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Whister Film Festival Announces Finalists for Producers Lab

The Whistler Film Festival (WFF) has selected six Canadian producers, with five hailing from British Columbia, to participate in its seven-month, multi-phased Producers Lab. Designed to prepare Canadian producers to develop, pitch, market, and sell their creative content, the Lab is focused on strengthening original scripted feature projects.

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The six producers and projects selected for the 2020 WFF Producers Lab are:

Alex Duong (BC) with BREAKING BREAD
Sibel Guvenc (ON) with LOYA
Camille Hollett-French (BC) with MAN IN PIECES
Kate Kroll (BC) with RED WINGS
Todd McCauley (BC) with THE MEDICINE LINE
Krista Rand (BC) with RE:UNITING

Phase I will take place online throughout June and will be followed by a five-month mentorship program. Participants who complete Phase I will be invited to participate in Phase II, a business immersion experience leading up to and during the Whistler Film Festival and Content Summit from December 2 to 6, 2020.

WFF Producers Lab faculty consists of accomplished experts with extensive production experience and comprehensive knowledge of the entertainment industry. The returning program facilitator is John Galway (ON), President, Harold Greenberg Fund. The Producers Lab faculty includes Producers Lab alumna Lauren Grant (ON), Producer, Clique Pictures (RIOT GIRLS); Jason James (BC), Producer/Director, Resonance Films Inc. (ENTANGLEMENT); and Damon D’Oliveira (ON), Producer/Founder, Conquering Lion Pictures Inc. (BOOK OF NEGROES).

The WFF Producers Lab is presented by Netflix in association with Telefilm Canada, and sponsored by Creative BC and the Canadian Media Producers Association.

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Interactive + Digital Media companies currently hiring in British Columbia

Below is a list of the British Columbia companies in the Interactive and Digital Media industry currently hiring positions.

This list is courtesy of DigiBC.

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The B.C. Film Industry Adapts to Support Each Other

British Columbians take a collaborative approach and bring heart to every production. Together, the provincial ecosystem of film and television resources is devoted to providing a premier centre for screen production with an unmatchable sense of community. Productions, suppliers, vendors and companies throughout the province are finding creative ways to go above-and-beyond in giving back to the communities in which they film, adapting to support each other and its neighbouring industries during this time. We look at a few local industry companies that have acclimatized to accommodate the health industry.

Vancouver film industry supplier offering battery power for hospital equipment
Portable Electric

Portable Electric, well-known for manufacturing, selling and renting its battery-powered, no noise, no emission generators used on film and television productions has worked to pivot to health services to assist with non-traditional areas that can accommodate health services. Their signature VOLTstack generator unit is powering temporary triage centres, mobile clinics and drive-through testing. Read more in the original article by Business in Vancouver.


Vancouver Mobile Dressing Rooms

Vancouver Mobile Dressing Rooms, a leader in the mobile entertainment company yielding the largest fleet of trucks and trailers in Vancouver set up one of their new eco-friendly cast trailers to support the B.C. Governments Mobile Medical Unit positioned at the Abbotsford Hospital. Their unit will be used as a place for Correctional Officers to shower, and isolate while on and off active duty. Vancouver Mobile Dressing Room continues to collaborate and work with the community to provide safe mobile areas to prevent outbreaks and support those seeking isolation.

 


ABC “The Good Doctor”

The popular ABC series filmed here in B.C. and produced by Brightlight Pictures, “The Good Doctor”, was among the medical productions in North American to contribute by donating masks, gowns and gloves to medical workers and hospitals in need. Brightlight Pictures worked directly with the provincial government to ensure that medical supplies from the series were being distributed where needed and abided by national safety standards.

Have good news to share from B.C.’s motion picture industry? Send us your stories!

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Motion Picture Industry’s PPE Drive Delivers

Location Managers, MPPIA, DGC BC and IATSE 891 Support Province’s Call for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

B.C.’s motion picture industry is staying home and staying safe in observance of measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in B.C.

