The N.C. Film exodus is officially under way.
This was made clear when Aaron Syrett, director of the N.C. Film Office, confirmed he would be resigning his position, effective July 31. For seven years, Aaron’s leadership fostered a period of tremendous growth that was fueled by our current film incentives program.
And during those years, we witnessed the making of films like “The Secret Life of Bees” and “Hunger Games” get made in North Carolina — with numerous Tar Heel residents being used as extras.
However, the move by Gov. Pat McCrory and the General Assembly to close the N.C. Film Office and assign control of film recruitment and retention to the Governor’s Office is as offensive as it is cynical. Make no mistake, it seems this governor will do nothing to promote and build our film industry, as he has been instrumental in the effort to destroy it.
It is no coincidence that the “squeezing out” of Aaron Syrett and the closing of the N.C. Film Office (which he so effectively ran) comes just as our leaders are poised to eliminate our state’s ability to be a competitive place to produce films and television shows.
Our current leaders have chased off job-creating industries time and again with their short-sighted, ideological contempt for government-supported economic incentives. They must have been real proud a couple of weeks ago, when our state lost more than 7,500 jobs from five different businesses, in just one week. And now they are doing it again, but this time it is the thousands of North Carolinians who depend on the film industry to support their families, who will suffer.
It is outrageous how strident they are about all of this economic destruction. How blind could they be? It makes you wonder … maybe they just don’t care.