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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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September 4, 2018

August 31st News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

Happy Friday everyone,

Labour Day approaches and box office receipts are expected to provide Hollywood its best summer in years. As detailed in the Los Angeles Times below, ticket sales in the U.S. and Canada from the first weekend of May through Labour Day are expected to hit $4.4 billion in 2018, up 14% from the same period last year, when a string of costly bombs raised alarm that theatrical movies had ceded their cultural relevance to shows on Netflix, HBO and Hulu. 

Diversity has continued to be a hot button issue during the past year and I feel strongly that filmmakers and screen-based stakeholders who sincerely work towards ensuring all people have equal opportunity will be best positioned to succeed.

There were several articles published this week which reflect how the industry is addressing diversity, including one from the LA Times below which reports that more than 3,000 people, including multiple prominent actors, directors and producers, have signed an open letter calling on the entertainment industry to end what activists describe as a vast pay gap between male and female production workers.

The Wrap reported this week that influential movie review site Rotten Tomatoes is adjusting its critics criteria for its Tomatometer rating system, allowing for a wider and more diverse pool of critics. 

And a study released by the Directors Guild of America this week indicates that strides towards diversity may be paying off. As reported in Deadline below, the DGA found that the pool of first-time episodic TV directors is more inclusive than ever, with women and minorities seeing dramatic employment gains and setting record highs for the second year in a row. 

We all know that the amount of content being created right now is unprecedented and many of the articles in this space over the past few years have related to ways in which various jurisdictions, including Ontario, are struggling to accommodate demand for production-related services. Variety this week reports that the U.K.'s Pinewood Shepperton Studios will undergo a US $640 million redevelopment and expansion, which will increase its stage space by around 465,000 square feet.

Louisiana is another region that has enjoyed enormous growth the last several years: local TV station 4WWL reports that the state will capitalize on that success with a new Movie Trail, which leads visitors on a tour of 25 sites where their favorite movies were filmed. As reported below, the Louisiana Office of Tourism estimates that 9 percent of visitors were influenced by viewing productions filmed and set in Louisiana and the state's Lieutenant Governor will introduce the Trail to an emerging international travel market in China this weekend. 

Finally, this week, the Ottawa Film Office and studio operator TriBro Studios have unveiled a proposal to build a $40-million sound stage campus and creative hub in the nation's capital. As detailed in Playback below, public consultation hearings are set to begin Sept. 5th and more specific details about the proposal will be unveiled in the coming weeks. 

Warmest regards,

Kelly Graham-Scherer

Los Angeles Representative

Toronto/ Ontario Film Office

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