Fall Update From the Chair

September 19, 2012
Posted by: Leslie Wootton

The last several months have proven challenging yet productive as the MPPIA Executive works towards the objectives set out in our strategic planning session in February of this year. We’ve made some progress and over the next two quarters will see some of the outcomes of the year’s work. Two objectives that the MPPIA board set as priorities for Executive this year are nearing fruition:an industry driven study that portrays the BC production industry’s economic impact and informs the ai???story’ of the sector, its past, present and potential; an MPPIA governance and human resources structural review with a view to evolving our current operating model.

The industry wide study commissioned by MPPIA and the CMPA will be completed this fall. As most of us working in the industry will appreciate, capturing the true economic status and impact of the industry is no small challenge given that the industry does not fall into traditional data collection models; as well, data that is collected does not necessarily tell the whole story. However, working with the measurables that we know to be consistent and reliable, we are assured that the motion picture production sector is an important driver in BC’s economic mix, generating returns in dollars, diversification, jobs and industry development.

The BC production industry is a confirmed economic success story in Canada, but there is work to do going forward. BC has slipped behind its long standing position as third largest production market in North America and the competition is fierce, not just with our Canadian counterparts but with markets emerging strongly across the US and in Europe. BC still presents a strong production value proposition and according to BC Film Commission and BC Film + Media data we are doing a stable business in television, lifestyle programming, medium budget features and visual effects work. We need to work with all stakeholders in industry and government to capitalize on our market strengths and ensure BC doesn’t cede further market share.

To this end, the Industry Association itself is evaluating its ability to contribute to the overarching objectives of the BC production industry. MPPIA’s structure and governance, and proposed options to repurpose our resources for an improved operating model, are presently under review by the Board. We look forward to reporting back on the best means we identify to strengthen MPPIA’s ability to execute its mandate.

At the same time, MPPIA Executive continues its work on behalf of the membership: communications with provincial government representatives on both sides of the House are ongoing. A meeting with the Standing Committee on Finance is set for early October; we are into our second year implementing international marketing initiatives through funding from Western Economic Diversification. This includes activities in the US, UK and Hong Kong; we are particularly active in Los Angeles with support from our LA based representative Peter Wetherell, both travelling to Los Angeles and hosting LA based executives here in BC with our newly established ai???fam tour’ fund. LA activities will again culminate in a group mission in November and a client reception at the Consul General’s residence on Nov. 14; we are also very pleased to continue our collaboration with BC Film + Media and the Whistler Film Festival on the MPPIA Short Film Award. Now in its sixth cycle, we are looking forward to the next pitch session and the world premiere of the fifth completed short, Beauty Mark at the 2012 Whistler Film Festival (Nov. 28 ‘ Dec. 2).

This week, stakeholders from across BC’s creative industries will meet for two days at Capilano University for TransmitBC. This event convenes BC screen based industries to articulate our ai???story’ ‘ our collective value proposition and our future potential as an internationally recognized creative cluster.

MPPIA will bring forward results and updates in the coming weeks. To MPPIA members — thank you for your continued support and participation in MPPIA. To industry stakeholders who have not become members — please consider joining your Industry Association ‘ a broad and diverse membership gives us the clout we need to act together in the interests of the entire industry.

Peter Leitch, Chair, Motion Picture Production Industry Association of BC