WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Hallmark Channel movies are playing a key role in what’s expected to be a big year for North Carolina’s film industry, according to a newspaper report.
With film productions expected to bring a record-setting $409 million to the state in 2021, and with nearly $300 million spent in the Wilmington area so far, so-called “Hallmark movies” are a staple of local activity, the StarNews reported.
Currently filming is “Christmas in Harmony,” which had multiple Santas roaming a downtown Wilmington street last week.
The Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film “One Summer” wrapped earlier this month. And Another Hallmark movie, “USS Christmas,” shot in Wilmington a year ago, wrapped production this summer.
John “Fergy” Ferguson, a Wilmington resident who has rented grip and lighting equipment to production crews on this year, told the StarNews smaller-budget shows are valuable in a number of ways, including as a training ground for young student crew members.
The $409 million expected to be spent this year on film work would be the largest figure since the 2014 creation of a state grant that offers a 25% rebate to qualified productions, the newspaper reported earlier this month.