Why the North Carolina film business was doomed by Pat McCrory

The Gubnah

Pat McCrory: Killing North Carolina film and television jobs one at a time.

Opinion by: Michael G. Plumides, Jr., JD

Let me count the ways: On the behest of Sheila Schmidt Brothers, head honcho at Wilmywood Daily, I offer this op-ed piece describing why the newly empowered GOP in North Carolina felt the necessity to decimate the film and television production business in our beautiful state of flux.

Regarding the embattled “Film Incentive”, Governor Pat McCrory said to WECT the other day that, “We need to have some compromise on it because, frankly, there was some abuse of it.” The Republicans haven’t brought this theory up much – at least, not until they’ve been under the eye of voter scrutiny. And the “abuse” he refers to is obviously politically motivated, citing that the Democratic National Convention held in Charlotte in 2012 hosted The Daily Show, which received a rebate of $190,211 (although McCrory claimed the payout was $400,000). Not only did he single The Daily Show out, but he had to lie about how much to make it look egregious. Brothers says, “McCrory just spews out misinformation and goes about his business.” http://wilmywoodnc.com/2014/07/10/the-wilmywood-daily-07102014-govs-false-claim-of-abuse-emmy-noms-for-nc-film-and-more/ If you’re a free thinking Democrat, you watch Jon Stewart on a regular basis – and you know the Republicans don’t like him much – but that’s really not the point I’m driving at here. That’s more of an aside – but reveals the “smoke-and-mirrors”, ‘throwing-the-dart-and-painting-the-bulls-eye-around-it” tactics they have resorted to, even blaming the film business for lack of monies for teacher salaries – using Jesse Helms’ tactics from yesteryear to smear the local film employee. I smell Karl Rove.  http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20140709/ARTICLES/140709718

Senior Republican, Phil Berger, from Rockingham County, has had a hard-on to dismantle the incentives since it’s inception. After the filming of the neo-pornographic yarn, Hound Dog, shot in Wilmington, circa 2007, Berger was on a crusade, of sorts, using the lurid film as an excuse to force content censorship on visiting productions – those who would apply for a tax credit, would also have their scripts approved by an appointed political panel in Raleigh http://www2.nccommerce.com/eclipsfiles/15836.pdf .

Then Governor, Bev Purdue, nixed Berger’s proposal and instead bumped the program up to 25% as opposed to 15% so North Carolina could compete with Georgia and Louisiana – humiliating Berger. Berger vowed that if the GOP ever were to retake the NC Congress, he would squash the “Film Incentive” – which is really a misnomer because it applies to all “Qualified Business Ventures” under the tax code. http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/bustax/overview.aspx

And although they accuse “Hollywood” of stealing NC tax dollars, they offer no evidence of “abuse” but also no measures to “even the playing field” for entrepreneurs and start-up business, because frankly, they don’t give  a shit.

And as we all know, it doesn’t matter how many pie charts, or graphs, or other trappings of investigation you produce to Republicans in support of the incentive (or “global warming” or “coal ash” for that matter), or how many college professors with tenure at N.C. Universities offer their 50 page comprehensive, scientific extrapolations, once the Republicans make their minds up – that’s it.  And the North Carolina GOP is directed from higher ups.

When I met with then (now disgraced) Charlotte Mayor Pat Cannon last December, he already knew what they were going to propose – stating they intended to siphon money from the counties who most benefit – and he was in tight with McCrory, et al. Ol’ Pat has been bound and determined to “sunset” the tax credit and that determination  is evident in their many unreasonable, ridiculously-lopsided and undesirable proposals (including an unworkable grant program) are written. Many of the proposed bills  are destructive and vindictive (a la Berger), flushing North Carolina’s hard earned film and television production infrastructure down the toilet.  This “Tea Party” obstructionism doesn’t take into account the five thousand full-time employees, another twenty-thousand part-timers, tourism, or the local businesses and rental houses for that matter – all of whom pay state taxes, and fees. Let the mass exodus begin just like NAFTA.

