As 2013 draws to a close, I want to take this opportunity to thank the BC Branch Council (and especially Chair Brian Hamilton) for their commitment and engagement over this past year. In addition, Gigi, Jennifer, Linda and Kori should be recognized for their hard work in support of BC members. We’ve got a busy 2014 ahead and are looking forward to some down time over the holiday break. Please note that all CMPA offices will be closed from December 20 – January 6. All the best for 2014!
Provincial Government Update
Created in BC Packages: During the July sitting of the Legislature CMPA-BC delivered “creative boxes” with branding “Created in BC” (including BC books, music, magazines, film/TV DVD’s) to all 85 Provincial MLA’s. The “Created in BC” branding will be used in joint creative coalition efforts moving forward.
Presentation to Standing Committee on Finance: CMPA appeared alongside Music BC and the Association of Book Publishers of BC before the Standing Committee on September 23. Our presentation featured the “Created in BC” brand and called for additional resources for Creative BC.
Provincial Government Meetings: CMPA-BC has participated in a number of meetings since the provincial election with key MLA’s and Ministers and relevant opposition critics. Key messages focus on profiling CMPA-BC members, their significance within the broader film and television industry and the importance of BC based production as part of the larger creative economy.
Minister and MLA Briefing and Tour: Minister Shirley Bond and 18 other Liberal MLA’s participated in tour of North Shore Studios, Sharpe Sound, Pixar and a set visit of “Motive” at the Bridge Studios. The tour was very well received and much information was provided to tour participants about all aspects of the industry including the importance of BC owned production.
We Create BC: This positive public relations campaign regarding BC’s film/tv industry was re-launched at a VIFF Industry Hour reception on Oct 3. CMPA has contributed financially to the campaign and Liz participates on the Steering Committee. For more information check out the We Create BC website and Facebook page.
Another busy year is coming to a close and the IR Team is looking forward to the Holidays. We will be back in 2014 with renewed energy, lots of new projects and, after UBCP Animation negotiations in February, a spring and summer of prep then back to the bargaining table in late fall /early 2015 to negotiate the DGC BC Collective Agreement, the BCCFU Master Agreement and the UBCP Master Agreement.
February 2014 – UBCP Animation:
Jennifer and I will be at the table with UBCP and nine CMPA-BC Animation companies on February 4th and 5th, 2014 to negotiate the renewal of the 2008-2010 BC Animation Agreement. We have some ongoing work to do now and in January on a Producers Animation Bargaining Protocol and the gathering of bargaining proposals but we are on track for the February dates and look forward to working with our members to renew the expired agreement.
We will be prepping for BCCFU Master/DGC BC/UBCP Master bargaining for most of the spring and summer. All three agreements expire in March of 2015 and prep for bargaining usually starts about a year ahead of the expiry date(s). We will do the early prep in-house in March/April then go out to our CMPA-BC membership to ask for committee volunteers and send out requests for proposals later in the summer.
AMPTP bargaining schedule:
The AMPTP (our bargaining partners south of the boarder) have a very busy 2014 coming up with back to back WGA and SAG-AFTRA bargaining scheduled from January 2014 through the spring. The AMPTP and the DGA came to terms on a new contract in November, 2013 and you can read the DGA press release detailing the outcome of negotiations. It is an interesting read. Remember – our unions like to watch for the outcome of the DGA deal to try and divine a bargaining pattern going into their negotiations with us so we will all be paying close attention to the details.
Other IR initiatives and news:
Data gathering and analysis:
We are now almost a year into our BC productions data gathering/stats project. Linda Hay, our Senior Projects Manager headed up the process and with the team created some really informative internal reports. We are analyzing the stats for use in production volume reporting, year over year comparisons and revenue reporting, collection and estimating. We are gaining clearer insight into BC production trends and a better understanding of the financial impact of the production industry in BC. We will be reporting the results of our analysis to the BC Branch Council on a quarterly basis come 2014.
UBCP Stunts Members:
Tracey wood, Jennifer and I met with members of the UBCP Stunts community in August of 2013 to discuss some ongoing issues. We will be asking the Producers and UBCP Stunts members to come together to discuss working together collaboratively and safely on all productions. We are also talking to the DGCBC about having a joint meeting with Producers, PM’s, AD’s and Stunt members- hopefully early in the New Year.
Actsafe appoints new Executive Director
We at the CMPA-BC want to take this opportunity to welcome Geoff Teoli as the new Executive Director of Actsafe. Geoff has worked in film location and production management for eighteen years, as a freelance location and production unit manager for Canadian and US studios. Most recently, he held the Film Coordinator and Consultant role in the City of Vancouver’s Film and Special Events Office.
