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March 28, 2014

March 28th 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 28, 2014
from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative - torontoontariofilm@gmail.com

Happy Friday everyone,

I am spending some time this week at the annual Association of Film Commissioners International Locations Show where Toronto/ Ontario has a booth. The show features film commissions from every corner of the globe showcasing their incentives, infrastructure and, of course, locations to film and television executives and producers and as always, it illustrates just how widespread and fierce the competition has become for production dollars.

The globalization of film and television production and the subsequent migration of business from Los Angeles has been a common theme of this report as California earlier this year introduced legislation designed to keep work in state. As detailed in the Los Angeles Times, there was good news for the local lobby this week as that legislation passed its first hurdle, winning unanimous bipartisan support from its first committee.
http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-film-tax-credit-passes-first-test-20140325,0,4060841.story#axzz2x4waVXEC

Los Angeles Film Czar Ken Ziffren told the Hollywood Reporter this week that the Assembly Committee's backing of the bill is a very good sign. As detailed below, Ziffren said he will be working hard to ensure continued support of the legislation, which has a hearing in about one month before the Assembly committee on revenue and taxation. It then goes before the Assembly appropriations committee and on to the full Assembly for a vote.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/la-film-czar-assembly-action-691579

There is an interesting drama over production tax credits currently playing out in Maryland where a letter written by the producers of House of Cards, threatening to move production to another state if incentives weren't renewed, was made public. As reported in the Daily Journal below, Maryland's House of Delegates this week approved a budget amendment which allows the use of eminent domain to seize the property of film production companies that suddenly stop shooting in the state if the company has received more than $10 million in tax credits.The amendment is headed to a House and Senate committee which must approve it in order for it to remain in the budget. The Senate has already passed a bill to raise Maryland's film tax credits from $7.5 million to $18.5 million, but the House hasn't acted on the measure. 
http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/687c8bce2e32460485d1b21fd6747067/MD--Budget-Maryland/#.UzWqWlefiJk

Variety this week published a lengthy and engaging story on how the Big Four networks are shaking up conventional pilot season. As detailed below, networks and studios are breaking out the shovels to make foundational changes, with the goal of cementing new protocols for next year and beyond. Industry vets say it is a necessary response to dramatic shifts in the way people watch TV and the qualitative rise of cable programming.
http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/its-a-new-playing-field-for-the-big-four-networks-1201136859/

A widely syndicated column in the Huffington Post this week praised the VFX tax credits in New York state and urged other jurisdictions to take "similar bold steps" to keep the even more of the visual effects industry from fleeing the U.S.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gary-a-olson/we-can-keep-the-visual-ef_b_5012749.html

Advertising sales in the U.S. were more than $140 billion last year. As reported in the Los Angeles Times below, increased spending on cable television and on-line display ads helped drive the numbers.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-us-advertising-sales-140-billion-2013-20140325,0,5744005.story#axzz2x7OVbvQr

And finally this week, global box office revenue was also up in 2013. As detailed in the Times below, a string of hit family movies helped global movie ticket sales set a new record of $35.9 billion. Interestingly, international markets accounted for $25 billion in ticket sales, up 5% from 2012 and 33% from just five years ago
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-cinemacon-global-box-office-2013-record-20140325,0,5288701.story#axzz2x7OVbvQr

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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