Art Pope and the John Locke Foundation? No. Higher. Americans for Prosperity a la the Koch’s? Maybe. There is a colluded effort here. They are propping up McCrory for a top slot in the program – and they are slowly taking states like Texas and North Carolina – anywhere that has an inkling of progressive thought. The rich, white plutocracy intends to send the political competition packing and us back to the stone age.  http://www.publicintegrity.org/2012/09/05/10793/north-carolina-governors-race-awash-out-state-funds

As I’ve always said, follow the money… and although there’s not a lot of Republicans in the production business, there are a lot of Republicans that own land and operate down Georgia way. The “Chick-fil-a” Cathy family – and God bless ‘em, knew what was good for Georgia, and their burgeoning Pinewood Studios endeavors – and they wanted a rigged game. So, they saw their opportunity to grease “Gubnah Pat” through a super-pac or two – to get him elected (as millions of outside dollars flooded the state in 2012) to plant the seed of political unrest regarding the incentive – the same way Berger did a number of years before that resulted in low film production numbers that year. The flux resulted in Pinewood landing the Marvel contract for four years. Didn’t NC just film the blockbuster, Iron Man 3 here? http://www.southernstudies.org/2014/06/art-pope-nc-featured-in-national-debate-on-campaig.html

Now, another studio is in development in Georgia – at Jimmy Carter Boulevard and I-85 – a combination of studio soundstages, back lot, office complex, film school, and hotels. Supposedly this is a billion dollar enterprise. Nobody plans this stuff overnight – the Atlanta Media Campus and Studios by Jacoby Development will break ground this summer. http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/2014/feb/23/progress-movie-studio-is-8216catalyst-project8217/ A similar project was proposed for Charlotte on the old Eastland Mall site – but fell on its face.  Oh, and coincidentally, Screen Gems has filmed two projects on that Gwinnett County, GA site – Fast and Furious and Hunger Games: Mockingjay – so, there’s some cloak-and-dagger, back room dealings going on here – Wilmywood should be asking some questions,  with EU sending truck loads of equipment south.

Without repeating myself, let’s just say, the GOP is anti-union, they are anti-media (because those in production are usually Democrats), they are anti-green, and anti-Hollywood. and if they run all the Democrats out of Wilmington and Charlotte, the better chance the GOP has in securing New Hanover and Mecklenburg counties next time around with little “tree-hugging” opposition.

Let’s face it. There’s gonna be a big c@nt punch to the NC film industry and there’s no easy answer to why, or who – but I think it’s fair to say that the emotionally- charged press the GOP has created, takes North Carolinian’s eyes off of their “robber baron” intent to frack and mine, and in the process, poison our water supply, create earthquakes and sinkholes, and litter the coastline with oil platforms.

I used to live in Wrightsville Beach on Asheville Street, four doors down from Dino DeLaurentiis… it won’t be a pretty sight.

If you want to read about this subject ad nauseam, go here and be among the 60,000 readers who have viewed it:



The Koch’s are at war with North Carolina’s film industry. But as I have publicly said for almost a year, they are not targeting other “Red States” like Georgia or Louisiana – or even Texas. Austin is doing well. So, this may be all to benefit the Cathy’s endeavors and others who stand to profit from building production hubs and infrastructure built by GOP-friendly companies so they get their piece of the action of an industry they do not profit from presently in North Carolina.


The latest in a series of unsettling revelations – the Koch’s share the same lobbyist with the NC Production Alliance – so it’s just become a big shit sandwich and we’re all gonna take a bite. But the Koch’s aren’t opposed to programs that afford big incentives to companies building facilities in states like South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas (where Glenn Beck just built a studio). http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/glenn-beck-moves-movie-production-696274

The Koch’s are bolstering the aforementioned states and destabilizing others like New Jersey, Florida, and North Carolina. I think once the developments are underway, they will re-institute the North Carolina incentives, so the GOP favorites can benefit and get a piece of an industry they so fiercely fight against, once they control the facilities. This has been a concerted effort by Republicans to get their piece of a very lucrative industry at the expense of the film worker.


I always said, “follow the money.”


Posted in chick-fil-a, Dan Cathy, Democrats, film industry, Metal, north carolina, Pat McCrory, pinewood studios, politics, Republican Governors Association, Truett Cathy | 2 Comments


Nightbreed Pitch Bible Final with graphics 7_4

“We’ve been actively developing the Nightbreed TV series at Morgan Creek with Clive Barker for two years. We hope the newly restored Director’s Cut will help us illustrate how wildly popular the series could be to potential buyers. I recently penned three episodes including the pilot and am currently writing a fourth, with material reviewed and approved by Clive and Mark Miller at Seraphim Films. We have also been developing new Nightbreed creature concepts and I’ve been collaborating with Tate Steinsiek (SyFy’s Face Off) for some months now, to create all-new designs for old characters and a few new ones, as well. We think the fans will be very pleased – by staying true to the source material but also modernizing the concepts, we hope Nightbreed will appeal to this millennium’s viewer.

