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Ontario film, TV production has record year in 2011

Ontario’s film and television production industry – the vast majority of which is centred in Toronto – had its best year ever in 2011, setting a record for total spending of $1.26 billion.

The surge – a 31 per cent increase over 2010 – comes despite fierce global competition.

“(It’s) the strongest result since we began keeping records in 1986,” announced Karen Thorne-Stone, president and CEO of the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) on Monday. The agency oversees the industry and administers the province’s tax credit program.

“What’s even more impressive is that these results are rolling in at a time when the Canadian dollar is strong,” Thorne-Stone said.

While foreign production – mostly from the U.S. – is on the rise, with big-budget Hollywood films like the remake of Total Recall, starring Colin Farrell, coming to Toronto last year, domestic television and film production are also surging.

Foreign spending increased to $412.9 million in 2011 – up from $318.1 million a year earlier, while domestic film and television spending increased to $852.1 million in 2011 from $646.2 million in 2010, representing 70 per cent of the total.

The OMDC estimates the industry accounts for 30,000 full-time direct and spinoffs jobs.

“We’ve built a stable and growing domestic industry,” Thorne-Stone noted.

Producer Martin Katz, chair of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Arts, said the quality of talent and studio space – and not solely a stable tax credit – is driving the success.

“It takes more than just a tax credit program to create an industry. The fact that Ontario … has been at this for so long and has created such a developed infrastructure here means that we are among the most capable producers of film, television and computer-generated intellectual property in the world. That level of expertise drives more interest and more business here,” said Katz, whose company produced David Cronenberg’s newest film, the Genie-nominated A Dangerous Method.

A decade ago, the industry needed a cheap Canadian dollar to drum up business, Thorne-Stone noted.

“We have overcome that. Ontario is no longer the discount location. People are coming here because we’ve got quality, reliability and world-class talent right across the system,” she said.

Ontario Film Commissioner Donna Zuchlinski said the increase in domestic television production – shows like Degrassi: The Next Generation, The Listener and Flashpoint that are sold around the world – is an important part of the industry’s strength.

Zuchlinski pointed out there’s an increasing number of co-productions on shows like The Tudors, The Borgias and Camelot, which may shoot overseas but do much of the production and post-production work here.

One major U.S. player, Universal TV/NBC, have recently given the industry a vote of confidence by bringing five series – including Suits, Covert Affairs and Warehouse 13 – to shoot in Toronto, Zuchlinski noted.

“It’s a total package our clients are looking for, it’s not just about the dollar, it’s not just about tax credits. It’s ‘what’s the total package that a jurisdiction can deliver to me so I can shoot confidently, with no excuses?’ That’s what the majors are looking to us for,” Zuchlinski said.

Pinewood Studios Toronto is another key part of the equation. With one of the largest sound stages in the world, it allows the city to play host to big budget films like Total Recall and Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro’s alien blockbuster, Pacific Rim, starring Ron Perlman, which is still in production, said president Blake Steels.

“We’re starting to get recognized as a great place to shoot larger films. It’s all coming together just beautifully to (attract) … the ‘tentpoles,'” Steels noted, referring to the industry term for big-budget films.

Steels added OMDC officials regularly liaise with Pinewood executives and even hold joint meetings with Hollywood decision-makers as part of selling the city’s industry.

Quick Facts:

Total film/television spending in Ontario (Toronto is more than 90 per cent of total):

1991: Foreign $54.1 million/ domestic $174.3 million. Total: $228.4 million

1996: Foreign $252.8 million/ domestic $277.4 million. Total: $530.2 million

2001: Foreign $561.1 million/ domestic $420.5 million. Total: $981.6 million

2006: Foreign $338.7 million/ domestic $549.4 million. Total: $888.1 million

2011: Foreign $412.9 million/ domestic $852.1 million. Total: $1.265 billion

Source: Toronto Star

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Front Page, Industry News

Ontario film, TV production has record year in 2011

Ontario’s film and television production industry – the vast majority of which is centred in Toronto – had its best year ever in 2011, setting a record for total spending of $1.26 billion.

The surge – a 31 per cent increase over 2010 – comes despite fierce global competition.

“(It’s) the strongest result since we began keeping records in 1986,” announced Karen Thorne-Stone, president and CEO of the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) on Monday. The agency oversees the industry and administers the province’s tax credit program.

“What’s even more impressive is that these results are rolling in at a time when the Canadian dollar is strong,” Thorne-Stone said.

While foreign production – mostly from the U.S. – is on the rise, with big-budget Hollywood films like the remake of Total Recall, starring Colin Farrell, coming to Toronto last year, domestic television and film production are also surging.

Foreign spending increased to $412.9 million in 2011 – up from $318.1 million a year earlier, while domestic film and television spending increased to $852.1 million in 2011 from $646.2 million in 2010, representing 70 per cent of the total.

The OMDC estimates the industry accounts for 30,000 full-time direct and spinoffs jobs.

“We’ve built a stable and growing domestic industry,” Thorne-Stone noted.

Producer Martin Katz, chair of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Arts, said the quality of talent and studio space – and not solely a stable tax credit – is driving the success.

“It takes more than just a tax credit program to create an industry. The fact that Ontario … has been at this for so long and has created such a developed infrastructure here means that we are among the most capable producers of film, television and computer-generated intellectual property in the world. That level of expertise drives more interest and more business here,” said Katz, whose company produced David Cronenberg’s newest film, the Genie-nominated A Dangerous Method.

A decade ago, the industry needed a cheap Canadian dollar to drum up business, Thorne-Stone noted.

“We have overcome that. Ontario is no longer the discount location. People are coming here because we’ve got quality, reliability and world-class talent right across the system,” she said.

