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January 18, 2016

Weekly Update from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative: January 15, 2016

Happy Friday everyone,

It's been an eventful week in Los Angeles. I spent much of it introducing the new Ontario Film Commissioner Justin Cutler to LA-based clients and also hosted one of our most successful Ontario Night parties ever: more than 70 industry ex-pats came out for a great night of networking and socializing on Tuesday.

Awards season is in full swing here and the Academy Awards nominations announced this week are excellent news for Ontario stakeholders. Best picture nominees Spotlight and Room were both shot and serviced in Toronto and the latter is a Canadian-Irish co-production

The sale of Legendary Entertainment to Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlian was huge news across the industry when it was announced last week. This week the Los Angeles Times continued the media examination of how the acquisition will affect existing power structures in Hollywood.

Throughout my visits with our studio partners this week I heard a lot about the appeal of Georgia and how its generous tax credits have contributed to a booming infrastructure there. That's why this recent editorial post from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, which questioned whether Georgia's incentives program could be in the political cross hairs in 2016, caught my eye.

Other big news in Los Angeles this week was the staffing of another budding movie and television studio. As reported in the L.A. Times below, video game giant Activision Blizzard Inc. has hired The Hateful Eight producer Stacey Sher to help capitalize on the popularity of its I.P. — properties like Candy Crush and Call of Duty — and its huge customer base of avid gamers.

Finally this week, the announcement that TNT will cut the ad load on three of its new drama series by 50% has raised some eyebrows throughout the industry. As detailed in Deadline Hollywood below, the network is gambling that if the ad load shrinks, advertisers might be wiling to pay premium for the better exposure.

You'll find the full text for the linked articles below my signature. Please feel free to distribute this e-mail widely and to get in touch with comments or links for inclusion.

Warmest regards,

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