However, their coordination, resourcefulness and community-mindedness are being redirected in support of pandemic relief and provincial collaboration. To serve government authorities’ need for more PPE to keep B.C.’s frontline healthcare workers safe, many companies, productions and individuals in the province’s film industry are rallying to round up materials and donations, ensuring they serve the COVID-19 Supply Hub directly and efficiently.

Coordinated by Location Managers Ken Brooker and Mary Jo Beirnes (who works on The Magicians), along with their teams with support from the DGC BC, IATSE 891, MPPIA, Whites LES, and Creative BC.

Results of the drive include over $57,000 worth of PPE donations, all of which were identified by local film industry productions, suppliers, and individuals for diversion in support of the provincial effort.

The Province of BC indicates that priority products for support of the COVID-19 response are medical in nature. View them on the COVID-19 Supply Hub.

Here’s the list of priority products that B.C.’s film industry delivered in support of the Province’s COVID-19 response:

23,790 nitrile gloves  |  6,635  shoe-covers  |  2,515 N95 masks  |  1,903 isolation gowns  |  890 dust masks  |  700 surgical masks  |  612 full-body paint suits  |  407 safety-glasses/goggles  |  51 half-mask respirators  |  40 Surgical caps  | 36 Litres Hand-Sanitizer   |  25 Surgical drapes  |  12 full face-shields

If you can donate or supply products from the list below you are invited to submit an offer through the Province’s webform.

Hollywood is watching its friends in British Columbia as both Deadline and the Hollywood Reporter covered the story.

BC Literary Festival Calendar: 2019/20

 

A Literary Adventure

As summer in B.C. begins to cool and fade into fall there is yet another festival season approaching. Literary festivals! That’s right. Grab your pumpkin spice lattes’, throw on your chunky knit sweaters and head out to one of these incredible festivals hilighting all things, book, poetry, writing and more.

LiterAsian: September 27-28 | Vancouver

Victoria Festival of Authors: October 2-6| Victoria

Cascadia Poetry Festival:  October 4-5 | Cumberland

VCON 43: October 11-13 | Vancouver

Whistler Writers Festival: October 17-20 | Whistler

The Vancouver Writers Fest: October 21-27 | Vancouver

Surrey International Writers’ Conference: October  25-27 | Surrey

Growing Room: March 11-15| Vancouver

The Creative Ink Festival for Writers and Readers: May 15-17  | Burnaby

 

 

 

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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

BC Music Festival Calendar: Summer 2019

Summer is here and that means the days are long, the sun is hot and the music scene is thriving!

With genres ranging from Alternative, Pop, to Hip-Hop, Country and everything in between, we have compiled a list of some of the best music festivals BC has to offer. With festivals spanning across the province there is something for everyone.

Indian Summer Festival: Jul 4 – 14 | Vancouver 

Carnaval Del Sol: July 6 – 7 | Vancouver

Khatsahlano Street Party:  July 6 | Vancouver

Okanagan Indigenous Music and Arts Festival: July 6 – 7 | Okanagan

Q’ƏMCÍN 2 Rivers Remix : Jult 6 – 7| Lytton

Atlin Arts and Music Festival: July 12 – 14 | Atlin

Bass Coast: July 12 – 15 | Merritt

African Descent Festival: July 20 -21 | Vancouver

Fort Langley Jazz Festival: July 26 – 28 | Langley

Squamish Consellation Festival: July 26 – 28 | Squamish

Luna Arts Festival: July 27 – 29 | Revelstoke

Rockin’ River Musicfest: August 1 – 4 | Merritt

Vancouver Mural Festival: August 1 – 10 | Vancouver

Hornby Festival: Aug 1 – 10 | Hornby Island

Mosaic Arts & Culture Festival: August 2 – 3 | Pender Island

Five Acre Shaker Musicfest: Aug 9 – 11 | Port Alberni

Shambhala Music Festival: Aug 9 – 12| Nelson

The Robson Valley Music Festival: Aug 16 – 18 | Dunster

Nelson Mural Festival: Aug 16 – 18 | Nelson

CULTIVATE Theatre + Music + Art Festival: Aug 30 – Sept 1 | Gabriola Commons

Denim on the Diamond: Aug 31 | Kelowna

Koksilah Music Festival: September 6 – 8 | Cowichan Valley

New Forms Festival: September 26 – 29 | Vancouver

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An Interview With Brenda Bailey Executive Director of DigiBC, The Interactive and Digital Media Industry Association of B.C.

