Not everything Made in North Carolina comes out of a factory, workshop, laboratory or kitchen.
Sure, we've become world famous for our agriculture, furniture and cutting-edge tech developed in the Research Triangle. But some of our most celebrated exports are moving pictures projected on a screen or streamed through your television, laptop or phone.
It turns out that North Carolina provides the perfect backdrop for a whole cinematic universe of characters from Iron Man and Forrest Gump to Bad Grandpa and Ricky Bobby.
But it's not just our breathtaking beaches and sensational scenery that brings filmmakers to the Tar Heel State, it's our growing infrastructure of production facilities, a skilled workforce and a long list of incentives that make it easier than ever to say, "Lights, Camera, Action."
In an August 2021 press release, Governor Roy Cooper announced that filmmakers producing projects in North Carolina are on track to invest a record amount of money in the state. The release adds that the $409 million investment in productions will create more than 25,000 job opportunities for highly skilled film professionals and background talent in our state.
“These multimillion-dollar revenues for 2021 are great economic development wins for North Carolina,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “Our film industry, with its experienced production talent and compelling film locations, creates good paying jobs and positive economic impacts for our economy.”
A quick check of the website for the North Carolina Film Office reveals a growing list of current productions including feature films, TV series and made-for-TV movies that will ensure a steady slate of silver screen exports in the years ahead.
You might be surprised how many Hollywood blockbusters have found that "perfect shot" in our very own small towns and big cities. That's why we've shined the spotlight on 10 of them, highlighting the shooting locations and sharing some fun facts from behind the scenes.
Release Date: August 12, 1987
Stars: Jennifer Grey, Patrick Swayze, Jerry Orbach
NC Filming Locations: Lake Lure, North Carolina
IMDB Synopsis: Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances "Baby" Houseman falls in love with the camp's dance instructor, Johnny Castle.
Release Date: July 6, 1994
Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Mykelti Williamson, Sally Field
NC Filming Locations: Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville, Boone
IMDB Synopsis: The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal and other historical events unfold from the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75, whose only desire is to be reunited with his childhood sweetheart.
Release Date: March 23, 2012
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks
NC Filming Locations: Brevard in Transylvania County, Shelby, Charlotte and Asheville
IMDB Synopsis: Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games: a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death.
Release Date: August 4, 2006
Stars: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen, Leslie Bibb
NC Filming Locations: Charlotte, Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord and the North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham
IMDB Synopsis: Number one NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby stays atop the heap thanks to a pact with his best friend and teammate, Cal Naughton, Jr. But when a French Formula One driver, makes his way up the ladder, Ricky Bobby's talent and devotion are put to the test.
Release Date: October 25, 2013
Stars: Johnny Knoxville
NC Filming Locations: Belmont, Charlotte, Gastonia, Chapel Hill
IMDB Synopsis: 86-year-old Irving Zisman takes a trip from Nebraska to North Carolina to take his 8 year-old grandson, Billy, back to his real father.
Release Date: April 14, 2013
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley
NC Filming Locations: Kenansville, Wilmington, Cary, Rose Hill, Currie, Oak Island and Wilmington International Airport
IMDB Synopsis: When Tony Stark's world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.
Release Date: April 4, 2008
Stars: George Clooney, Renee Zellweger, John Krasinski
NC Filming Locations: Statesville, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Yadkin County, Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer
IMDB Synopsis: In 1925, an enterprising pro football player convinces America's too-good-to-be-true college football hero to play for his team and keep the league from going under.
Release Date: June 15, 1988
Stars: Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins
NC Filming Locations: Durham, Asheville, Burlington, Greensboro, Wilson and Raleigh
IMDB Synopsis: A fan who has an affair with one minor-league baseball player each season meets an up-and-coming pitcher and the experienced catcher assigned to him.
Release Date: April 10, 2015
Stars: Britt Robertson, Scott Eastwood, Jack Huston, Oona Chaplin
NC Filming Locations: Wilmington, Winston-Salem, Jacksonville, Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum
IMDB Synopsis: The lives of a young couple intertwine with a much older man, as he reflects back on a past love.
Release Date: September 26, 2008
Stars: Richard Gere, Diane Lane
NC Filming Locations: Village of Rodanthe, Wilmington, Southport, Topsail Beach, Carolina Beach
IMDB Synopsis: A doctor, who is travelling to see his estranged son, sparks with an unhappily married woman at a North Carolina inn.