Message From the MPPIA Chair: Managing our Value Proposition in Promising Times

November 1, 2015
Posted by: Leslie Wootton

With the final quarter of 2015 upon us, it’s been a banner year in screen production in BC. At the same time, MPPIA has made important progress this year building stronger ties across stakeholder groups in industry and government, participating with collaborative creative industries communications initiative BC Creates, and looking ahead to develop a three year strategic plan for MPPIA going forward.

On BC’s production landscape priorities have shifted significantly in the past 18 months, where the fairly recent threat of dwindling employment in 2013 has turned into an excess demand for crew, talent, infrastructure and location resources. It’s good news for BC, but with extra strain on our capacities across the board comes client/stakeholder management of a different kind. In these circumstances, BC locations come under pressure, as do the people on the ground representing production and the host communities. Add new production personnel and demanding schedules to the mix and we have a potential recipe to undo some of the good will and solid reputation for streamlined production that BC has earned over many years. MPPIA’s Community Affairs Committee has ramped up its activity with more frequent issues management meetings to craft some short term solutions, as well as work with Creative BC, production professionals and municipal stakeholders to establish some longer term strategies for location/community resource management.

Education and information sharing across both industry and BC communities is key to our continued success, and so is building up BC’s human resources with new generations of industry professionals. Screen entertainment and our counterpart creative sectors in BC provide good quality, well paying knowledge based jobs. The future of BC’s creative economy depends on the next wave of skill and talent available to us, and it’s in all of our interests to help pave the way. To this end, MPPIA’s annual Motion Picture & New MediaCareer Expo is taking place on Wednesday November 4th at the Creekside Community Centre in Olympic Village. Under the lead of MPPIA’s Education & Training Committee, we have been co-presenters of this event for 8 years; hundreds of students both secondary and post secondary, as well as mature students and working professionals come out to find out what they need to know to join the ranks of our industry work force. Drop in if your schedule permits — you may find an opportunity to share valuable insight with some of BC’s promising up and comers.

Whether it’s locations management, human resource development or stakeholder engagement, communication is central to every objective we want to drive, which is why the BC Creates communications initiative has been a priority for us since it was introduced earlier this year. Since the April 29 launch in Victoria, MPPIA representatives have been participating in the BC Creates steering committee to continue the work to build the brand message through the web and social media assets. As well, MPPIA has branded its own events and collaborations with the BC Creates message, to help spread the word that together BC’s creative industries are communicating and celebrating BC’s creative economy. In late July, Minister Shirley Bond proclaimed ‘Screen in BC Day’ and and toured industry facilities in physical production, post and visual effects, and education. At the same time the Minister also announced the BC Government’s recent enhancements to screen production marketing resources south of the border, along with the provincial government’s commitment to a strong creative economy in BC. BC’s creative sectors have already built a good foundation of stakeholder engagement with BC Creates, but it’s important that we keep building so that eventually BC Creates becomes a recognizable message that resonates with a broad audience across the province.

Looking ahead, MPPIA expects to continue collaborating closely on the BC Creates brand message with our gateway creative industries organization, Creative BC and our counterpart industry associations. We want to welcome new Creative BC CEO Prem Gill aboard as we look forward to working on the mutual benefits of aligned or combined strategies. Film production services have never been more important during these busy times and if we continue to build on our multi sector communications, we’ll be providing the narrative that gives context to our work within BC’s economy overall.

We are in very positive territory for screen production in BC right now and it’s a great opportunity for us to build on a solid value proposition that exceeds the obvious benefits of low currency and smart, stable tax policy. It’s a great time to build our story here in BC and beyond our borders — because the BC Creates message is real in this province as we have matured to become one of the world’s premier creative industry hubs.

At MPPIA, our work depends on industry engagement of every measure whether it’s financial support through member dues, or further, through active participation in the execution of our mandate. We welcome any kind of involvement, as our work together is important to everyone with a stake in BC’s screen production sector. I would like to welcome Don Thompson of Finale Editworks and Mitch Kosterman of Sunbelt Rentals as the most recent additions to the MPPIA Board of Directors. Mitch and Don are both long term members of MPPIA and industry builders at large — I look forward to working with both of them, and the rest of our board and membership to keep BC production on top of its game.

Peter Leitch, Chair