Triangle Film Commission Markets Region as Filmmaking Location

Research Triangle Region, N.C. - Efforts to promote the Research Triangle Region of North Carolina as a movie shoot location picked up steam in recent months as members of the Triangle Regional Film Commission (TRFC) expanded its contacts across the region and in Hollywood.

Commission executive director Rob Shoaf reported to regional partners in January on the commission's activities on behalf of its 13 member counties - Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Orange, Person, Vance, Wake and Warren.

Our diligence and focus are paying off as we continue to successfully expand the TRFC's contacts both in our area and in Hollywood, Shoaf said. Since our last report, we have attended the N.C. Film Office's quarterly home office meeting with representatives of the other regions around the state and participated in conference calls pertaining to specific production projects and site surveys. We have also met with the director of the Piedmont Triad Film Commission to begin discussions of how we can work together to benefit both of our areas, especially in our adjoining counties.

The enhanced incentive program offered to producers on the state level, which took effect Jan. 1, are attracting increased inquiries to the Governor's Film Council and state Film Office from producers interested in filming in North Carolina. These are resulting in numerous requests on tight deadlines for information and photographs for potential sites, Shoaf said. Sites of interest so far include mostly locations in The Research Triangle Park but also in outlying areas of Durham, Granville, Orange, Person and Wake counties.

We have met each of the requested deadlines, Shoaf said. It's exciting for the commission to contribute images of our area's prime locations to producers serious about filming here.

The commission is currently in discussions with several filmmakers about shooting potential projects in the region.

In recent weeks, commission representatives have begun reaching out to regional communities and groups to educate them about the work of the film commission and promote their engagement. Shoaf and colleagues visited Chapel Hill/Carrboro, Oxford, Sanford and Southern Pines to meet with local representatives and discuss ongoing interaction and collaboration. They have met with local leadership, including economic developers, convention and visitors bureau staff and chambers of commerce, in Chatham, Granville, Lee, Moore, Orange and Person counties and revisited the Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau with a presentation to the community executives comprising its board of directors.

Each area has been very receptive to the regional film commission idea and efforts, Shoaf said. We have also begun discussions with parties interested in developing studio facilities in our area as a result of inquiries from most of the producers we have contacted.

The commission is now initiating a Production Ready Community program, educating community representatives about the factors that enable counties and municipalities to be certified Production Ready. They have prepared information forms to be filled out by partners in each county to facilitate the high degree of organization and cataloguing of essential contacts needed during film production. Key personnel in the private sector and areas of city and county government who will be helpful to the production process are contacted and informed about the local needs of production companies. Easy access to the lists of names and phone numbers of these key contacts make production flow more smoothly and efficiently from pre-production to wrap.

For more information on the work of the Triangle Regional Film Commission, call (919) 682-2222 or e-mail