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March 7, 2014

March 7th 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 March 7, 2014
from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative - torontoontariofilm@gmail.com

Happy Friday everyone,

Over the last several weeks the media here has been dominated by stories related to last Sunday's Academy Awards. Stakeholders in California's film and TV industry were therefore no doubt ecstatic to see the article below prominently featured on the front page of the Sunday Los Angeles Times on the morning of the broadcast. Under the headline "And the work goes to..." the article laments the effects tax credits in other jurisdictions have had on the local community, noting that some 1,694 California members of the I.A.T.S.E. union have moved to Georgia and other incentive-rich states in the last four years and many who remain in L.A. have seen a 40% decline in their incomes in the last five years.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-fi-ct-oscars-hollywood-unemployment-20140225,0,5681614.story#axzz2vDS8YRdx

The Hollywood Reporter had details this week on the second annual protest by approximately 540 local VFX workers outside the awards. As reported below, the Association of Digital Artists, Professionals and Technicians (ADAPT), which organized the rally, is not supporting California's proposed increase for production-related tax credits, but calling for an end to them worldwide. With this goal, it has retained law firm Picard Kentz & Rowe to challenge subsidies in the U.S. Court of International Trade and ask that a mandatory duty be levied against producers who utilize tax credits.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/behind-screen/oscars-visual-effects-rally-attracts-684493

While the last two stories illustrate that the California community is divided over how to address the migration of work from the state, this next article provides fodder for all who believe that something has to change. As detailed in the Los Angeles Times below, a new report from local advocacy and permitting group FilmLA, says that last year only two of the top 25 big-budget movies, whose combined budgets totaled more than $3.5 billion, filmed primarily in California, a sharp decline from 15 years ago, when 16 of the top 25 live-action movies at the box office were filmed in the state.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-filmla-tax-credits-study-20140306,0,3219002.story#axzz2vDS8YRdx

Ontario's 2013 production stats were released by the OMDC last week and revealed total film and TV production activity in Ontario resulted in $1.14 billion in overall expenditures in 2013, down from 2012's $1.27 billion in spend by both local and foreign producers. The Hollywood Reporter below published all the details on the stats and ascribed the slight drop as due to U.S. networks shrinking total budget spending on episodic TV.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/hollywoods-slim-down-nicked-ontario-685587

Deadline published a very interesting and useful article tracking the whereabouts of television pilots this season. While the story misses a few headed to Ontario (suggesting its analysis  could be off for other jurisdictions) it does confirm recent reports that suggest New York is bustling while L.A. continues to struggle.
http://www.deadline.com/2014/03/tv-pilot-locations-2014-new-york-los-angeles-analysis/

In a further sign of film's exit from the Hollywood stage, the post-production company Deluxe has announced the closing its Los Angeles film laboratory. As reported in the L.A. Times below,  following the recently announced closure of the Deluxe laboratory in London, Deluxe's only remaining film processing facility will be a small operation in New York.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-deluxe-lab-closing-20140306,0,613775.story#axzz2vDS8YRdx

The bad news continues for Disney Interactive. As reported in the L.A. Times below, the struggling video game and digital media subsidiary of Walt Disney Co., is cutting roughly 700 jobs worldwide. It announced this week it will close offices in Chicago, New Jersey, Colorado, South Korea and Hyderabad, India, representing about 26% of the division's workforce.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-disney-interactive-layoffs-underway-20140306,0,4952297.story#axzz2vDS8YRdx

And finally this week, the Toronto Star recently featured an inspiring story on Ontario film and television industry titan Paul Bronfman. As detailed below, the recent inductee into American Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, works tirelessly for the betterment of everyone associated with the industry.
http://www.thestar.com/business/2014/02/28/bronfman_keeps_lights_on_for_ontarios_film_industry.html

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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