Made in Canada: British Columbia


Despite a steep drop in U.S. location shooting countrywide, Vancouver remains a hot production hub for Hollywood, helped by proximity to Los Angeles, and familiarity with its facilities by Los Angeles producers.

Vancouver snagged its own share of U.S. TV series shoots after the pilot season and network pickups, including Warner Bros. Television's "Fringe," which relocated from New York, and "Human Target."

Vancouver also hosts Nickelodeon's action-adventure comedy "The Troop," Syfy's "Battlestar Galactica" spinoff series "Caprica," and MGM's "Stargate Universe" and "Sanctuary" series.

On the film side, Mammoth Studios has back-to-back Fox shoots for "The A Team" remake and "Percy Jackson." And Zack Snyder is shooting Warners' "Sucker Punch" after previously shooting "The Watchmen" in B.C. And there's Summit Entertainment's third installment of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series, "Eclipse."

At the same time, B.C. was knocked sideways by Ontario and Quebec this summer sweetening their own film tax credits for Hollywood producers.

Provincial film commissioner Susan Croome expects B.C.'s proximity to Los Angeles and ample studio space to keep loyal Hollywood producers from migrating east.

"We have a different product than Ontario and Quebec," she says. "We have in B.C. a huge variety of geographic looks and a cosmopolitan city that can play a number of places."

Unless the B.C. government matches the 25% all-spend film tax credit now on offer in Ontario and Quebec, local Vancouver produces expect the province to lose business and competitiveness.

"If the B.C. government takes the next calendar year to study the issue, the local business will go away, and who knows whether it will ever come back," Kevin Leeson, creative director of Vancouver-based Straight Line Films, which provides production services to local U.S. productions, warns.

Meanwhile, local film and TV production continues to weather the industry storm, as Canadian broadcasters return to commissioning new local series.

"Come the fall, many of our broadcasters who have been holding on their cash will start spending again and will be ordering new shows," says David Paperny, president of Vancouver-based indie producer Paperny Films.

Paperny Films, a major Vancouver player, is shooting "Glutton for Punishment" for Food Network, a docusoap about fashion designers for Rogers Broadcasting, and is working with PBS on a four-part series about unsolved U.S. civil rights era crimes.

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