GREENSBORO, N.C. -- In an era when it seems much of the film industry is rushing to get out of North Carolina … Nick Westfall and Jake Camp are rushing back in.
“It's a reversal of expectations,” says Nick Westfall, fully confident of what he’s doing. “We're trying to start a tidal wave of film - bringing films here to North Carolina and bringing film opportunities to young kids, right out of school.”
Not too long ago, Nick was that kid, himself.
After graduating from the University at North Carolina at Greensboro, he spent time as a physical education teacher and wrote several novels – including at least one that turned into a feature film. Now, Westfall is that filmmaker, himself.
But once the North Carolina general assembly severely reduced the amount of money available in tax incentives for film, under the idea that no particular industry should get favors from the government, much of the film industry that had grown up, statewide, began to leave for states near North Carolina that were offering very generous incentives.
Kind of makes you wonder if Nick and Jake starting a new film production company in Greensboro is, well, nuts.
“No, they're not nuts, they're amazing,” says Rebecca Clark, enthusiastically. Clark leads the Piedmont Triad Film Commission, which recruits productions to the area and believes they will be successful. “I'm really excited about it because they grew up here and they have a commitment to Greensboro to come back.”
That’s true – Nick not only went to UNCG, but he and Jake were good friends at Pilot Elementary and Ragsdale High School.
Their new company, called Lineage Pictures, will be like a lot of production houses around the country.
“Our main focus is always going to be feature films,” says Nick. “But we’ll also do commercials, music videos and things that keep the lights on in the place.”
Their most recent feature film is one Nick wrote and directed and they shot it down at the North Carolina coast, called, “8 Slices.”
And they firmly believe they can succeed, right here.
“Oh, there's plenty of talent,” says Nick. “I think it's an interesting time to get into the film industry, in general.”
They’ll have to do it without the financial incentives that used to be in place.
“Incentives are huge, obviously the film economy here in North Carolina has dried up a bit,” says Jake. “Atlanta is now the hotspot for filmmaking. However, the only way to change that is to be here.”
See scenes from “8 Slices” and hear how they can succeed in the Triad, in this edition of the Buckley Report.