Vancouver film industry seeing boost, city council hears

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      The local film industry has “weathered a pretty big storm” over the last couple of years, but the chair of B.C.’s Motion Picture Production Industry Association has confidence in the future of the sector.

      In an update to Vancouver city council today (June 24), Peter Leitch suggested there’s “a real sense of optimism right now” in the industry.

      “I think that Vancouver, despite the challenges, has become a super asset for the industry,” he said.

      According to statistics from Vancouver’s film office, there were 1,425 filming days in Vancouver in 2013. Productions in the city last year included 30 series, 11 pilots, 107 commercials, 18 feature films, 14 movies of the week, and 45 documentaries or miniseries.

      The first quarter of 2014 has shown a 36-percent increase in business overall, according to city staff.

      Ian McKay, the CEO of the Vancouver Economic Commission, said that while there was concern at the beginning of 2013, the year ended “with a bang”.

      “I think a lot of the studios and people like Gareth Edwards [the director of Godzilla, which was filmed in Vancouver] have explored other centres with some of their new incentives, and discovered again that it was worth coming back to the tried and true model of Vancouver, where the tax regime is predictable, the exchange rate is favourable, and most importantly the studios in and around Vancouver provide excellent infrastructure, extraordinary crews, technical competence, and a nimbleness that just simply doesn’t exist everywhere else,” McKay told council.

      But he noted that Toronto recently hired a new film commissioner, who is mandated to augment the city’s film budget by $3.5 million.

      “He said quite clearly part of his mandate is to eat our lunch, so they’re coming after us, folks,” said McKay.

      “So all the great work that we’re doing has made great inroads, but the rest of the world is not standing idly by.”

      According to McKay, there are more than 20,000 film-industry jobs in the Vancouver region.


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      claire hurley

      Jun 25, 2014 at 2:50pm

      The man shilling for this industry seems to be totally unaware of the absence of feature films. Spin doctoring again.


      Jun 25, 2014 at 6:55pm

      Actually, he's a fibber. "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!" said the industry during the last provincial election. Funded by the opposition, they tried to paint a picture of doom, gloom and productions leaving in droves---or never entering the province in the first place.

      'We need MORE tax breaks for our rich American producers with their unusual 'accounting methods'! they cried.

      We don't have enough work! they railed. All of this of course by way of trying to oust the Liberal governmeet.

      Then, gee. The industry talking head goes mute on the surprise re-election of the Clark governement. And, within a few short months, this little coalition disbands no longer seeing the necessity to lobby for the industry.

      Now---quel surpris! Things are down-right rosy. And of course they don't want to say that all these productions happening now were, in fact, in pre-production or making their way to BC before and during the election.

      No more $$$$ to subsidize these idiots and whingers. They already get plenty.


      Jul 1, 2014 at 10:41am

      Yes low budget TV shows that demand barely minimum wage salaries are on the boom in BC. The 'shooting days" also include Visual Effects days where people sit at computers not actually employing 100's of crew. Previous articles included "Star Wars", "Maleficient" and "XMen, Days of Future Past" as being here in BC where everyone in the Industry knows that that is simply not true. This is indeed a current spin by the Liberals, boosted by their faithful servant Mr Leitch.... are they about to withdraw the current incentives?