“I want people to trust that I will work on their behalf.”-Brenda Bailey

With training in business and law, a background in social work, and a degree in Arabic, Brenda Bailey has followed a unique career path. “Everyone expected me to do typically female jobs, when really, I should have been a technologist right from the start. But we didn’t know about those opportunities.”

Brenda grew up in a small town on Vancouver Island. “In the early 80s, arcades were all the rage. I think the arcade was a really integral part of growing up in a small town at that time. It’s something we did with our friends; it was our community.”

Back then, it never felt odd to Brenda to be a girl playing video games – it wasn’t seen as a male space, but that changed with the onset of first-person shooter games. “I don’t believe video gaming is an innately male space – I think it’s been a reflection of who’s making the video games rather than an innate desire to play them.” With that in mind, she set out to change the types of games being made by going into the video game business. “I wanted to build high quality games for girls, but it was tough as there weren’t a lot of concepts being developed.”

After working with several startups in the interactive digital media space, Brenda was asked to lead DigiBC, an umbrella association that supports people working in video games, animation, visual effects, augmented and virtual reality. It’s an amazing time in the interactive digital media world right now, and there’s been incredible growth in the digital media space because there’s so much technology and so many technologists coming outof the video game industry.

“We have the largest cluster of animation studios in the world. From Parksville to Kelowna to Victoria, there’s an incredible technology sector thriving in our province.”

Video games are no longer something that you need to access at your local arcade – the technology is in your pocket.There’s more ability to make and deliver games than ever before, and that gives rise to new voices. “It’s now about discoverability. The market is saturated with so much product that we need to help those diverse stories come forward.”

Getting young people involved in technology, and helping stories be told, is what’s fueling Brenda now. She’s trying to incentivize the creation of intellectual property here in B.C., and she’s focusing on empowering and equipping the next generation. She’s exposing students to the plethora of opportunities that exist within B.C.’s interactive digital media space. “If it’s art you’re interested in, become an animator. If you’re a natural leader, become a producer.”

There are opportunities for musicians, mathematicians, even those kids who maybe don’t fit into any place yet.” What’s really exciting for Brenda though is the number of women leading this space to move forward. “If you look at the leaders in Vancouver’s technology and creative industries, it’s amazing – I’ve never seen so many women! So is it really a surprise then that the different tech industries are working together more and more, and collaborating? I don’t think so,” she says with a smile.

An Interview with Kim Thé, Booking Representative & Artist Manager at Pebble Star Artists

Kim Thé gives us some incite into Pebble Star Artists, a full-service art management and booking agency for family friendly entertainment and young audiences. With a little help from Creative BC Kim talks about what the future looks like for this family built company and what exciting things we can expect to see from them in the future! Check it out.

How did you or your company get started?

My husband is children’s performer Will Stroet from Will’s Jams on CBC Kids, and I’ve been working as his manager and booking agent since he started performing in 2005. We formally incorporated our company, Pebble Star Productions, in 2012 when we landed a deal with CBC television and got into TV production. Over the years while managing Will, I was also working in marketing and communications in the private and public sectors. In 2013, juggling motherhood, our company work and a communications job became too much, so I started working full-time for our company to handle all the grant writing, event production, bookings, branding, merchandise coordination and marketing. After booking Will for more than 1,500 shows over the years and receiving more requests than I could fulfill, I decided to launch my own booking agency Pebble Star Artists in March 2017.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Thanks to the support of Creative BC, I was able to launch a new website and attend a few performing arts showcases for the first time across the country last year to promote my roster. It was great to meet people face-to-face since I’ve only ever communicated by email and phone. I’ve had a successful first year booking shows for my artists.

What milestones have you achieved or are you focusing on now?