Geoff is currently working with the Actsafe team to tackle such issues as bullying and harassment, aerial lift training, working alone, concussions and fire safety to name a few. Says Geoff “I am very excited to now be asked to lead the organization as it moves into a new phase of increased collaboration with our stakeholders and continued delivery of innovative safety solutions to the industries we represent.” We look forward to working with Geoff and the Actsafe team on the above initiatives in 2014.
Power to the Pixel Cross-Media Forum, Oct 15-18, 2013 in London, UK
I attended the Power to the Pixel conference – a three day series of meetings, panels, pitches, case study presentations and B2B meetings for international media producers, distributors and media organization representatives. A Canadian delegation of producers attended (organized and partially funded by Andra Sheffer at The Bell Fund). While in London I was able to spend time with international producers and the Canadian delegation talking about possibilities and potential for international co-productions in the world of digital media. As always learning about emerging rights issues in the digital world is of interest to CMPA IR staff as we move forward toward bargaining New Media terms with the DGC, the WGC and ACTRA/UBCP in 2015.
MPPIA LA Marketing trip, Nov 18-20, 2013
Thirty members of the BC production community met with over 35 companies in three days during the annual MPPIA Marketing Trip to LA in November. Split into teams of 5 or 6 people, each team included a rep from Production, Post Production, Production Services, Studio Rentals and Finance. Our team took meetings with Freemantle Media, TNT, NBC Universal, DreamWorks, CBS Television, Fox Television, MGM, EOne, Lifetime, Showtime and FX. Most production executives we spoke to were pleased with the production environment in BC and all were interested in any news of an increase to the tax credit. On Wednesday night Consul General David Fransen hosted the MPPIA group and LA executives at cocktail party at the Canadian Consulate. Jane Thornthwaite (BC Liberal MLA) was in attendance and emphasised the Liberal government’s commitment to increasing the post production tax credit.
Lots more ongoing and coming up in 2014. Get in touch anytime with questions or suggestions. We really want to hear from you.
Have a wonderful holiday season and all the best in 2014!
Cheers from Jennifer, Linda and Gigi
Annual General Meeting and 2014 Branch Council Election Results
The 2013 Annual General Meeting of the BC Producers’ Branch was held on Tuesday December 10 followed by a wine + cheese Holiday Reception. The results of the 2014 Branch Council election were announced at the meeting with returning Branch Council members Karyn Edwards (Pictopia Pictures), Brian Hamilton (Omnifilm Entertainment), Barb Harwood (Thunderbird Films), Jayme Pfahl (Anodyne Productions), Kim Roberts (Honalee Productions), Cal Shumiatcher (Paperny Entertainment) and Elyot Waller (Nerd Corps Entertainment). In addition, Matt Toner (Zeros to Heroes) was elected. The 2014 Executive will be appointed at a subsequent Branch Council meeting.
Over the past few months, CMPA-BC has facilitated two meetings between the CMPA-BC Feature Film Committee and Telefilm’s Dave Forget (Director, Business Affairs and Certification) and Michel Pradier (Director, Project Financing). Topics included soliciting feedback from producers on recent changes to the Development Program and the new Fast Track Program (intended to replace Producer Envelopes). Telefilm has committed to sending members of their Senior Team to Vancouver at least four times per year for consultation with BC industry.
We’re officially on Social Media!
On August 13, 2013, CMPA-BC launched its Facebook and Twitter accounts. Over the past few months we have gained a multitude of followers within the film and television industry and have tweeted and posted our members’ production news and stories. CMPA-BC also tweets a variety of member updates as well as member discounts for upcoming events. Please share any news with us that you would like us to post on either of our social media pages.
The Eye On Canada initiative is dedicated to the promotion of high quality Canadian screen-based content from drama to doc, television through film to transmedia. Eye On Canada is led by a team of volunteers within the industry, including CMPA staff, and will launch its full campaign and website in 2014. In the meantime, stay up to date on the conversation through the hashtag #EyeOnCanada.
Think global. Watch local. #EyeOnCanada.
Building Sustainable Companies Workshop – January 27-28, 2014
This two day workshop facilitated by Anne Marie Maduri /Maduri + Associates will outline the building blocks of a successful business model from a value creating perspective as required by investors. Topics will include Product – Validating the IP and IP Strategy, Market – Market Position and The Audience, Marketing Strategy – Reaching the Target Audience, Sales + Distribution Strategy, Revenue /Business Model, Management Team, and Funding /Financing Strategy. Participants will be provided with a bank of advisory time with Anne Marie after the session to work on applying information from the workshop to their individual businesses.
CMPA Primetime in Ottawa- February 19-21, 2014
The CMPA’s Prime Time in Ottawa conference is a national networking event for some 600 of Canada’s most prominent business leaders from the feature film, television, interactive media, broadcasting and telecommunications industries.
