HERO Project: Broadband’s role in NC’s booming entertainment industry

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In the captivating world of entertainment – where lights, camera and action share the spotlight – the role of broadband isn’t just behind the curtain but now center stage for helping to create today’s Hollywood magic.

In North Carolina, filmmakers created more than 9,700 job opportunities and spent more than $258 million on productions in 2022 (the most recent data). However, there exists a reality in many communities throughout the state who lose out on these lucrative opportunities because they simply don't have the high-speed infrastructure to support it – that's where MCNC's HERO Project can be a game changer for these areas.

The North Carolina Film Office, part of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, serves as a marketing and recruiting entity on behalf of the N.C. Department of Commerce to specifically target the film and entertainment industry. Since 2020, according to reporting and data compiled from the film office, film productions are estimated to have spent more than $843 million while filming throughout the state.

“Our film industry is an economic multiplier for North Carolina,” commented N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders in March 2023. “These projects not only provide thousands of job opportunities for our talented workforce, but they also support the small business communities surrounding every production set, positively impacting the local economies where they film.”

Broadband internet has become an indispensable tool for modern movie making, impacting every stage of the process and shaping the future of the industry.


Research and Development: Filmmakers use the internet extensively to research locations, costumes, historical information, and other details for their movies. High-speed internet allows for efficient downloading of large files, streaming video references, and collaborating with researchers across the globe.

Scripts: Screenwriters often share drafts and collaborate online with other writers, producers and directors. Broadband facilitates this process with faster file sharing and video conferencing capabilities.

On-Location: Virtual tours and high-resolution location footage can be used to remotely scout potential shooting locations, saving time and resources. This relies heavily on fast and reliable internet access.


Casting: Online casting platforms and video auditions have become prevalent, allowing filmmakers to access a wider pool of talent and conduct auditions remotely, requiring reliable internet for both filmmakers and actors.

Storyboarding: Storyboards and pre-visualization often involve digital tools and software. Broadband enables smooth downloading and uploading of large image and video files associated with these processes.

Communication and collaboration: Fast internet facilitates seamless communication between crew members, producers, and other stakeholders spread across different locations. Email, video conferencing, and file-sharing platforms all benefit from reliable broadband.


Editing and visual effects: Modern movie editing and visual effects software often require significant processing power and rely on cloud-based storage and collaboration tools. High-speed internet is crucial for efficient data transfer and collaboration on editing projects.

Mixing: Color grading and sound mixing processes can involve sending large video and audio files back and forth for review and adjustments. Broadband ensures speedy transfer of these large files, minimizing delays in the post-production workflow.

Distribution and marketing: Increasingly, movies are being distributed and marketed online through streaming platforms and social media campaigns. Uploading high-resolution trailers, promotional materials, and the final film itself requires fast and reliable internet connections.

Bridging the Entertainment Gap

Broadband internet has revolutionized the movie making process, making it more efficient, collaborative and globally accessible. Bridging the gap in entertainment access for overlooked, underserved and unserved areas goes beyond just connectivity; it empowers communities to fully participate.  Recognizing the significance of broadband in these regions of North Carolina ensures that dreams of lights, camera and action are not aspirations but attainable realities for everyone regardless of their location.

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