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February 9, 2018

February 9th News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

Happy Friday everyone,

I'm back after a trip to Ontario last week to attend the CMPA's Primetime Conference in Ottawa. Although I only attend every few years, I find it invaluable to check in with so many industry stakeholders and to get a refresh on their current successes, as well as the challenges they face. There is no question these are challenging times for Canadian producers and broadcasters, but I feel buoyed by the strength, smarts and resilience I encountered on my trip.

Back in LA, it seemed like the broadcast of This is US following last weekend's Superbowl garnered almost as much attention as the big game. The 20th Century Fox-produced drama is a huge hit and, as detailed in an effective PR piece for the local industry in the Los Angeles Business Journal below, it generated more than $61.5 million in economic activity and paid more than $27 million in wages to more than 2,000 local workers in its first season.
https://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/news/2018/02/02/this-is-us-generates-for-los-angeles-economy.html

It was big news last year when Disney announced it would pull its content off Netflix and launch its own streaming service: this week Deadline gave a glimpse of what that new service will look like. As detailed below, the OTT platform, will launch in fall of 2019. R-rated films will go to Hulu and programming will be consistent with the Disney brand. The goal in the first year is to generate four to five original movies and five TV series, costing between $25 million-$35 million for 10 episodes.
http://deadline.com/2018/02/disney-streaming-service-launch-slate-star-wars-marvel-1202281846/

Competing against Netflix is expensive business and that was evident this week when Disney revealed it expects more than $250 million in equity losses on Hulu — a major jump from the $100 million in losses the company had previously forecasted. The Wrap has details below.
https://www.thewrap.com/hulu-losses-800-million-disney-250-million/

The Canadian Media Producers Association released a report this week that confirmed British Columbia as Canada’s largest centre of film and television production. As detailed in the Vancouver Sun below, while Ontario's industry grew 10% last year, B.C. grew to $2.9 billion in 2016/17 from $2.1 billion in 2015/16, bringing with it a 40 per cent cent surge in jobs, to 24,000 from 17,000.
 http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-now-canadas-leading-province-for-film-and-tv-production-report

Finally this week, I'm pleased and proud to present two stories about Ontarians who are being globally recognized for excellence at this year's Academy Awards.

The Globe and Mail published an in-depth feature on SideFX software which will be awarded two Academy Awards, including the Scientific and Engineering Award (an Academy plaque as opposed to a statuette) and the more prestigious Academy Award of Merit.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/film/at-sidefx-we-know-that-well-be-in-every-movie-up-for-the-visual-effect-award-at-theoscars/article37796101/

And the Toronto Star interviewed local producer Miles Dale who is contending for Best Picture for his work on Toronto-shot The Shape of Water.
https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/movies/opinion/2018/02/09/the-shape-of-j-miles-dales-oscar-season.html

Congratulations to all and best of luck also to Ontario VFX artists from Mr. X and Pixomondo who will contend at the Visual Effects Society Awards in LA next Tuesday.

Warmest regards,
Kelly

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

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