Blog archives for the April, 2010.

April 13, 2010


Peter Mitchell at Vancouver Film Studios assesses the current climate of British Columbia very bluntly… he states “The Canadian film industry has all but disappeared and the Canadian domestic business is our No. 1 priority as a film industry community”.

I had a great debate with myself of whether it was a good idea, or not, to write another post that was discouraging. At the end of the day, I decided that it was better for our many clients who are not working to know that they are not alone, and that this current malaise goes all through the BC industry. The “state of the nation” is that things are stagnant, for example there are no up and coming agencies, casting directors, production houses and it is as challenging for talented young actor’s trying to break in to the business as it is for established actors to try and hang on to past levels of success.

The reasons are not new…Our provincial government has not matched the much more favourable tax credits in Ontario and Quebec, a Canadian dollar near par is anything but helpful, and the industry in general is still not in a healthy place. The biggest issue we have in BC is that our local industry was down more than 40% last year. It is lovely for us to have 100 million Hollywood feature productions coming here but they are only good for the few clients that will be cast and offer no employment opportunities to our Literary clients. Big-ticket projects mostly just tie up the studios and crew for months on something that most clients did not get a “hit” on. Reality is the 100 million plus projects are much more able to weather the strong dollar/less favourable tax credits than a 10 million dollar one. Reality is also that the domestic side of our community is what creates the most employment opportunities for us! Some clients have been asking how things are in Toronto and the answer is “better”, but certainly “no picnic”. While Ontario does have significantly more Canadian/domestic production happening, they also face their own challenges.

Domestic companies like Brightlight, No Sugar (Larry Sugar), Reunion and Omni all need a healthy climate to grow and to grow their own product. All the “BC Players” are working hard to identify new business models and new investment and co-production partners to find long-term solutions for our industry. On the bright side, more than a few US series have been renewed to shoot here, and it does look like studios will be booked up for the summer with big-budget product.

At the agency our battle cry remains…We’re here…we’re sober…Give us a call if you have any questions or just want to have a good YAK.