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Film projects coming back to Charlotte thanks to tax incentives

A house in one south Charlotte neighborhood turned into a winter wonderland this week as a film crew set up on the street.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Lights, camera, action!

The Charlotte region is receiving more leads and interest as a film location with the new tax incentive program in place, according to Charlotte Regional Film Commission Director Beth Petty. 

A house in one south Charlotte neighborhood turned into a winter wonderland this week as a film crew set up on the street.

“We came back yesterday from picking my daughter up from school, and she was like, ‘We need to stop and play in the snow,’” said Lisa Shaw, who lives down the street from the shoot location.

Neighbors don’t know very much about the project, but they tell NBC Charlotte they have been told it will be a Hallmark movie.

“I was kind of stunned. I thought, ‘Oh no, that’s not right. They must be remodeling or something,’” said Deanne Hunt, a neighbor. “But nope, it’s true. They are filming a movie, but I don’t know who’s in it.”

The Charlotte Regional Film Commission said due to confidentiality agreements, it cannot discuss any upcoming or current projects. 

The project comes to town under a new tax incentive plan. Prior to 2015, shows like "Homeland" and "Banshee" were filmed in North Carolina, and the first "Hunger Games" movie was shot here.

At the height of the incentive program in 2012, productions spent more than $300 million and employed nearly 20,000 people. The state legislature got rid of the incentives program in 2015, and the productions started leaving town.

Governor Cooper brought back an incentive program in the fall of 2017, giving the film industry more reasons to return to the Tar Heel State.

Petty said the current incentive program is not as competitive as it once was, but she said interest in Charlotte is increasing.

“We’re big 'Homeland' fans, so when 'Homeland' was first being filmed here, it was wonderful,” said Shaw. “So yeah, it’s a nice thing to be able to say, 'Hey look, we know where that is. We’ve been there, done that.'”