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April 12, 2017

April 7th News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

Happy Friday everyone,

Yesterday and today I am attending the annual locations trade show hosted by the Association of Film Commissioner's International, at which film commissions from all over the world market their incentives and infrastructure to LA-based producers. I am also attending the Global Production and Finance Conference which is being held in concert with the show and a number of related social events, at which the potential writers' strike is a hot topic of discussion.

Many people I am speaking with seem increasingly resigned to the possibility that the WGA will fail to complete its contract negotiations before May 1st and the union itself made it clear this week that if a deal is not reached in a timely manner, a strike will begin May 2nd. In what many saw as an aggressive move, the WGA on Tuesday sent a letter directly to media buyers advising them that the unions' demands would cost $178 million across the entire industry and warning them that a work stoppage means writing for television, feature films and digital series will cease. As detailed in the Hollywood Reporter below, the letter to advertisers comes as the mid-May network advertising upfront market draws near.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/writers-guild-promises-strike-may-2-no-deal-is-reached-991578

The Los Angeles Times published a very informative feature this week which contextualizes the potential strike and looks at the charged atmosphere in Hollywood today - an atmosphere described as a perfect storm of economic and digital changes bearing down on the business.
http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-writers-guild-negotiations-20170331-story.html

The announcement a few weeks ago that two series would move to LA from Vancouver was met with much fanfare in California and even some speculation that it might mark the beginning of a decline in Vancouver's fortunes, although nothing I have seen or heard indicates that is the case. In fact, Deadline reported this week that sci-fi series The Colony will leave LA, where it has shot its last two seasons, and move production to Vancouver after not landing a California tax credit.
http://deadline.com/2017/04/colony-renewed-season-3-usa-network-production-moving-vancouver-1202056634/

There was big news in the animation world this week as Imagine Entertainment's Brian Grazer and Ron Howard announced they are stepping into the business in hopes of taking advantage of the booming — and increasingly competitive -- market for family movies. As detailed in the L.A. Times below, Imagine will team with Australian animation firm Animal Logic to develop, produce and finance six movies during the next five years.
http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-imagine-animation-20170403-story.html

Finally this week, congratulations to Ontario's many talented VFX stakeholders. The Toronto section of the Visual Effects Society has been lauded in the inaugural issue of the VFX Voice which describes the city as "a major screen-based hub with more than 40 years of international experience in film and television production, and post production".
http://vfxvoice.com/a-busy-hub-for-vfx-ves-and-the-film-community/

Warmest regards,
Kelly

Kelly Graham-Scherer
Los Angeles Representative
Toronto/ Ontario Film Office

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