Message From the Chair: 2015 Objectives Align

June 5, 2015
Posted by: Leslie Wootton

Halfway through 2015 I can report with confidence that the planets have aligned and our objectives across industry, government, client and community stakeholder groups are being reached thanks to the hard work of many.

On April 28 & 29, BC creative industries gathered to introduce the newly established ‘BC Creates’ communications initiative to industry and government partners at special events held in Victoria. Under the banner BC Creates, screen, music, digital and book/magazine publishing sectors are working together to share the story of the economic, social and cultural contributions that together make up the province’s thriving creative economy. In the coming year, a combination of branded special events, and communications across social and traditional media channels will help raise awareness of the knowledge and talent driven sectors that together generate $4 billion in GDP and 85,000 quality jobs in BC. The Victoria events demonstrated a great appetite and enthusiasm for the BC Creates initiative across industry and government and we look forward to building the story together. Click on the link to see the BC Creates ‘sizzle reel’ and click here for red carpet/event highights. An update on the next phase of BC Creates is coming soon, in the meantime you can join us in telling the story now on facebook, @BCcreates and #bccreates.

The film and television industry has had an especially promising 2014/15, with production and employment at an all time high. Our partners in the Provincial Government have fulfilled their 2013 commitment to a sharp competitiveness strategy for screen production in BC, with newly dedicated Los Angeles based resources for client relations and new business development, as well as an adjustment to the DAVE tax credit that captures post production expenses, also new in 2015.

At the same time, cooperation with our clients from south of the border here in BC has never been better, thanks to our crews and talent, and some exemplary efforts on the part of the City of Vancouver Film Office and Creative BC. The City of Vancouver demonstrated the gold standard in customer and community relations, managing a high profile, prolonged location shoot on the Georgia Viaduct for Deadpool, starring Ryan Reynolds. A win-win solution that benefitted both the production and the Vancouver community was brokered by the Film Office, showcasing ‘the possible’ when working collaboratively on a positive outcome for everyone.

Also this spring, Walt Disney Studios worked with the MPA-Canada, Creative BC and the Province of BC to highlight British Columbia’s role in the recently released Tomorrowland starring George Clooney. Ahead of the BC premiere of Tomorrowland on May 21, the MPA-Canada with Disney mounted a ‘Proudly Filmed in Beautiful BC’ campaign that showcased BC’s significant contribution to the production. Upon release of the filmthe production’s economic analysis was also released, which over a six month period between 2013-14 generated $91 million in production spending and created 1,800 jobs. It was an unprecedented shout out to British Columbia from a major US studio, and represents the kind of collaborative communication that is meaningful to the broader community in a tangible way.

AT the MPPIA Board it has been unanimously agreed upon the importance of sharing more in depth stories of BC screen production industries, as well as to put our story in the context of BC’s broader creative economy. In keeping with this, BC Creates will be high on our priority list when we formulate our strategic plan going forward and when we meet for our AGM to elect next year’s Executive Board.

Also high on our priority list is an ongoing commitment to community engagement, as well as continued encouragement for BC’s next generation of filmmakers. Our annual Stephen J. Cannell Charity Golf Classic is coming up quickly on June 22 and in the spirit of the BC Creates collaboration, we are inviting our colleagues from music, digital media and publishing to join us to golf, or just participate in the evening festivities . We’ll be raising funds for the MPPIA Short Film Award and Dream Big Productions — the latter an extremely valued industry mentoring program for youth at risk that has been real a boon for Lower Mainland kids. The spring event is always a great gathering and this year we’re breaking out of the dining room for a more informal evening of networking and entertainment, great prizes and fundraising.

We have a lot to celebrate this year and much to be grateful for, so it’s a good time for giving back — I hope to see everyone at Point Grey Golf & Country Club on June 22!

Peter Leitch, Chair

Motion Picture Production Industry Assn of BC