By incorporating great writing and character development plus mind-blowing practical and visual effects with a product that has achieved legendary cult status, we see a winner in the 18-49 market, especially in the absence of shows like True Blood, Fringe or even Sons of Anarchy. Barker’s vision is an amalgam of science-fiction, fantasy, and horror with violent, sexual overtones laced with dark comedy, and the Nightbreed series hits on all cylinders. It’s too early to say regarding a pilot, but there is significant interest in the Nightbreed property – and we have the Occupy Midian movement to thank for that. But in writing the scripts, I made every effort to stay true to Barker’s vision for the purists without deviating wholly from the source material – even consulting not just Clive and Mark but Barker experts and aficionados – people that live and breath Barker’s work. Also, I will say, it feels American, but the British accent shines through, occasionally.  We hope to partner with a network that understands and appreciates the “Monsters of Midian” as we do, but also recognizes the viability of the Nightbreed property. “

Michael G. Plumides, Jr – Morgan Creek Productions

This from FEARNET – July 1st, 2014

Nearly a year ago, Scream Factory made the announcement at Comic-Con that they would be restoring and releasing “The Cabal Cut” of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed.  At the time, no date was set for the release because they simply didn’t know how long the restoration would take.

Today they have announced that the release date will be October 28th, 2014 and pre-orders are now being accepted.

Here is the full announcement with all the available details.

We have big (and extensive) news to report today regarding a film that we announced almost over a year ago in July. In collaboration with Morgan Creek Productions and Clive Barker’s Seraphim, Inc., the long-awaited NIGHTBREED: THE DIRECTOR’S CUT is scheduled for a release of October 28th and will be available in two retail versions: A 5,000 Unit Limited-Edition 3-Disc Blu-ray™ set and a Special Edition DVD & Blu-ray™ Combo.

In 1990, the film was released theatrically nationwide. However, the movie studio edited the film extensively and several scenes were excised or rearranged – much to Director Clive Barker’s disappointment. Since then, a fan-driven movement was created (www.OccupyMidian.com) to see the full version of the film restored and re-released. Now, after 25 years, fans and horror enthusiasts can finally experience NIGHTBREED like never before! Scream Factory, in conjunction with Warner Bros., was able to find the long-thought-missing original film elements and combed through over 600 boxes to locate not only the lost scenes but a treasure trove of never-before-seen footage as well. With nearly an hour of lost footage meticulously restored, the result is not only a more faithful adaptation of Clive Barker’s book Cabal, but also what he originally intended NIGHTBREED to be.

Official statement from Clive Barker: “This is film history and beyond my wildest dreams of realization. When Scream Factory told me that they found the NIGHTBREED film footage I was gob-smacked! This is the ultimate validation of choices made by myself and Mark Miller [of Seraphim Films] all the way back in 2008. As we embarked down the road of attempting to track down the lost footage, we looked at each other and said, ‘Maybe one day they’ll find it.’ It’s my pleasure to announce that the day has come. Speaking personally, I didn’t allow myself to believe that it would. Even if we did find some footage (which we did in 2009 in the form of heavily degraded VHS tapes) and even if we did find a company willing to release the film (which we did in 2013 with Scream Factory, God bless them) the prospect of finding the actual lost film materials was remoter than I’d wanted to admit out loud. If the footage could not be found by those who had worked closest on it the same year it had been released, then what were the odds we’d be able to find anything 20 years on? But Scream Factory, in their commendable determination, kept up the search and thanks to them total reconstruction has been made a possibility. There’s never been a reconstruction that’s had as little chance of succeeding and yet has succeeded on as many fronts as this film has. It’s unprecedented. To now have a movie that we can put together in the way that I fully intended it to be seen when I first set out to make this film in 1989 is extraordinary. The project has moved inexorably to this conclusion. Fate and the hard work of individuals such as Mark Miller, Russell Cherrington, Phil and Sarah Stokes, Occupy Midian, Morgan Creek, and ultimately, Scream Factory have made this a possibility and I could not be happier.”

