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Author Topic: You know the film business is suffering when.....
Fitz
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posted 06 December 2004 01:04 PM      Profile for Fitz     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You see a homeless guy on Front Street wearing a Panavision jacket.
From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 06 December 2004 01:09 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It isn't suffering that bad. Got some substance to back that up?
From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fitz
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posted 06 December 2004 04:16 PM      Profile for Fitz     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's one

How about this?

Or this?

IIRC, the Sun a couple of weeks back also had a 2-page spread about the issue.

HTH


From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Fitz
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posted 06 December 2004 04:18 PM      Profile for Fitz     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Zoot:
It isn't suffering that bad. Got some substance to back that up?

Unless you mean, do I have a photo of the guy? No. You'll have to take my word on that. Mind you, I wasn't suggesting the guy was an out-of-work grip or somesuch. But film guys hang on to those embroidered jackets like they're gold.


From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 06 December 2004 04:22 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You mean the TORONTO film industry. Those articles largely reference Ontario's production tax credit. Other provinces have them, too, you know... Ontario is only one region of many in Canada, FYI. I'm trying to have sympathy, but since TO companies suck up so much of the business and lobby against regional bonuses and incentives on the federal side, I'm a little jaded. Especially since those lobbying aren't worried so much about bringing in more American service productions as they are dog-in-the-mangerishly trying to make sure the rest of us don't get a kick at the can.

There has been some downturn nation-wide, probably as a result of the weakened US dollar, but out here in Saskatchewan, we've had a rather good year for production. And just because you see a guy in a Panavision jacket doesn't necessarily mean he ever worked in the film and television industry.

[ 06 December 2004: Message edited by: Zoot ]


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
ronb
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posted 06 December 2004 06:01 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have friends in the Toronto film industry, mostly technicians. They are all either actively looking for other industries to work in or already working in other industries. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of call for motion control technicians.

How is this good news for the Saskatchewan film industry? Other than schadenfreude...


From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 06 December 2004 06:32 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That's the nature of this industry. It's always been highly unstable. We lost 90% of our experienced crew one year and then spent 5 trying to build it back.

I can see how you would read my above comments as schadenfreude. Maybe there was some there, but one gets tired of hearing of the Toronto industry, or the Ontario industry as "the industry". I also didn't see Torontonians out in force to help us in one of our downturn times, either -- no, they wanted to remove incentives for broadcasters to work with regional producers altogether. So you will forgive me, I hope.

Part of the problem is the heavily service-based industry in Toronto. Productions come up, bring their own key people (usually), spend some money on crew and offset it with tax credits. While I accept that there has to be a service industry, I'd like to see more of the money put to indiginous Canadian production, and less in the pockets of Hollywood producers. But I'm just funny that way.

The other thing is, the lobby is not just concentrating on stateside incentives to American productions, but also tax credits offered in other regions -- to be "competitive" with places like Saskatchewan, with our one, yes, count it, one sound stage as compared to their many. So yes, while I feel for the techs looking for work, this is a larger issue. Toronto's downturn isn't "good" for Saskatchewan, but neither would a bigger tax credit in Ontario.

[ 06 December 2004: Message edited by: Zoot ]


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fitz
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posted 07 December 2004 10:44 AM      Profile for Fitz     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Maybe it wasn't clear from my initial post but I meant it sort of tongue-in-cheek. Obviously, I didn't see a guy with a 'will grip for food' sign. And I'm glad for the folks in Saskatchewan. My own connections there go back to the days when Mind's Eye was Regina Motion Picture, Sound and Video with one Sony BVE-900 Beta-SP suite. I was pleased to see them buy the rights to "The Englishman's Boy" because it's a great book and hopefully, they'll get around to actually doing something with it if there rights haven't lapsed. "Corner Gas" obviously can't have hurt the Saskatchewan folk too much either.

As far as the tax incentive chase goes, I think in the long run, it's a mug's game. If I have a production that isn't especially location specific, I'm gonna play those states, provinces and cities off each other with the best of them and, although the taxes returned are ending up on the black side of the ledger at the moment, sooner or later, soembody's gonna say 'what the hell' and start taking a loss just to get the business. And they will for a while until everyone else starts giving in and doing the same. Good for producers, bad for everyone else.

