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March 14, 2014

Weekly Update from Film Ontario, March 14, 2014

TORONTO ONTARIO film office - A partnership of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, City of Toronto and FilmOntario.
WEEKLY UPDATE March 14, 2014
from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative -

The study that permitting agency and advocacy group FilmLA released last week showing California as the fourth most-popular place to make movies continued to make headlines this week, and I encourage you to take a look at it by clicking on this link -


In the study Canada was grouped together and ranked second behind Louisiana and ahead of the UK  for Total Live Action Film Project, Job and Spending Counts which prompted venerable Forbes to take a look at California's woes as well, as bemoan the problems "sexy film work" has brought to Louisiana.

Louisiana's rank as the most-popular place to shoot films in the world earned it the moniker "Hollywood South" this week, along with lots of press in local media outlet The Times-Picayune.  The story below breaks down various facets of the study and presents a rosy view of Louisiana's future as a production center.

This story, which appeared a few days later, is a little darker and looks at some of the cases of corruption and fraud that have resulted from exploitation of Louisiana's production tax credits.

Back in California, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein publicly made what I think is a very important point to note when considering California's current battle to expand its production incentives program. As Deadline reports below, when speaking at the 38th Annual UCLA Entertainment Symposium this week Weinstein told Los Angeles Film Czar Ken Ziffren that "California does not have to offer the same discounts as, say, New Orleans, as long as the state can provide enough of an incentive when weighed against the added travel and production costs called for by out-of-state production.”

Weinstein is just one of a growing chorus of voices calling for support of California's industry. As reported in The Wrap below, there will be a rally this weekend sponsored by the California Film and Television Production Alliance, a coalition of small businesses, studio and network representatives, labor groups, local politicians, film liaisons and vendors. Among those speaking will be State Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, who, with his Assembly colleague Mike Gatto, last month introduced the legislation to renew and expand the program.

The Wrap also had a few articles this week which will likely interest those with a stake in the highly-competitive VFX business.

As reported below, Modus FX, a Quebec  visual effects vendor that counts Now You See Me and This is the End among its credits, is shutting down after six years.

The Wrap also reports that the VFX company behind the complicated flood scenes in Darren Aronofsky's upcoming feature Noah is scrambling to get out of a financial hole. As detailed below the president and co-founder of Look Effects says the company lost “a lot of money” on the ambitious project, which took longer to complete than expected.

And finally this week, Quebec released its 2013 production-spend numbers which reflect a record year  for foreign location shooting. As detailed in the Hollywood Reporter below, the Quebec Film and Television Council reports total spending by foreign, mostly Hollywood, producers came to CAN $273 million, up 12 percent from CAN$240 million in year-earlier expenditures.

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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