Details on the two retail sets are as follows:

– Disc 1: Unrated Director’s Cut of the film on Blu-ray
– Disc 2: The 1990 R-Rated theatrical version of the film on Blu-ray (through a special licensing agreement through Warner Bros.)
– Disc 3: EXCLUSIVE-TO-THIS-SET Bonus Blu-ray disc packed with extras (details forthcoming)
– Includes Collector’s Book with an essay and rare photos
– Slipcase includes newly-designed artwork by Joel Robinson approved by Clive Barker

**NOTE: Those who order the Limited Edition set directly from www.ScreamfactoryDVD.com will also receive an exclusive 18”x24” poster of the newly designed artwork (available while supplies last)! The Scream Factory site will also receive the first 1,000 numbered copies and ship 2 weeks earlier than Oct 28th.**

Order at: http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/nightbreed-directors-cut-deluxe-edition

– Disc 1: Unrated Director’s Cut of the film on Blu-ray plus bonus features (details forthcoming)
– Disc 2: Unrated Director’s Cut of the film on DVD (details forthcoming)
– Slipcase includes artwork designed by Ralph McQuarrie approved by Clive Barker

Order at: http://www.shoutfactory.com/product/nightbreed-directors-cut

- See more at: http://www.fearnet.com/news/news-article/nightbreeds-directors-cut-has-release-date-pre-orders-being-taken#sthash.1L5UyLkE.dpuf

Posted in Metal | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


Phantogram 14

PHANTOGRAM at the Fillmore – Charlotte 6/25/14

Photos and Words: Michael Plumides

With a mesmerizing laser light show, nu-techno synth pop visionaries PHANTOGRAM brought their Cocteau Twins meets Massive Attack brooding beats and haunting vocal stylings to the Fillmore Charlotte on a balmy Wednesday night with an energetic stage presence and clever musicianship.  The Greenwich Village duo, sexy Sarah Barthel on vocals and keyboards (donning a Chrissie Hynde mop, and skin tight black and white paints) and Josh Carter on vocals and guitar were accompanied by tour drummer Chris Carhart and Nick Shelestak on keyboards for their Charlotte appearance. The band played their more popular songs, “Don’t Move”, “When I’m Small”, “Fall in Love”, and “Black Out Days” to the nearly sold out crowd of a 1,000 screaming fans.
Visually exploding on stage with visceral reds and blues, the pulse-pounding music combined with tantalizing allure of lead vocalist, Barthel, Phantogram is about to bust out of their underground status.  After putting on rock shows for years, and covering hundreds of bands,   I sense a new act for the Grammy’s – and Barthel is a talented, strong female performer with a fantastic look and sound. Not only is the band tight, but her pants are too… and she wears them well.  Rock star presence is something missing today and this girl’s got it in spades.




Upcoming Tour Dates

6/26/14 Music Farm – Charleston, SC
6/27/14 The Beacham – Orlando, Fla
6/28/14 Grand Central – Miami, Fla (SOLD OUT)
6/29/14 Tampa – The Ritz – Ybor City

Go here for more tour dates and tickets. http://www.bandsintown.com/PHANTOGRAM
Posted in Metal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Elvis Costello with Larkin Poe at the Ryman Theater June 21, 2014

Photos: Michael G. Plumides, Jr.

I like to take photos – it’s fun. Check out these shots I took in Nashville on June 21, 2014 at the Ryman Theater (the original “Grand Ole Opry House”). Normally I get a photo pass but in this particular situation I didn’t ask for one.  But knowing how I love to capture the moment, I brought my new Canon SX 280 HS and shot these from the balcony. Elvis 1 ??????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

Posted in Metal | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

GHOST TREK episodes now on YouTube!

Be among the first to watch GHOST TREK: GOOMBA BODY SNATCHERS MORTUARY LOCKDOWN (2013) on YouTube along with the award-winning GHOST TREK: THE KINSEY REPORT (2012) in HD. Great for Chromecast users – share with your friends!

Video | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Michael Plumides:

My dear friend, David Murray Brockie (50) of the shock-rock group, GWAR, has died. This is a piece I wrote in October of 2012 examining the twenty-five year relationship with David. Details and funeral arrangements are pending.

Originally posted on Michael G. Plumides Jr.'s The Decline of Southern Civilization:

me and oderus book crop bw

This is a piece I wrote two years ago regarding my relationship with my long-time friend and partner in crime, Dave Brockie, who died yesterday. David Murray Brockie, 50, was found dead in his bed Sunday afternoon by his roommate. I don’t have further details at this time. The last time Dave was in Charlotte he hugged me around the neck and said, “Man, I’ve been keeping up with all your stuff. I’m so proud of you, man. I’m a fan. You really got your name out there.” That affirmation meant a lot to me. Dave and I go back twenty-five years. Indeed, this is a sad day in music and a terrible loss – Of all the many people I know in rock-n-roll, Dave was the brightest, quickest, most intelligent and creative person I had ever met. To read more, go here:http://m.styleweekly.com/richmond/gwar-frontman-dave-brockie-has-died/Content?oid=2048548  I will, more than…