One of my artists,  beatboxer and livelooper RupLoops had a great showcase at Arts NorthWest in Oregon and I’m working on booking his first US tours for 2019/2020. Another one of my artists, Bollywood dancer Karima Essa, had a great showcase at ArtStarts, which resulted in a 50-plus show tour in schools this year.  I also worked with Will to build his new Will’s Jams Live multimedia show which has toured in China three times since July 2017. We’ll be working on building Will’s brand in China and Hong Kong to move beyond Canada. Will and I also raised $9,000 through Kickstarter to support  the recording of his new album, which will be launched at the Children’s Festivals in Vancouver, Surrey and Kootenays in May 2019

Are there any projects we should know about that we can promote for you?

Thanks to the support of Creative BC, we’ve been able to produce lots of new video content for Will. We recently  launched a new web series called Will’s World to build Will’s profile online. It’s a fun show for kids and their parents that can be described as “Wayne’s World” meets “Mr. Rogers” with a dad’s sensibility! ” We’ve also just started releasing French lyric videos for French teachers and students as well. I’m also really really excited to be working with local soul singer Krystle Dos Santos. We’ve developed a young audience show called  “A History of Motown,” which she’ll perform at the ArtStarts showcase in March, and will hopefully result in a significant amount of school bookings in the 2019/2020 school year.

If there is a particular individual currently working at your company or with whom your company has worked with in the past who has had notable impact, please tell us more about them…

With Creative BC’s help, we’ve been able to hire Mital Gorman as our marketing coordinator. She is the main producer and videographer for Will’s World who is full of great ideas and has helped me produce two successful Family Day concerts in February 2018 to showcase some of my artists. She also helps us with our social media planning and newsletters. It’s been great to have another person working with us on a regular basis to grow both of our companies.

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An Interview With Ian Harper Producer of Inanimate Alice.

“We are trusting people to contribute to the story as is progresses”-Ian Harper

As an International Project Manager, Ian Harper spent most of his life travelling. He lived and worked in the Middle East, South East Asia, and Africa before settling down in Nanaimo, B.C. where he now produces the digital novel, Inanimate Alice.

Ian loves the fact that he can work from anywhere thanks to technology, yet he says technology doesn’t always benefit us. “Thirteen years ago, I was at Waterloo Station in London waiting for a train when a young woman bowled me over while she was looking at her phone.” That may have been Ian’s first experience of someone being so distracted by technology they lost grasp of where they were, but it was not his last.

Those experiences inspired him to explore the hold that technology has on us. It also challenged him to find a way to use technology to help people better understand their place in the world, rather than feel so disconnected. “The underlying dilemma for me was, who is controlling the conversation, who is driving the relationship?”

Once Ian started asking these kinds of questions, he was compelled to change his entire career. “By the time I was 50, I got to this moment in life where I realized I could do something else. I went back to school to learn to write for the screen. It was an eye-opening experience, and it sparked this need in me to tell an in-depth story involving technology and connectivity.

”Inanimate Alice is an ongoing digital novel that progressively incorporates interactive media. It’s a collaboration between Ian, writer Kate Pullinger and developers Chris Joseph and Andy Campbell. Alice starts out as a young girl learning to use technology. As she gets older, the viewer experiences greater technological complexity through the unfolding story. “Each episode becomes more and more complicated, and you uncover things as you go. It leaves much to the imagination and encourages readers to find their inspiration within ideas. It’s a voyage of exploration, which is why I think kids are attracted to it.”

Ian is currently working with libraries to develop a unique model where people can access each episode on library servers and use their virtual reality headsets to interact with the series.

“This is a key moment for reading,” states Ian, “as libraries define their role in teaching digital and technological literacy in support of the new economy.”

With the support of Creative BC, Ian has been able to build partnerships such as with the Fraser Valley Regional Library, where Inanimate Alice is now available. “Creative BC has done a fantastic job promoting this series and helping us build relationships with libraries. Now we need support to complete the story.”

Inanimate Alice has been downloaded by at least 1.5 million people, with more and more teachers using it as a tool in their classroom. “We are talking about a story that inspires and opens up the imagination. Kids and teachers alike feel like they are coming along with us on the journey – they are part of the team.”