Under The Dome Filming in Wilmington Impacts North Carolina’s Economy

WILMINGTON N.C. (WNCT)- North Carolina has been top in the country for movie and television productions for decades.

Now that the State Legislature failed to renew the film incentives, many productions are taking their projects elsewhere.

However, one his CBS show is sticking with our state.

Under the Dome has been filming in Wilmington for the past three seasons, an area actors say they enjoy.

“Here it just has that southern charm and southern hospitality,” said Marg Helgenberger, who plays Christine Price on Under the Dome. “It’s very endearing.”

Until recently, many other productions were also filmed right here in North Carolina.

Johnny Griffin, Director of the Wilmington Regional Film Commission, said, “In January of this year we transitioned to a new 10 million dollar grant fund which obviously is less than what we have had in years past, and so we obviously do have less production going on right now.”

With slowed production comes harder times for local businesses. Griffin says it’s the small expenditures you don’t think of that hurts the local economy most.

“Anything that is used on a film set is something that is purchased, rented locally from businesses here and so local businesses are obviously feeling the impact of it. That is millions of dollars that is missing from our local economy that year and so these folks are seeing it and again these are mostly local small businesses.”

Often referred to as “Wilmywood”, Hollywood’s East could face some tough times in the future.

About 90 percent of locals are involved in the film industry in some way, but actors from Under the Dome said the southern charm of North Carolina is what they enjoy most.

“The people are super friendly and very helpful wherever I go,” said Marg Helgenberger.

Colin Ford, who plays Joe, said, “There’s something about the South that I love, and the people that I love, and the food that I love. Coming here and filming here…that’s great.”

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