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NABET 700-M UNIFOR represents over 3000 Film, Television and New Media Technicians in the province of Ontario.

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July 24, 2017

July 21st News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

Happy Friday everyone,

If Mayor Eric Garcetti gets his way, Los Angeles will see a major push to keep even more film and TV production business in the city. As reported in Variety yesterday, Mayor Garcetti has announced his intention to push for an increase in California’s production tax incentives to at least $500 million annually — up more than 50% from the current $330 million.

For years now, industry watchers have been predicting the imminent demise of major network broadcasters with a revenue model dependent on traditional advertising: news this week may quiet those dire predictions just a little. As detailed in the L.A. Times below, despite falling viewer ratings and fears over cord-cutting, major advertisers in the just-concluded upfront ad sales market placed orders for $19.7 billion worth of prime-time commercial spots on cable and broadcast TV networks, an increase of 5.9% over last year.

The L.A. Times this week also had a few stories that spotlighted the perennial issue of on-set safety.

A stuntman on The Walking Dead has died from injuries suffered last week on the show's set in Georgia. As reported below, though film and TV-related deaths declined in the 1990s and early 2000s, thanks to ramped-up safety efforts, plus the rise of digital effects replacing physical stunts, a 2015 Times report revealed an increased number of fatalities during filming in recent years, with some blaming the need to get increasingly dramatic footage to stay competitive, especially in reality TV.

Also, the parents of Sarah Jones, the camera assistant who was killed during filming of a movie in Georgia in 2014, won a significant legal victory Monday when a court awarded the family $11.2 million in damages. http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-sarah-jones-csx-verdict-20170717-story.html

You might be sick of reports about Netflix's plans to take over the world, but the stories keep coming, so I'm going to keep presenting them. The Toronto Star built an engaging feature around statements the streaming giant made this week following the release of its earnings report on Monday. “We understand that our approach to films — debuting movies on Netflix first — is counter to Hollywood’s century-old windowing tradition,” Netflix said. “But just as we changed and reinvented the TV business by putting consumers first and making access to content more convenient, we believe internet TV can similarly reinvigorate the film business.” https://www.thestar.com/business/2017/07/19/netflix-sets-its-sights-on-hollywoods-movie-business.html

The Toronto International Film Festival is fast approaching and the trades are full of stories about this year's programs. As detailed in the Hollywood Reporter below, the Trump administration's Muslim travel ban and upcoming NAFTA talks with Canada and Mexico are set to dominate as fest organizers say their industry conference will feature a panel of film producers and lawyers debating the impact of President Donald Trump's scaled-back travel ban on global film making.

Finally this week, congratulations to Ontario shingle Scythia Films, which made international headlines in the trades, thanks to a new partnership with Stellar Citizens on a development fund targeting film and television projects originating in the US, Canada and Europe. Screen Daily International has details below.

Warmest regards,

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

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