Ontario Film Commissioner Donna Zuchlinski said the increase in domestic television production – shows like Degrassi: The Next Generation, The Listener and Flashpoint that are sold around the world – is an important part of the industry’s strength.

Zuchlinski pointed out there’s an increasing number of co-productions on shows like The Tudors, The Borgias and Camelot, which may shoot overseas but do much of the production and post-production work here.

One major U.S. player, Universal TV/NBC, have recently given the industry a vote of confidence by bringing five series – including Suits, Covert Affairs and Warehouse 13 – to shoot in Toronto, Zuchlinski noted.

“It’s a total package our clients are looking for, it’s not just about the dollar, it’s not just about tax credits. It’s ‘what’s the total package that a jurisdiction can deliver to me so I can shoot confidently, with no excuses?’ That’s what the majors are looking to us for,” Zuchlinski said.

Pinewood Studios Toronto is another key part of the equation. With one of the largest sound stages in the world, it allows the city to play host to big budget films like Total Recall and Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro’s alien blockbuster, Pacific Rim, starring Ron Perlman, which is still in production, said president Blake Steels.

“We’re starting to get recognized as a great place to shoot larger films. It’s all coming together just beautifully to (attract) … the ‘tentpoles,'” Steels noted, referring to the industry term for big-budget films.

Steels added OMDC officials regularly liaise with Pinewood executives and even hold joint meetings with Hollywood decision-makers as part of selling the city’s industry.

Quick Facts:

Total film/television spending in Ontario (Toronto is more than 90 per cent of total):

1991: Foreign $54.1 million/ domestic $174.3 million. Total: $228.4 million

1996: Foreign $252.8 million/ domestic $277.4 million. Total: $530.2 million

2001: Foreign $561.1 million/ domestic $420.5 million. Total: $981.6 million

2006: Foreign $338.7 million/ domestic $549.4 million. Total: $888.1 million

2011: Foreign $412.9 million/ domestic $852.1 million. Total: $1.265 billion

Source: Toronto Star

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

Ontario film, TV production has record year in 2011

Ontario’s film and television production industry – the vast majority of which is centred in Toronto – had its best year ever in 2011, setting a record for total spending of $1.26 billion.

The surge – a 31 per cent increase over 2010 – comes despite fierce global competition.

“(It’s) the strongest result since we began keeping records in 1986,” announced Karen Thorne-Stone, president and CEO of the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) on Monday. The agency oversees the industry and administers the province’s tax credit program.

“What’s even more impressive is that these results are rolling in at a time when the Canadian dollar is strong,” Thorne-Stone said.

While foreign production – mostly from the U.S. – is on the rise, with big-budget Hollywood films like the remake of Total Recall, starring Colin Farrell, coming to Toronto last year, domestic television and film production are also surging.

Foreign spending increased to $412.9 million in 2011 – up from $318.1 million a year earlier, while domestic film and television spending increased to $852.1 million in 2011 from $646.2 million in 2010, representing 70 per cent of the total.

The OMDC estimates the industry accounts for 30,000 full-time direct and spinoffs jobs.

“We’ve built a stable and growing domestic industry,” Thorne-Stone noted.

Producer Martin Katz, chair of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Arts, said the quality of talent and studio space – and not solely a stable tax credit – is driving the success.

“It takes more than just a tax credit program to create an industry. The fact that Ontario … has been at this for so long and has created such a developed infrastructure here means that we are among the most capable producers of film, television and computer-generated intellectual property in the world. That level of expertise drives more interest and more business here,” said Katz, whose company produced David Cronenberg’s newest film, the Genie-nominated A Dangerous Method.

A decade ago, the industry needed a cheap Canadian dollar to drum up business, Thorne-Stone noted.

“We have overcome that. Ontario is no longer the discount location. People are coming here because we’ve got quality, reliability and world-class talent right across the system,” she said.

Ontario Film Commissioner Donna Zuchlinski said the increase in domestic television production – shows like Degrassi: The Next Generation, The Listener and Flashpoint that are sold around the world – is an important part of the industry’s strength.

Zuchlinski pointed out there’s an increasing number of co-productions on shows like The Tudors, The Borgias and Camelot, which may shoot overseas but do much of the production and post-production work here.

One major U.S. player, Universal TV/NBC, have recently given the industry a vote of confidence by bringing five series – including Suits, Covert Affairs and Warehouse 13 – to shoot in Toronto, Zuchlinski noted.

“It’s a total package our clients are looking for, it’s not just about the dollar, it’s not just about tax credits. It’s ‘what’s the total package that a jurisdiction can deliver to me so I can shoot confidently, with no excuses?’ That’s what the majors are looking to us for,” Zuchlinski said.

Pinewood Studios Toronto is another key part of the equation. With one of the largest sound stages in the world, it allows the city to play host to big budget films like Total Recall and Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro’s alien blockbuster, Pacific Rim, starring Ron Perlman, which is still in production, said president Blake Steels.

“We’re starting to get recognized as a great place to shoot larger films. It’s all coming together just beautifully to (attract) … the ‘tentpoles,'” Steels noted, referring to the industry term for big-budget films.

Steels added OMDC officials regularly liaise with Pinewood executives and even hold joint meetings with Hollywood decision-makers as part of selling the city’s industry.

Quick Facts:

Total film/television spending in Ontario (Toronto is more than 90 per cent of total):

1991: Foreign $54.1 million/ domestic $174.3 million. Total: $228.4 million

1996: Foreign $252.8 million/ domestic $277.4 million. Total: $530.2 million

2001: Foreign $561.1 million/ domestic $420.5 million. Total: $981.6 million

2006: Foreign $338.7 million/ domestic $549.4 million. Total: $888.1 million

2011: Foreign $412.9 million/ domestic $852.1 million. Total: $1.265 billion

Source: Toronto Star

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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