As far as the service industry thing in Toronto goes, t'wasn't originally intened to turn out the way it has. Trouble is, everyone's gotten fat off the low-hanging fruit and the time's come to start diversifying away from that. While it helps those on the on-set side of the equation, it doesn't really do dick for those higher up the chain. I'm with you as far as preferring to focus tax incentives on truly Canadian productions instead of tbe majority of pseudo-Canadian companies that get the lion's share of the bux. The obvious net result of this is to move further away from being cultural hewers of wood and drawers of water for American productions and starting to tell our own stories. The next hurdle is getting a workable national exhibition window that allows Joe Filmgoer to actually have a chance to see these productions instead of Hollywood tentpoles on 11 screens out of 12.

But that's another issue.


From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 07 December 2004 11:44 AM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fitz:
Maybe it wasn't clear from my initial post but I meant it sort of tongue-in-cheek. Obviously, I didn't see a guy with a 'will grip for food' sign. And I'm glad for the folks in Saskatchewan. My own connections there go back to the days when Mind's Eye was Regina Motion Picture, Sound and Video with one Sony BVE-900 Beta-SP suite. I was pleased to see them buy the rights to "The Englishman's Boy" because it's a great book and hopefully, they'll get around to actually doing something with it if there rights haven't lapsed. "Corner Gas" obviously can't have hurt the Saskatchewan folk too much either.

Hah! I remember when Kevin DeWalt was doing slide shows! (He did, too, when he came back from India in the late 1980s -- my ex did some narration for them.)

Unfortunately, Mind's Eye is in poor shape, and I don't know how much longer they'll be able to go on. Apparently, they're working on a biopic of TC Douglas right now, but I'm not counting on it actually happening until I hear they're actually in production. It's been a bad couple of years. Too ambitious, too big for the pond.

Are you from the Queen City, originally?

quote:
As far as the tax incentive chase goes, I think in the long run, it's a mug's game. If I have a production that isn't especially location specific, I'm gonna play those states, provinces and cities off each other with the best of them and, although the taxes returned are ending up on the black side of the ledger at the moment, sooner or later, soembody's gonna say 'what the hell' and start taking a loss just to get the business. And they will for a while until everyone else starts giving in and doing the same. Good for producers, bad for everyone else.

That depends on the producer, and the type of production. Tax credits have certainly made it possible for me to do some projects that needed the boost -- low budget docs and the like. Not all producers want to do service work, and I would count myself among them.

quote:
As far as the service industry thing in Toronto goes, t'wasn't originally intened to turn out the way it has. Trouble is, everyone's gotten fat off the low-hanging fruit and the time's come to start diversifying away from that. While it helps those on the on-set side of the equation, it doesn't really do dick for those higher up the chain. I'm with you as far as preferring to focus tax incentives on truly Canadian productions instead of tbe majority of pseudo-Canadian companies that get the lion's share of the bux. The obvious net result of this is to move further away from being cultural hewers of wood and drawers of water for American productions and starting to tell our own stories. The next hurdle is getting a workable national exhibition window that allows Joe Filmgoer to actually have a chance to see these productions instead of Hollywood tentpoles on 11 screens out of 12.

But that's another issue.


Well, it is and it isn't. If you diversify, you can stabilize some of the downturns, which, in the end, will benefit everybody. And reclaiming some of the screens in this country would make a big difference -- is, in fact, what has to happen to make a strong, indiginous Canadian industry possible. I could rant all day on that issue...

[ 07 December 2004: Message edited by: Zoot ]

[ 07 December 2004: Message edited by: Zoot ]


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fitz
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posted 07 December 2004 12:33 PM      Profile for Fitz     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Unfortunately, Mind's Eye is in poor shape, and I don't know how much longer they'll be able to go on."

Well, that sucks. Ron Mittelholtz (sp?) still out there?

"Are you from the Queen City, originally?"

Trawna boy. Went west to put STV on-air in '87. Stayed for a couple of years but the -30C and the provincial bird finally did me in.

Quoting moi,"As far as the tax incentive chase goes, I think in the long run, it's a mug's game."

"That depends on the producer, and the type of production. Tax credits have certainly made it possible for me to do some projects that needed the boost -- low budget docs and the like. Not all producers want to do service work, and I would count myself among them."

Agreed. I'm just taking pot-shots at "Canadian" companies that exist only for the sake of the tax incentives. That's the problem in my books.

"If you diversify, you can stabilize some of the downturns, which, in the end, will benefit everybody. And reclaiming some of the screens in this country would make a big difference -- is, in fact, what has to happen to make a strong, indiginous Canadian industry possible. I could rant all day on that issue..."

Agreed again and likewise on te day-long ranting thing. BTW, Zoot; check your inbox.

TTYL


From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged

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