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October 23, 2017

October 20th News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

Happy Friday everyone,

American Film Market is fast approaching and I look forward to connecting with Ontario producers who will be in Los Angeles that week. I am planning an Ontario Night party for industry ex-pats on Thursday, November 2nd so if you don't typically get updates regarding this party, be sure to get in touch with me so I can send you an invite.

Headlines in Los Angeles and across the globe continued to be dominated this week by fallout from the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse scandal, including recent news that Amazon Studios President Roy Price would not return to his post after being suspended for sexual misconduct. Variety published a comprehensive feature detailing how widening fallout from the scandal has already impacted entities like Amazon, Twitter and the Democratic Party and could affect many more.

Other big news in LA this week involved third quarter statistics from film advocacy and permitting agency FilmLA. I found it interesting that the exact same stats were interpreted very differently by different news organizations. Variety's headline below touted "Los Angeles Feature Film Production Increases 7.6% in Third Quarter".

The equally influential Deadline took a different tone, noting the increase in feature film production, but bemoaning that overall on-location filming in LA fell for the third quarter in a row, "despite the state’s annual $330 million tax incentives program".

The recent announcement that Netflix would invest $500 million in Canadian production continues to generate headlines. Playback reports below that Heritage Minister Melanie Joly addressed the deal in front of a Toronto crowd this week.

Speaking of Netflix (as we always do), it appears some of the veil around its audience numbers will slip away. As detailed in Variety below, ratings company Nielsen's will make audience data for streaming content available to companies including A&E Networks, Disney ABC Television Group, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, and Warner Brothers and those companies could choose to release it publicly.

A year ago this space was filled with stories detailing massive Chinese investment in Hollywood: this week brings another sign that trend is in retreat. As detailed in the Los Angeles Times below, Jack Gao, SVP of Dalian Wanda's Cultural Industry Group, is leaving the company. The departure of Gao reflects the struggles Wanda has faced in its attempts to break into the entertainment business by investing in U.S. companies.

Finally this week, NBCUniversal and Snap Inc. have formed a production studio that will create programming designed for viewing on mobile devices. As reported in the Times below, most of the content developed by the joint venture will debut on Snapchat, the social media and messaging service that already carries a twice daily newscast produced by NBC News called "Stay Tuned."

Warmest regards,

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

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