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July 26, 2013

July 26th News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

TORONTO ONTARIO film office - A partnership of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, City of Toronto and FilmOntario.
WEEKLY UPDATE July 26, 2013
from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative - torontoontariofilm@gmail.com

Happy Friday everyone,

I am back in Los Angeles feeling refreshed and revitalized after spending a few weeks in Ontario.

Most of you know that I spent the first several days there helping host a group of independent film executives on a tour of our jurisdiction. This is the second FAM tour I have been involved with and again I think the experience was as valuable for me as it was for our guests: getting an intensive review of the things, places and most of all, the people, Ontario has to offer really leaves me proud and inspired to continue to be the best possible representative.

The weekend before I left Los Angeles I helped work the Ontario booth at the Association of Film Commissioners International Locations Trade show where film commissions from all over the world attempted to lure work to their jurisdictions. I invite you to visit my blog to get a look at some of the booths and also to check out some photos from our last Ontario Night on June 26th -

http://torontoontarioinla.blogspot.com/

You can also read the Los Angeles Times' take on the locations show here. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-fi-ct-onlocation-20130703,0,2605390.story

Industry watchers were buzzing this week with the news that Marvel's The Fantastic Four, which was prepping in Vancouver, has moved production to Louisiana, where industry stakeholders recently helped kill a bill that would cap film tax incentives in that state. The Globe and Mail has details below. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/fantastic-four-bolts-reigniting-film-subsidy-debate-in-bc/article13452425/#dashboard/follows/

Here in Los Angeles industry watchers have high hopes for newly-elected mayor Eric Garcetti. As detailed in the L.A. Times below, he has declared the migration of film and television work to other jurisdictions a "civic emergency" and has vowed to make the industry a top priority. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/la-mayor-eric-garcetti-calls-578740

Garcetti has his work cut out for him as jurisdictions across North America tweak their incentives in hopes of attracting production dollars. But as reported in the Post-Gazette below, stakeholders in Pittsburgh - which has emerged the last few years as a top film center - were recently disappointed when lawmakers there declined to remove the $60 million cap on Pennsylvania's incentives program. http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/ae/movies/film-tax-credit-stays-same-in-state-budget-693935/

The global competition for VFX work has been particularly hard on L.A.-based firms and now they are considering seeking federal help to put an end to subsidies in other jurisdictions. As detailed in The Wrap below, prolific industry blog VFX Solider recently commissioned a study by D.C. law firm Picard, Kentz & Rowe and it concluded that a legal challenge to foreign tax subsidies might be possible -- if daunting -- and recommended the visual effects industry form an organization to build a case. http://www.thewrap.com/movies/article/salvation-vfx-us-could-impose-taxes-film-subsidies-study-finds-102211

And finally this week, it isn't all doom and gloom for L.A.'s VFX stakeholders: as reported in the L.A. Times below, the growth of the video games sector has been a welcome reprieve for California's visual effects industry, which has been hard hit by outsourcing and global competition. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-fi-ct-vfx-games-20130723,0,3016957.story

Please feel free to distribute this e-mail widely and to get in touch with me with comments or links for inclusion.

Warmest regards,

Kelly Graham-Scherer
Los Angeles Representative
Toronto/ Ontario Film Office

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