Message From the Chair: Where to grow in 2017/18

June 13, 2017
Posted by: Leslie Wootton

June 4th was the final celebration in a three night tribute to film and television excellence in British Columbia at the 2017 Leo Awards. The message that resonated from the podium: let’s build BC based talent, creative content, IP ownership — right here at home — to ensure that our entertainment production sector is viable and sustainable in BC for future generations.

It’s an important message for MPPIA to take on board as we develop the Association’s strategic plan for the coming year and beyond. BC is a key market in the constellation of North America’s top production centres, but we still have work to do to ensure that BC’s star continues to rise when it comes to building BC companies, creating original content and retaining IP.

Many BC production industry stakeholders straddle ‘foreign’ service and domestic production activity for a robust business model that sustains the ebb and flow of our business. International production predominantly from Los Angeles is still the major force that drives BC industry employment and supply chain demands, and we value this work and its role building the BC production ecosytem. Similarly on the digital entertainment front, BC has also become one of the world’s prominent hubs — all of which has helped drive our international reputation for excellence as a centre for production.

As we plan for the future of our industry in BC, we want to aim for greater opportunities across BC based production interests for a balanced industry landscape that is less vulnerable to uncontrollable competitive conditions. As well, we want to drive industry education and skills training forward to ensure that BC talent and expertise matches the specialized demands of a global industry sector that is continually being reshaped by emerging technology and market conditions.

At MPPIA’s AGM on May 30th, we elected a strong 2017/18 Executive Committee to help set the course for the Association in the coming year and move our Association and industry priorities forward. MPPIA will continue to work collaboratively with government at all levels to ensure that together we have the best prospects for success. That means bringing into focus the objectives noted above and engaging with provincial, federal and municipal partners as well as key industry stakeholders to identify and support the measures that will lead to a stronger motion picture production sector in BC, with some of the world’s best equipped industry professionals.

At the same time we want to cultivate and grow BC’s reputation for excellence across all segments of our production industry by continuing to lead, innovate, as well as build the cross sector engagement that contributes to the growing importance and influence of BC’s knowledge driven creative economy. We’ve made great progress on cross sector collaboration in recent years, and in telling our collective story under the banner of the BC Creates brand message — this is work that we want to continue building on.

Creative BC is our close ally in all of the above and we’re pleased to work with their growing team — on that note I want to welcome Creative BC’s newBC Film Commissioner and Director of Production Services, Sandi Richter Cooper to the fold and wish the entire Creative BC team the best success in their new home at 7 West 6th Avenue in Vancouver.

Something that I have personally appreciated in my years working with BC’s production sector is the integral, ongoing and dedicated commitment to community citizenship. It shows up in every aspect of our work, whether it’s leadership in environmental sustainability through Reel Green, leadership in strong community relations through the Motion Picture Community Initiative, or the generosity of the individuals who go above and beyond to contribute and improve opportunities for others. Two great examples of people in our midst that are being honoured right now for their exemplary contributions: Templeton Secondary/Dream Big Productions’ Jim Crescenzo, recently awarded the Certificate of Teaching Excellence by Prime Minister Trudeau; and the CMPA-BC ‘s Liz Shorten, who will be recognized as Woman of the Year by Women in Film + TV at the Spotlight Awards on June 20. Congratulations to Jim and Liz for this well-deserved recognition.

On a similar note, I want to remind everyone to bring their community spirit to our annual charitable fundraiser The Stephen J. Cannell Classic Golf Tournament and Barbeque at Point Grey Golf and Country Club on June 19. Whether you’re in for an entertaining day of golf, or you prefer to join us on the patio to just take in the view of the course — this is a worthy event supporting two great initiatives — Dream Big Productions and the MPPIA Short Film Award. I hope to see you there.

Peter Leitch, Chair

Motion Picture Production Industry Assn. of BC