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August 17, 2015

Weekly Update from Film Ontario, August 14, 2015

More shows landing, hooray! This means more jobs and more private sector capital attraction.

Quite a bit of news today - first off: 

Ontario's Film Commissioner, Donna Zuchlinski, set to retire
Donna Zuchlinski has announced her intent to retire this fall, effective October 9th. Donna has been with the OMDC (and its predecessor, the Ontario Film Development Corporation) for over 26 years. Donna has worked tirelessly on behalf of Ontario's film and television industry - give her a holler! Her email is dzuchlinski@omdc.on.ca 

The OMDC has asked that we share a link to the job posting for her replacement, here. (Though who could!) 

FilmOntario FamTour Members Only cocktail event, Sept 29th 5:30 - 7:30pm at the TIFF Bell Lightbox 
Folks, the OMDC is once again leading a FamTour at the end of September, hosting folks from OTT, premium cable and high value tv who have not yet been to Toronto/Ontario.

As part of the FamTour activities, FilmOntario is hosting a Members Only cocktail event on September 29th, 5:30-7:30pm at the Tiff Bell Lightbox. As in past years, only one person per member company may attend, in order to ensure that all of our member companies have an opportunity to chat with our guests. Please rsvp, with the name of your attendee. (As I am away next week, there will be a delay in my response. However, every FilmOntario Member company is assured a spot!)

Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Update
Recently, I was invited by the Premier's office to attend a stakeholder lockup briefing about the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, which will be phased in starting in 2017, and fully in place by 2020. Here is a link to the plan outline: http://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2015/08/the-ontario-retirement-pension-plan.html 

The ORPP is not yet fully formed - they are still reviewing minimum earning thresholds, for example. And they are still working on the administrative set-up and costs, as they had planned to work with CRA on this aspect. Arguably, if the Harper govt does not win the fall election, the new govt may wish to enable Ontario to work with CRA, as do Quebec and Saskatchewan currently.

It is worth noting that the Premier has stated that the ORPP is being established to address a gap that CPP cannot fill, unless sufficiently enhanced (something the Harper govt does not support at this time). It follows, and as the Premier has acknowledged, should a Federal government chose to commit to enhance the CPP sufficiently, the ORPP will be reviewed. 

"Opportunities for Producers in Reality Television 2015"
Our own Kelly G-S in our LA office (which we co-manage and co-finance with the OMDC and City of Toronto), has delivered another interesting white paper - this time on the subject of 'Opportunities for Reality Producers'. You can read it here

FilmOntario an official sponsor of the Canadian Screen Awards 2016.
 We are pleased to announce that FilmOntario is an official sponsor of the Canadian Screen Awards 2016! The Awards, running March 7-13th 2016, have grown into a 7-day festival of galas, public screenings, fan meet & greets, professional panels and more. Watch this space for updates! As well, you can click on their logo

Members working with Members 
Remember, we are happy to make introductions for you with other Member companies! Wouldn't you rather do business with another FilmOntario Member?

And as always, do let us know if you have any company news that you would like us to circulate to our Members list. 

Am away next week, returning August 24th. 

Take care, 
Sarah Sarah Ker-Hornell 
CEO & Executive Director

____________________________________________________________

Weekly Update from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative 

 Happy Friday everyone, 

As the fall television season premieres draw closer, LA-based media this week featured lots of interesting stories about how the industry is continuing to change. As the Los Angeles Times reports below, F/X president John Landgraf caused a stir during the Television Critics Assn. press tour when he stated bluntly, "There is simply too much television." http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-fx-ceo-john-landgraf-there-is-simply-too-much-television-20150807-story.html

Also causing a stir was an announcement from Hulu this week that it would be releasing its upcoming original series in weekly episodes. As reported in the Times below, in addition to giving viewers an opportunity to enjoy the shows as a shared experience "water-cooler style", a week-by-week roll-out also allows the service to get shows to audiences faster because there's no need to accumulate a full series in the bank before releasing it on the platform. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-the-anti-binge-hulu-original-series-to-take-on-weekly-release-approach-20150809-story.html 

The Hulu announcement prompted a fair bit of speculation over what the Hollywood Reporter this week identified as a growing dilemma across the television industry: to binge or not to binge? http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/tvs-growing-dilemma-binge-not-814411

The Reporter also featured an enlightening look at the Hollywood strategy of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos this week. As detailed below, Bezos says the key to that strategy is using content to move product, explaining "When people join Prime, they buy more of everything we sell. They buy more shoes, they buy power tools and so on". http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/amazon-prime-day-ceo-jeff-808535

Looks like everyone's favorite kids' show is soon going to be brought to audiences by the letters HBO. As reported in Variety below, HBO will license the next five seasons of the venerable show, new episodes of which will be provided to PBS nine months after they air on the pay-cable service. 
http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/hbo-picks-up-sesame-street-in-five-year-pact-with-sesame-workshop-1201569335/ 

Finally this week, the Los Angeles Times featured an interesting examination of the phenomenon that is Buzz Feed Motion Pictures. As reported below, the video arm of digital media company famous for its bite-sized listicles and quizzes, is being courted by NBCUniversal thanks to its rapid evolution into one of the top video producers on the Internet, boasting a staggering 1.5 billion monthly views. 
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-buzzfeed-studios-20150809-story.html#page=1

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