- BC Games
Working behind the scenes to help keep B.C.’s film industry rolling
Re: Hollywood Ending, North Shore Outlook, Sept. 19
Recently, I helped organize a tour of several film studios across the Lower Mainland (North Shore Studios, Sharpe Sound, Bridge Studios and PIXAR Canada) for 16 of my fellow MLAs. These facilities have played host to some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters, and are vital to the livelihood of more than 25,000 British Columbians.
From location scouts and carpenters, to camera operators and colourists, the industry employs an abundance of people from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. It even helps spur employment indirectly as well.
When the North Shore’s own Lions Gate Studios is booming with productions, another local company, Universal Printing and Bindery, is working overtime. That means more ink, more printing and more people working.
The tour gave MLAs an opportunity to learn about the industry from people on the inside, and discover the many benefits it provides to the provincial economy. For example: a large production, like the recently released Man of Steel, can spend in excess of $100 million in B.C. in wages, goods and services. This can represent upwards of 1,000 jobs and payments to more than 2000 vendors and local companies.
While the first half of 2013 was tough for BC Film, things are picking up. Several large “greenlit” projects are either here or making their way to B.C. to take advantage of our natural beauty and skilled workers. In addition to tax credits, our government believes there are other ways we can work to keep B.C. competitive and at the forefront of the industry.
In January 2013, we launched BC Creative Futures to support sustainable, long-term success for the creative sector. We also combined the BC Film Commission and BC Film + Media into Creative BC, to consolidate support and help administer government-funded services for the film and Television industry. Our goal is to open a BC Film office in Los Angeles to encourage film and television production in B.C., and extend the Digital Animation or Visual Effect (DAVE) refundable tax credit to help companies with their post-production work.
Through these initiatives, we want to ensure we not only help the film production side remain competitive, but also breathe new life into the post-production and new media sectors.
On behalf of the participating MLAs, I want to thank all the industry representatives who welcomed us to their studios and took time to answer our questions.
There are a lot of people working hard to help the industry, including your representatives in government. When BC Film succeeds, B.C. succeeds, and our hope is to continue to work together to keep the cameras rolling and the slates clapping.
Jane Thornthwaite, MLA
North Vancouver – Seymour