.

After talking with some Senators when the House Budget first came out, I understand the Senate would like to keep the percentage of increase for the Budget to 2% instead of the 6% the House’s version represented. I am sure the NC Film and Entertainment Grant Program money is part of that 4% on the chopping block.

Eno River Media is an advocate for the medium to small video production industry of North Carolina. We want the jobs in this industry to be and stay in NC. The film industry is changing. Technology is a disruptive influence in the old or existing business model of show business.

There are companies in this state that produce Hollywood ready movies for about a million dollars each. Some movies, a little less. Great quality. Great entertainment. All by hard working North Carolinian’s – living in our state – all year long. It is these businesses we should focus on. It should be these North Carolinian s that benefit from the Grant. Not big Hollywood Production Companies. Let’s focus this Grant money on North Carolina businesses. Nothing against big Hollywood. We just like NC better!

A film production company located in Wake Forest, NC – just up the road, recently made a movie (A Long Way Off) for about a million dollars. It is currently on Netflix. It is no different than any other movie you would watch in quality. This company is Uptone Pictures. Michael Davis is their CEO. The awesome aspect of this company is if they received a grant for two million dollars, they have a backer that will match that dollar for dollar! Now it is a four million dollar movie! That’s jobs for a year or a bit more for North Carolinian s. The next ten years will see a change in the Hollywood film industry. Small Production companies will rise in influence. Let’s have them based here – in North Carolina. Let’s start now.

Here is a link to Uptone Pictures:
http://www.uptonepictures.com/

Here is a link to their latest movie (A Long Way Off):

Here is a link to a movie some independent folks shot – 38 minutes long – Hollywood Quality – for $60,000! The movie is called Anomaly. The tech revolution in film is happening. Let it happen here.

Thanks!

Anthony Dowling
Executive Director
Eno River Media
May 28, 2015

Eno River Media asked the businesses in our industry what could improve the NC Film and Entertainment Grant Program. Here are their suggestions:

Eno River Media proposes the following actions be adopted by the North Carolina Legislature this session. Each can be adopted independently of the other actions. Each action strengthens the entire Film and Entertainment Grant Program. Taken together, this would present a very viable program to filmmakers in North Carolina and the United States.

• Continue the North Carolina Entertainment and Film Grant Program.
• Establish the Program for six years (three at the least). This enables filmmakers to plan. Making films takes time and one year is too short a window. Having the program established for six years will lend it stability in the eyes of those who will use it.
• Increase the ten million grant amount by twenty percent per year for three years starting with year three. Starting with year three helps provide data as to how the grant program is performing to justify the added funding. This adds more money to the program year after year as it grows in popularity.
• Lower the threshold for projects that can submit for the grant from five million dollars per project to a hundred thousand dollars per project. This will now include the indigenous North Carolina film community and not just outside large movie houses. This single action will be the catalyst for job creation in the indigenous film industry of NC.
• Establish a portion of the grant funds that will go toward offsetting the investment in a production or post production facility.
• Each project pledges to implement the Green Production Guide Best Practices.
• Adjust the Grant to reflect a preference to those who use eighty percent or more actors / talent from in state.
• Set aside a nominal percentage of the total grant amount for use by established North Carolina Film Festivals for advertising in state and out of state.

With these adjustments, the Entertainment and Film Grant Program will directly benefit the indigenous film and television industry companies in North Carolina as well as attract outside investment. Strengthening our film community equals more sustainable jobs in North Carolina.

The following list of businesses have been identified and verified as active companies involved in the video industry in North Carolina. For several months Eno River Media has solicited recommendations from the owners and staff of these business on how to improve the current legislation regarding the NC Film Grant Program. Your North Carolina industry professionals are suggesting ways to help improve this legislation. Each were asked but not everyone responded. The above points are the culmination of the suggestions received.

