Oct 22, 2019
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Headline, Industry News

B.C. film, video-game industries fly high, fall hard before staging comeback

Two decades earlier, the Canadian video game industry rose out of Vancouver, as Sydney Development Corp. and Distinctive Software Inc. (DSI) developed popular games. Seeing a good thing, California-based Electronic Arts bought DSI in 1991, creating EA Canada, which grew into one of the biggest games studios in the country. That same year, Radical Entertainment opened shop, followed by Relic Entertainment (1997), Barking Dog and Black Box Games (1998).

After 2000, big international companies swallowed the Vancouver operations – THQ acquired Relic in 2004 and Vivendi Universal bought Radical the following year. They maintained the status quo until the 2008-09 recession. Of the surviving studios, Radical suffered greatly, losing half its staff and no longer creating original games. With developers exploiting much lower labour costs in China and India, and consumers switching from consoles to online games, the days of the multimillion-dollar console game were numbered.

In the past few years, though, a more streamlined industry has emerged, with startups and small studios making B.C. vibrant again.
Film and television

Prior to 1989, the industry groundwork was in place. The B.C. Film Commission (now Creative BC) began in 1978 to attract foreign producers to the province. Big titles (First Blood, The Accused) shot in B.C. The local industry generated major hits with My American Cousin (1985) and The Grey Fox (1982). Lionsgate Studios (now North Shore Studios), Bridge Studios and Northstar (which would become Vancouver Film Studios) pumped out a steady stream of feature films and TV series. According to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 891, production in the province grew 40% per year during this period.

The 1990s remained productive. While foreign productions flourished, local directors found their niche: Mina Shum (Double Happiness), Bruce Sweeney (Live Bait, Dirty), John Pozer (The Grocer’s Wife), Lynne Stopkewich (Kissed) and Carl Bessai (Johnny).

But an industry that leans heavily on work from U.S. studios relies on the weakness of the Canadian dollar. In the new millennium, a stronger dollar and the recession of 2008-09 hurt the industry, but the big blow came from Eastern Canada, when both Ontario and Quebec sweetened their tax credits in 2007. By 2011, B.C., the continent’s third-busiest film production region behind California and New York, fell to fourth, its $1.19 billion in production topped by Ontario’s $1.26 billion. Some workers migrated east to follow the work.

While live action floundered, another industry flourished: visual effects. With a large talent pool of artists and programmers, home-based studios like Image Engine, The Embassy and Gener8 made their reputations, and big dogs from elsewhere (Industrial Light & Magic, MPC and Sony Imageworks) opened studios here.

By the summer of 2014, half of the major film titles had all or part of their visual effects done in Vancouver. And, with the Canadian dollar sagging in the past two years, live-action films and TV series are returning to the city.

Source: Business Vancouver

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Headline, Industry News

B.C. film, video-game industries fly high, fall hard before staging comeback

Two decades earlier, the Canadian video game industry rose out of Vancouver, as Sydney Development Corp. and Distinctive Software Inc. (DSI) developed popular games. Seeing a good thing, California-based Electronic Arts bought DSI in 1991, creating EA Canada, which grew into one of the biggest games studios in the country. That same year, Radical Entertainment opened shop, followed by Relic Entertainment (1997), Barking Dog and Black Box Games (1998).

After 2000, big international companies swallowed the Vancouver operations – THQ acquired Relic in 2004 and Vivendi Universal bought Radical the following year. They maintained the status quo until the 2008-09 recession. Of the surviving studios, Radical suffered greatly, losing half its staff and no longer creating original games. With developers exploiting much lower labour costs in China and India, and consumers switching from consoles to online games, the days of the multimillion-dollar console game were numbered.

In the past few years, though, a more streamlined industry has emerged, with startups and small studios making B.C. vibrant again.
Film and television

Prior to 1989, the industry groundwork was in place. The B.C. Film Commission (now Creative BC) began in 1978 to attract foreign producers to the province. Big titles (First Blood, The Accused) shot in B.C. The local industry generated major hits with My American Cousin (1985) and The Grey Fox (1982). Lionsgate Studios (now North Shore Studios), Bridge Studios and Northstar (which would become Vancouver Film Studios) pumped out a steady stream of feature films and TV series. According to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 891, production in the province grew 40% per year during this period.

