Q&A: Patti Tucker

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Edmonton, Alberta, film commissioner Patti Tucker helped seal a two-year deal with Lionsgate to shoot the NBC's "Fear Itself" in the oil-rich province.

The Hollywood Reporter's Etan Vlessing recently spoke with her.

Hollywood Reporter: Rather than entice Lionsgate to Alberta with a tax credit like other provinces, the Alberta provincial government and the city of Edmonton gave the studio taxpayer subsidies to shoot the NBC horror series in Edmonton. How did that come about?

Patti Tucker: As a film commissioner, you're always scrambling for work, looking for the studio that has a production slate that most fits your market. But Lionsgate came to us and said, "We're looking for a new province to do business in, and we haven't explored Alberta."

THR: And that overture convinced the provincial government and the city of Edmonton to interim finance the series?

Tucker: We all got together and realized (Lionsgate's) demands were not over the top. Yes, it would cost

Alberta and Edmonton, but we were being asked to walk the walk by the film industry. Lionsgate taught us that if we were willing to come up with a financial model that works for them, they would give us the sustainability -- the building of a (crew base), a training component -- so we wouldn't be exporting our students out of the province to do work.

THR: Is the Lionsgate deal open to other producers?

Tucker: Bring us the business case and let's make it work.

THR: Besides up-front grants, there's also talk Alberta will offer a tax credit so that you remain competitive with other provinces and U.S. states.

Tucker: Yes, but Alberta likes to be on the leading edge. A tax credit is a tax credit is a tax credit. I'm waiting to see what they do create. It will be innovative. It always is.
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