Jackson County’s film industry brings economic growth in 2016

JACKSON COUNTY, NC (April 14, 2016)– This spring, two major productions are being filmed in Jackson County, North Carolina. The county recently acquired two of the five statewide film grants for the 2015 to 2016 fiscal year from North Carolina Department of Commerce for movies and television shows that are in production during May 2016. The “ Dirty Dancing” eligible grant amount is up to $4 million, and “ Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” has an eligible grant amount for up to $3,106,772. Another film series that received grant money is “ Shots Fired,” which will film outside Charlotte. “

Productions come in and have money readily available to spend—and will spend it quickly,” said Guy Gaster, director of North Carolina Film Office. “ The state’s goal is to continue to draw in film productions to North Carolina. Tourism results as viewers seeing these productions want to experience the locations themselves in person.”

According to Visit NC, the three films are expected to have direct in-state spending of more than $64.5 million while creating approximately 7,600 job opportunities in the state. In addition to providing job opportunities to North Carolina residents, these productions will also make an economic impact on the state and local Jackson County community while the filming takes place.

“The set design team is purchasing building materials in Sylva, as well as employing several local carpenters and builders,” said Julie Spiro, executive director of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. “The crew is on-site here in the Sylva area, and we expect many of them to stay overnight and enjoy meals during their time here. As the filming progresses, the number of crew on site will increase, which could positively economically impact our shops, restaurants and accommodations.”

The most buzzed-about filming is the remake of the 1987 hit “ Dirty Dancing,” where High Hampton Inn will play the backdrop for the film. The remake is set to air on the ABC network and stars Debra Messing as the mom, Abigail Breslin as Baby, Sarah Hyland as Baby’s sister Lisa, and Colt Prattes as Johnny. Filming will be from May 8 to 13 at High Hampton Inn in Cashiers. “

For years we have had guests talk to us about the similarities they see between Kellerman’s Resort and High Hampton Inn. So it seems a natural fit, and we are excited to host the production crew during the filming of this iconic remake,” said Clifford Meads, general manager at High Hampton Inn. “ I have seen many new filming opportunities in our area, and I love that more people will be able to witness the beauty of our stretch along the Blue Ridge Mountains. I welcome visitors to see the magic behind the camera for themselves and come out to visit Jackson County!”

Also filming in Jackson County’s Downtown Sylva is “ Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” featuring star Frances McDormand. Scenes are set to be shot in Sassy Frass and on the second floor of the Jackson Building. The filming dates are from May 2-3, 10-13, 16, and 18-20. Another Hollywood film, “ The Legacy of a White Tail Deer Hunter” starring Josh Brolin, Danny McBride, and Scoot McNairy, wrapped up filming in Cashiers earlier this year.

“It has been more than two decades since films of this caliber have been produced in Jackson County,” said Nick Breedlove, Director of Tourism for Jackson County. “ These movies will showcase how unique and special our mountain towns are and are a testament to this beautiful place in which we live.”

This year’s big budget films are not the first to be filmed in Jackson County. Several movie and television shows have been filmed in the county since 1955, starting with “ Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier,” which included a scene in Cherokee. Since then, “ Deliverance” (1972) with Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight, “ The Fugitive” (1993) with leads Tommy Lee Jones and Harrison Ford, and “ Forces of Nature” (1999) with Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck have included scenes in Sylva and Cherokee. Jackson County has played the part in several television series, such as DIY Network’s “ Barnwood Builders,” History Channel’s “ America Unearthed” and “ Top Gear USA,” and three seasons of Fox Sports South’s show “ Anglers and Appetites.”

“ As we’ve seen with the recent productions, we certainly benefit from Asheville’s and Atlanta’s increasing popularity among film producers,” said Stephanie Edwards, of Cashiers Chamber of Commerce. “ From Angler’s and Appetites to Barnwood Builders, this type of programming very favorably showcases our mountain lifestyle, natural environment and outdoor recreation opportunities which enhances our Cashiers Area image in addition to bringing dollars into town during their production.”

Gaster suggested that, “ Local businesses work with their chambers to make sure their business information is up-to-date. They can also recommend other local businesses to the productions—be it other restaurants or stores that might have something that their store didn’t.” Long after these movie and television scenes are filmed, the economic impact will continue to be felt in Jackson County as people visit these locations to see where the movies and television series were made.

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