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December 20, 2013

December 20th 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 December 20, 2013
from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative - torontoontariofilm@gmail.com

Happy Friday everyone,

I trust you are all surviving the terrible weather in Ontario and are well prepared for the holidays. As you might expect, Los Angeles has been quiet this week and industry trades have mostly been dominated by publicity campaigns, analysis and predictions related to the upcoming awards season for film.

News of California's push for extended tax credits, and the related controversy over bribery allegations directed at one of its biggest supporters, have mostly died down the last few weeks. While Los Angeles Times business columnist Michael Hiltzik has long opposed the film and TV tax credit program, venerable industry reporter and columnist Richard Verrier continues to be a booster. In his latest On Location feature below Verrier talks up the 10,000-acre Big Sky Ranch in Simi Valley, which was recently used as a shooting location for Saving Mr Banks.
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-et-ct-onlocation-saving-mr-banks-shoot-simi-valley-20131218,0,280256.story#axzz2nsKuA81n

A government press release out of North Carolina this week was an example of the love-hate relationship that many jurisdictions seem to have with film and television tax credits. As reported in the Winston-Salem Journal below, state officials are touting a $254 million economic impact from the film industry even as they support ending the very tax credit that attracted many of the production companies. http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/article_e68e088e-ac32-56ad-8531-ae343068a1e2.html

Animation stakeholders will be interested this week to read the Los Angeles Times interview with industry icon Fred Seibert, who predicts that the next golden age of animation will be on the Internet.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-fred-seibert-bee-puppycat-20131217,0,124967.story#axzz2nsKuA81n

If the above article wasn't proof enough that the future story of our industry will be written across multiple platforms, this next one should confirm it: as detailed in the Los Angeles Times below, Xbox Studios announced this week that it will produce an original documentary film to launch next year on the Xbox One and Xbox 360 video game consoles. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-xbox-entertainment-studios-breaks-into-documentaries-20131218,0,1145412.story#axzz2nxE4OkTl

And finally this week, the diversification of the entertainment industry is not just related to the platforms on which content is consumed: the Times this week had a front page story announcing that talent agency William Morris Endeavor has spent $2.3-billion to purchase IMG Worldwide, which is best known for its sports business. As the article below notes,studios are making fewer films, paydays for A-list actors and directors are falling and big hits in new television platforms are still few and far between, but athletes routinely command multimillion-dollar contracts and teams and leagues get billions from networks to televise their events. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-william-morris-endeavor-img-deal-20131219,0,3955584.story#axzz2nvoGyFdx

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

I wish every one of you a happy and healthy holiday season and I look forward to a prosperous 2014 for all. This report will return on Friday, January 10th.

Warmest regards,

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

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