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August 9, 2013

August 9th News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

TORONTO ONTARIO film office - A partnership of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, City of Toronto and FilmOntario.
WEEKLY UPDATE August 9, 2013
from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative - torontoontariofilm@gmail.com

Happy Friday everyone,

The Los Angeles-based media was buzzing this week with articles examining the state of California's film and television industry and the incentives designed to support it. 

The first to appear was a column in the Los Angeles Times from Michael Hiltzik, who has long been a vocal critic of incentives in California and elsewhere. From the widely-read front page of the Sunday business section he blasted the outsourcing of post-production work and called incentives "a mug's game in which Hollywood has played state legislators nationwide for suckers".

Meantime, a Variety story this week lamented a “profound erosion” of California’s film and TV production industry. The article below shares details from a report released Tuesday from the California Film Commission which asserts that the state’s four-year-old incentives program — which provides $100 million in tax credits annually and is administered by the commission — isn’t large enough to reverse the trend. http://variety.com/2013/film/news/california-seeing-profound-erosion-of-production-1200574785/

As the debate over incentives continues in California (and in other places as well), there are jurisdictions which remain firmly convinced of their ability to generate positive economic impact. A story in Georgia's Star News this week was positively gleeful as it reported that the possible cancellation North Carolina's incentives program would result in an uptick in business for neighboring Georgia. http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20130804/ARTICLES/130809870/1177?Title=Georgia-looks-to-benefit-if-N-C-removes-film-incentive&tc=ar

Stories like the one below go a long way towards explaining why jurisdictions compete so vigorously for production business: the L.A. Times reports that local businesses in city of Albuquerque, New Mexico are already missing Breaking Bad, which wrapped in April after six years of shooting there. As detailed below, the production spent an estimated $1 million per episode in Albuquerque and employed a cast and crew of 120 people over 62 episodes, 90% of whom were New Mexico residents. It also provided an economic boon to local companies that supplied goods and services and capitalized on the show's fan base, pitching everything from location tours to bath salts that promise to "relax away the Bad." http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-fi-ct-onlocation-breaking-bad20130807,0,1800273.story

The Italian government has renewed its cinema tax credit through 2015. As detailed in the Hollywood Reporter below, the renewal ended a contentious battle started by industry groups that threatened to disrupt parts of the upcoming Venice Film Festival. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/italy-reinstates-118-million-cinema-599607

And finally this week, while the television landscape may indeed be changing, it would seem that TV shows a la carte are not going to be a possibility anytime soon. As reported in the Los Angeles Times below, Fox's COO told shareholders this week that pay-TV distributors have no plans to offer television channels separately so consumers could pick and choose which networks they wanted and defended the TV industry's practice of selling bundles of channels as a good value for consumers. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-foxs-chase-carey-calls-ala-carte-a-fantasy-20130808,0,6632643.story

Please feel free to distribute this e-mail widely and to get in touch with me with comments or links for inclusion.

Warmest regards, 

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

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