View original 6,237 more words

Posted in Metal | Leave a comment

McCrory/Chick-fil-a connection confirmed by Georgia State Senator – Pinewood Studios grabs Marvel Contract


By: Michael G. Plumides, Jr. JD 

I’ve been sitting on this for a few weeks now. Over the past several months, I’ve spoken with a lot of news outlets, all begging for my take on the whole McCrory/Chick-fil-a connection.  The problem was, many were reluctant to write a story based on my findings because there was no “smoking gun” – my theory was mostly conjecture, therefore they didn’t want to print it, no matter how correct I was or how much sense it made. (Go here for the story: http://michaelplumides.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/governor-pat-mccrory-and-chick-fil-a-conspire-to-send-north-carolina-jobs-to-georgia/) – I mean, let’s face it, I’m that guy who went to jail with GWAR, not Wolf Blitzer.

Although I’m not the “mainstream media” (but the original blog did get 40,000 hits so I ain’t no schlub AND Oderus was the “intergalactic correspondent” on Fox News’ Red Eye), I think that fact works in my favor because it affords me the opportunity to speak the truth without a filter, so I have carte blanche to say whatever the hell I want about cronyism and crooked politicians in my state. Anyway, my theory was confirmed in such a random way that I feel the necessity to share it with you, dear reader. This will really blow your mind.

According to a North Carolina “Actor” (I will not name at this time) who was on a location in Georgia where a feature film was shooting in January, he randomly struck up a conversation with the Representative of District 25 named Burt Jones (a close friend of the Cathy family) who just happened to be on set (and wouldn’t you know it – it was his house). Unwittingly, the State Senator confirmed my theory regarding campaign funding, film incentives, and interests adverse to job creation in our state otherwise known as the “Chick-fil-a/McCrory Connection”:

(1) The Cathy Family are supporters and dear friends of Governor McCrory,

(2) The Cathy family are also campaign financiers who donated a considerable amount of money to McCrory’s gubernatorial candidacy and other GOP campaigns in North Carolina,

(3) The position of the North Carolina GOP to let the film incentive lapse was partly engineered by the Cathy Family (who funded Pinewood Studios in Atlanta),

(4) The public posturing by the North Carolina GOP to not support the incentive has influenced production work to no longer consider North Carolina and choose Georgia instead,

(5)  The Republicans in the NC Senate posturing to not support the incentive renewal and let it lapse in 2015 also influenced Marvel Studios to sign a four-year contract with Pinewood Studios (if you remember – Iron Man 3 was shot in Wilmington, NC, the top grossing film of 2013) thus solidifying Marvel as the much needed anchor tenant, guaranteeing the Cathy’s investment.

The funny thing is,  the “actor” hadn’t read my original blog until two months afterward, so there was no collusion between he and I.  The noob “State Senator” offered the information after the actor indicated he was from North Carolina, and commented on the state of affairs regarding some film projects bypassing NC and going to Georgia due to the incentives flux. What’s even funnier is, the Senator went on about it, laughing and carrying on as if it were common knowledge.

Republicans take care of each other. Of the few Republicans in the film business – the Cathy Family just happened to be the closest to North Carolina’s GOP who actually benefit from the industry… with a disposable income in the billions. They donated money to McCrory, and in turn McCrory appointed Marcella Ramirez-Savage (Chick-fil-a Marketing Director) to the North Carolina Board of Education as a little token of appreciation.  The big delivery was the GOP’s overt negative position on the film incentives and creating instability in North Carolina regarding film and television production.  It was a brilliant play.

Now it’s a moot point for the North Carolina GOP to scuttle our film incentives. Whether it was a ruse or not I cannot determine – but as the GOP are serving masters outside of our state, and those masters have now benefited from that service, it would behoove them to vote for extending the incentives, as most of their policies are highly unpopular right now in the wake of the “coal ash”, “cutting unemployment benefits” and “teacher’s salaries” controversies. The incentives have been proven a viable economic boost for our North Carolina economy. http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/03/09/3687545/north-carolina-deciding-again.html

Think about what “Bridge-gate” did to Chris Christie… this is a helluva lot more egregious than that. I will release the names when the time comes.

That’s pretty much it. I discovered this. If my findings ever grab Vice‘s attention, please know that crazy Plumides guy figured it out before everyone.

Posted in chick-fil-a, Dan Cathy, Democrats, film industry, Metal, north carolina, Pat McCrory, pinewood studios, politics, Republican Governors Association, Truett Cathy | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments