BC Film Commission data reveals B.C.'s domestic industry grew in 2012
According to 2012 data released by the British Columbia Film Commission, film and TV productions continued to recover from a sharp drop in 2010.
Both the number of productions shot in B.C. and the amount spent by production in the province increased by$27 million from 2011 (from 281 to 294 total productions and from almost $1.19 billion to $1.2 billion).
Domestic production proved to show the greatest area of growth, which offset a nine-percent decline in foreign production spending.
The total number of domestic productions grew from 147 productions (spending almost $209 million) in 2011 to 159 productions (spending approximately $324 million) in 2012. The number of domestic features and particularly TV series (growing from 45 to 58)—which included shows such as Arctic Air, Continuum, and reality TV series—all increased. One area that continued on a downward trend was the number of domestic animated projects, which has fallen from 25 in 2008 to only 5 in 2012.
Meanwhile, the number of foreign productions remained roughly the same as the previous year, with a decrease in production dollars spent (from $980 million in 2011 to $891 million in 2012). Foreign TV series included Fringe, Psych, Arrow, Red Widow, Top Chef, Supernatural, The Killing, and more. Foreign films included Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; Seventh Son, starring Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges; action-thriller Red Machine, and more.
Of note, 31 of the 58 foreign features were listed as VFX only (including Cloud Atlas, Life of Pi, Prometheus, and Zero Dark Thirty). Two foreign features were listed for additional photography, and an additional two for reshooting.
Overall, B.C. came second to Ontario for another year in a row. Ontario's film and TV production industries logged another record year, hauling in $1.28 billion from 273 productions.
Although the data may paint a positive picture of the local screen industries, earlier this year, the Save B.C. Film campaign was launched in response to increased unemployment in the film and TV industries, which were excluded from the BC Jobs Plan. The provincial government has declined to increase tax incentives (at 33 percent for labour costs) in the face of increased competition from other jurisdictions, including higher tax-incentive programs in Ontario and Quebec (which offer 25 percent for all costs).