BC-UK Animation Co-Production Forum – February 25-27, 2014
In partnership with Creative BC and MPPIA, CMPA-BC is again coordinating a targeted co-production session in London and Manchester, UK this time focused on animation production. The intention is to take advantage of the new UK tax incentive as it relates to animation and to build co-production relationships with UK companies and broadcasters. The event will include panel discussions focused on working with the UK, recent UK-CDN co-production case studies and business to business meetings. At minimum 10 BC production companies will participate alongside representatives from CMPA-BC, Creative BC, Telefilm Canada and the Vancouver Economic Commission. At time of writing at least 3 Canadian Broadcasters have also committed to join the delegation.
PAST EVENTS: (so you know what we’ve been up to…)
Copyright Forum – September 18, 2013
CMPA-BC, Music BC, Magazines BC and the Association of Book Publishers of BC offered this session to update members on the implications of the Copyright Modernization Act – Bill C-11 now in effect. Erin Finlay (General Counsel of Access Copyright) kicked off the event with an engaging keynote speech that was followed by sector specific breakout discussions. Kyle Fogden of Fogden Chandler facilitated material related to the film, television and digital media sectors, Bob D’Eith, Executive Director of Music BC hosted the music sector and Finlay hosted the publishing break out. Magazines BC videotaped Erin’s keynote and it can be found on Youtube.
CMPA Industry Roundtables (@Merging Media) – November 5, 2013
As part of the recent Merging Media 2013 Conference, the CMPA-BC held invitation-only industry roundtables at Emily Carr University. The roundtables aim to help upgrade our industry and instill best practices within our Canadian cross-media production community. Invitees included local digital producers, representatives from funding agencies and broadcasters, and key industry leaders who were attending the conference, including international guests and experts from leading digital companies. This was our 2nd annual roundtable session and this year the three subjects discussed were “Creating Global Partnerships”, “The Year 2020 – the Future of Digital Audience Engagement”, and “Branded Entertainment”. A moderator led each group of 8 – 10 participants as they discussed case studies and the current digital landscape, and then lent themselves to identifying problematic issues and advising where possible on how to improve. Many felt that these intimate sessions were one of the highlights of the conference and that similar small-scale intensive events should be planned for the future.
Merging Media Conference 2013 – November 6-7, 2013
Over 350 delegates attended our fourth annual Merging Media Conference at the Arts Club Theatre on Granville Island. The new venue provided a centralized location that included B2B meetings in the Biz Hub and two stages for concurrent programming. This year’s Global Edition welcomed a number of international guests including delegations from France and Sweden. Highlights included keynote speakers Kathy Franklin from Lightstorm Entertainment (Avatar) and Lara Hoefs from Story Disruptive (The Twilight Saga). Liz Rosenthal from the UK’s Power to the Pixel offered a Master Class for all Pitch 360 participants which was also open to the public. A delegate survey is now out in the field to gauge participant feedback on the event.
Screen Producers Australia (SPA) Screen Forever Conference – November 18-21, 2013
A trade delegation of 15 CMPA member companies headed to Melbourne last month to participate in Australia’s annual film+television producer conference hosted by SPA. In addition, industry representatives included Carolle Brabant/Telefilm, Valerie Creighton/CMF, and CMPA’s Michael Hennessy, Jay Thomson and Liz Shorten. BC prodco’s Infinity Filmed Entertainment Group, Honalee Productions and Thunderbird Films were part of the producer delegation who not only attended the conference but also an accompanying International Partner Market with a focus on Australia working with Canada.
Vancouver Creative Lounge – November 26, 2013
In partnership with the DGC-BC, Finale Editworks and IATSE 891, CMPA-BC co-hosts this quarterly networking event designed to bring together members and clients of our various organizations to meet one another and develop new relationships. If you are interested in attending a future event, please contact Kori who will ensure you get added to the guest list.
Flash! Conference – December 9, 2013
In support of the CRTC’s recent call for Canadians to “Talk TV”, CMPA hosted a “Flash! Conference” in Vancouver as well as facilitated other sessions in cities across Canada. The conference took the form of a roundtable/town hall with moderator Rob Egan and participants from various local content creating communities (producers, writers, directors, performers etc.) as well as some film school graduating students. The objective of these sessions is to bring to light and present to the CRTC the Canadian industry’s collective thoughts and opinions on the future of television. We wanted to make sure that the voices of creators are heard in this discussion; that both our vision for the future and the challenges we want the government to address are brought forward. The conversations were captured on video and will be submitted to the CRTC for their review and consideration.
January 16-26, 2014 Sundance Film Festival – Park City, UT, USA
January 22-February 2, 2014 International Film Festival Rotterdam – Rotterdam, Netherlands
February 6-14, 2014 European Film Market – Berlin, Germany
March 7-16, 2014 South By Southwest Interactive Festival – Austin, TX, USA
March 20-21, 2014 Canada International Film Festival – Vancouver, BC