Aravind Ragupathi Zoning Media
Adrian Payton Yadadamean Productionz
Amanda Baranski Western North Carolina Film Commission
Mike Brooks Wake County Video Production
Dr. Steven Channing Video Dialog Inc.
Michael Davis Uptone Pictures
Linda Greenwood Unwind Productions
Gabriel Vilsaint UGV Productions
Jim McQuaid Turnip Video
Robert Morrow Triangle Arts and Entertainment
Tom Waring Trailblazer
Ivan Ross The Peoples Channel
Anne Greene Talent One Casting
Robert Naier Studio C Cinema
Steven Grove Steven Grove Film Music Company
Leah Carroll Myers Special Effect Makeup Artist
Joe Montanti Southern Coast Films
Store Staff Southeastern Camera and Studio
John Reid Simple Syrup
Justin Yates Silent Edge Entertainment
Mark Brumback Shoreline Productions
Renee Grayson Seven Heartbeats Production
Stewart Nelsen Secondsonfilm
Jason Franco Safehouse Studios
Robyn Mooring RKM Productions
Richard Shuping Richard Shuping Animation Setup Artist
Terrell Gordy Reel Visuals
M. Jillian DeCamp PoynerSpruill
James O’Brien III Poyner & Spruill
Matt Horton PostPro
Rebecca Clark Piedmont Triad Film Commission
Sunnie Pennington Pennington Actors Workshop
Antoine Allen One Track Mind Productions
Toron Rodgers NINE25 PRODCTIONS
Jim Fink New Century Digital Media
Guy Gaster NC Film Office
Greg de Deugd Monstrous Litle Voice
Mikel Barton Mikel Barton Productions
Dana Dillehunt Maslo Trading Company
Mark Wagoner Mark Wagoner Productions
Justin Perry Lucid Reality Productions
Debra Ann Hooper Living Arts College
Brad Walker Lighthouse Film Company
Robert Anderson LFHP Productions
Kelley Bassett Krash Creative Solutions
Ron Cooper Kaleigh Group Entertainment
April Eller K2 Productions
Donna Mitchell Horizon Video Production
David Schifter Hollywood East Casting
V. Dianne Pledger Hayti Heritage Center
Keith Sarich Half Century Plus Productions
Wil Kazary Guerrilla Productions
Jay O. Lambeth Greensboro Community Television
Gregory N. Douglas G Quence Productions,LLC.
Mark Hanna FxN Productions
Frank Smith Franklin Video
Ray Ellis Footpath Pictures Inc
Michael Back Flying Frog Media
Shelly Stone Film Department PCC
Ed Ader ENS Productions
Larry Olson Dv3 Productions LLC
Carolyn Carney Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau
Richard Jaimeyfield Dogwood Productions Inc.
John Day Day Media Group
John Rushton Crimson Wolf Productions
John Potts Creative Television Communications
Joan Siefert Rose Council for Entrepreneural Development
John Cook CK Productions
Carlos Bonilla City of Raleigh Community Television
LaMont Johnson Chiekoalice Films
Brooks Norman Channel 70 Productions
Jay Spain CG Film
Charles Long Centerline Digital
Harlan Campbell Center for Documentary Studies
Jim Carl Carolina Theatre Durham NC
Rob Gee C G Productions
Olivia Turnage Burning Oak Studios
Charlie Breakiron Breakiron Animation
Paul Bonesteel Bonsteel Films
Michael Babbitt Bombshell Studios
Russ Reynolds Blue Forest Studios
Chris Bainbridge bclip
Sheila Saab Avivmoon Productions
Gary Robertson Associated Press
Dionysios Nikolaidis Animusing Productions
Andrew Huggins Andrew Huggins Filmmaker
Ann Holton Guill Altair Casting and Production Services
Alan Kirby All Pro Media
Tanner Lagasca Actors Training Ground
Lee Armstrong Acting Coach

About ERMP
Eno River Media Production, established in March 1999, is dedicated to educate, facilitate and advocate the growth of the movie and television industry in North Carolina.

ERMP will accomplish this mission by educating, facilitating, nurturing and uniting independent North Carolina film and video makers, allied industries, civic and governmental organizations by propagating a network of industry professionals.