Vancouver has long since been known as “Hollywood North”, however, it looks like our grip on the title is starting to slip. In 2011, for the first time since 2004, Ontario overtook B.C. as the number 1 film and television production centre. This still is not enough to give them the title of “Hollywood North”. They’ll have to do it for a few consecutive years before we relinquish that title.
Production in B.C. was up $167 million over 2010 totaling $1.2 billion this year. In comparison, Ontario’s spending came in at $1.265 billion. However, both figures pale in comparison to New York ($14 billion) and Los Angeles ($40 billion).
According to the ministry, foreign feature film (mainly Hollywood, sprinkled with a little Bollywood) activity in 2011 increased 55% over the previous year to $430 million, but the amount of domestic production decreased to $209 million in 2011 from $244 million the previous year.
Much of this decline can be attributed to our lower tax credits as tax credits in Ontario and Quebec are 25% higher than ours. Couple that with the idiotic scrapping of the HST in our fair province and we’ll continue to see foreign productions move to Ontario and to a lesser extent Quebec.
However, all is not doom and gloom. B.C. crews and workers are considered to be of a higher calibre in comparison to our eastern brethren. The industry directly employs 20,000 people. Furthermore, B.C. has more than 600 digital media companies employing 16,000 people generating $2.3 billion in annual sales. This is just going to increase as this year Sony Imageworks is doubling its production centre in Vancouver .
Some of the projects that were filmed in B.C. in 2011 include: Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn; Superman: Man of Steel; Elysium; Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol; Arctic Air; Alcatraz; Sanctuary; Once Upon a Time; and Real Housewives of Vancouver.