B.C.’s Motion Picture Industry Remains Steady with $3.2B Contribution to Economy

Creative BC is pleased to report that 384 productions which qualified for labour-based tax credit certifications during the 2018/19 fiscal year have contributed $3.2 billion to B.C.’s economy.

 

British Columbia is world-renowned as a versatile and dependable hub for motion picture production. As a global competitor in visual effects (VFX) and animation, the motion picture industry is estimated to support full time equivalent positions totalling over 71,000 in B.C. [1]

These figures show that production activity levels are holding steady as indicated by the annual total budgeted production spend, which is slightly lower by 6% year-over-year. While the total number of productions certified by Creative BC this year is down by 68 productions year-over-year, the number of productions certified is dependent on certification submissions and timing.

With these production expenditures, direct industry jobs and labour income accounted for approximately $1.67 billion spent in British Columbia. B.C.-based creators accounted for 154 productions, with non-B.C. and foreign companies bringing 230 productions to the province.

A breakdown by program of the 384 tax credit certifications approved by Creative BC during fiscal year 2018/19 includes:

  • 154 tax credit certifications were issued under the Film Incentive BC Tax Credit Program (FIBC) for Canadian owned and controlled productions, with estimated budgeted expenditures in B.C. of $391M;
  • 230 tax credit certifications were issued under the Production Services Tax Credit (PSTC) program for international productions, with estimated budgeted expenditures in B.C. of $2.8B;
  • The Digital Animation, Visual Effects and Post-Production Tax Credit (DAVE), was leveraged by 152 of the total 154 FIBC claims and 218 of 230 of the PSTC claims respectively;
  • 139 productions of the 384 total tax credit certifications, or 36%, leveraged regional tax credits (outside the designated Vancouver area);
  • 61 of the 384 total tax credit certifications, or 16%, leveraged distant location regional tax credits (beyond the regional tax credit zone);
  • 7 FIBC projects accessed the newly established Scriptwriting Tax Credit.

A breakdown by format of the 384 tax credit certifications is below:

  • Feature Films: 95
  • Mini-series: 4
  • Movies of the Week: 84
  • TV Programs: 20
  • TV Series: 148
  • Web-based/other: 13
  • TV pilots: 20

For more information and detailed expenditures by production type, please visit: https://www.creativebc.com/motion-picture-industry-statistics


Highlights from B.C.’s motion picture industry during fiscal year 2018/19 include:

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – Over 80% of the Academy Award-winning animated film was created by animation artists and visual effects teams in the Sony Pictures Imageworks’ Vancouver studios.
  • Ironwood & Fraserwood Studios – In April 2018, Whites Studios announced renovations and expansion for two distinct studios: Ironwood and Fraserwood Studios. Ironwood has 177,000 total square footage, including seven sound stages and office facilities and Fraserwood contains 119,000 total square footage, with four sound stages and a mill shop and paint shop.
  • A Million Little Things – ABC Studios’ A Million Little Things spent over $27M in B.C. in its first season and engaged more than 779 local businesses from 32 communities across the province. The show also used the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) to stand in for the Boston Garden.[2]
  • Last Kids On Earth – This year, Vancouver-based animation studio Atomic Cartoons signed a worldwide licensing deal for their upcoming Netflix series ‘The Last Kids on Earth”, currently in production.  The studio has also worked on Hilda, the British-Canadian co-production with Netflix, based on Luke Pearson’s graphic novel.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe – Much of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has a Vancouver stamp on it with visual effects and post-production companies Industrial Light and Magic, Double Negative (DNEG), Method Studios and Cinesite working on Captain Marvel and Avengers: Infinity War.
  • Game of Thrones – Many British Columbians may have caught the Province’s screen credits at the end of episodes of the final season of Game of Thrones. That is due to the creation of the dragons that were visualized by B.C. studio Image Engine. This high-end creative work is supported by the Canadian Film and Video Production Services Tax Credit and the Province of British Columbia Production Services Tax Credit.
  • Unspeakable – The CBC drama examines the tragic circumstances in which contaminated blood and blood products infected thousands of Canadian patients with HIV. Unspeakable was created and written by BC-producer Robert Cooper and filmed on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.
  • Riverdale – Over three seasons, the Warner Bros. Television show Riverdale spent over $103M in BC, creating 1,785 jobs in the province. In season three alone, the show has spent $43M in B.C.[3]

 

[1] CMPA Profile 2018 estimates of direct and spin-off FTES, Exhibit 2-3

[3] MPA Canada: Economic Impacts of Riverdale, 2019