The 1990s remained productive. While foreign productions flourished, local directors found their niche: Mina Shum (Double Happiness), Bruce Sweeney (Live Bait, Dirty), John Pozer (The Grocer’s Wife), Lynne Stopkewich (Kissed) and Carl Bessai (Johnny).

But an industry that leans heavily on work from U.S. studios relies on the weakness of the Canadian dollar. In the new millennium, a stronger dollar and the recession of 2008-09 hurt the industry, but the big blow came from Eastern Canada, when both Ontario and Quebec sweetened their tax credits in 2007. By 2011, B.C., the continent’s third-busiest film production region behind California and New York, fell to fourth, its $1.19 billion in production topped by Ontario’s $1.26 billion. Some workers migrated east to follow the work.

While live action floundered, another industry flourished: visual effects. With a large talent pool of artists and programmers, home-based studios like Image Engine, The Embassy and Gener8 made their reputations, and big dogs from elsewhere (Industrial Light & Magic, MPC and Sony Imageworks) opened studios here.

By the summer of 2014, half of the major film titles had all or part of their visual effects done in Vancouver. And, with the Canadian dollar sagging in the past two years, live-action films and TV series are returning to the city.

Source: Business Vancouver

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

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Headline, Industry News

B.C. film, video-game industries fly high, fall hard before staging comeback

Two decades earlier, the Canadian video game industry rose out of Vancouver, as Sydney Development Corp. and Distinctive Software Inc. (DSI) developed popular games. Seeing a good thing, California-based Electronic Arts bought DSI in 1991, creating EA Canada, which grew into one of the biggest games studios in the country. That same year, Radical Entertainment opened shop, followed by Relic Entertainment (1997), Barking Dog and Black Box Games (1998).

After 2000, big international companies swallowed the Vancouver operations – THQ acquired Relic in 2004 and Vivendi Universal bought Radical the following year. They maintained the status quo until the 2008-09 recession. Of the surviving studios, Radical suffered greatly, losing half its staff and no longer creating original games. With developers exploiting much lower labour costs in China and India, and consumers switching from consoles to online games, the days of the multimillion-dollar console game were numbered.

In the past few years, though, a more streamlined industry has emerged, with startups and small studios making B.C. vibrant again.
Film and television

Prior to 1989, the industry groundwork was in place. The B.C. Film Commission (now Creative BC) began in 1978 to attract foreign producers to the province. Big titles (First Blood, The Accused) shot in B.C. The local industry generated major hits with My American Cousin (1985) and The Grey Fox (1982). Lionsgate Studios (now North Shore Studios), Bridge Studios and Northstar (which would become Vancouver Film Studios) pumped out a steady stream of feature films and TV series. According to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 891, production in the province grew 40% per year during this period.

The 1990s remained productive. While foreign productions flourished, local directors found their niche: Mina Shum (Double Happiness), Bruce Sweeney (Live Bait, Dirty), John Pozer (The Grocer’s Wife), Lynne Stopkewich (Kissed) and Carl Bessai (Johnny).

But an industry that leans heavily on work from U.S. studios relies on the weakness of the Canadian dollar. In the new millennium, a stronger dollar and the recession of 2008-09 hurt the industry, but the big blow came from Eastern Canada, when both Ontario and Quebec sweetened their tax credits in 2007. By 2011, B.C., the continent’s third-busiest film production region behind California and New York, fell to fourth, its $1.19 billion in production topped by Ontario’s $1.26 billion. Some workers migrated east to follow the work.

While live action floundered, another industry flourished: visual effects. With a large talent pool of artists and programmers, home-based studios like Image Engine, The Embassy and Gener8 made their reputations, and big dogs from elsewhere (Industrial Light & Magic, MPC and Sony Imageworks) opened studios here.

By the summer of 2014, half of the major film titles had all or part of their visual effects done in Vancouver. And, with the Canadian dollar sagging in the past two years, live-action films and TV series are returning to the city.

Source: Business Vancouver

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

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

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