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Vancouver film studio bosses say BC's record year not just about numbers

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Summary

Local film bosses say online streaming services help keep up demand as BC sets record

Some wonder if BC can continue attracting big projects as the province leads TV, film productions in Canada

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – A new report says BC is now the home of blockbuster movie shoots, surpassing Ontario as Canada’s top locale for film and television production for the first time.

The report by the Canadian Media Producers Association says the 2016-2017 fiscal year was strong for Canada overall, with production volume in the country reaching an all-time high of over $8 billion.

We may be on top now, but some wonder if BC can continue attracting more productions here than anywhere else in Canada.

Two Vancouver-based producers say, for them, it’s not really a numbers game.

Shawn Williamson with Brightlight Pictures, which produces the hit TV series The Good Doctor, says BC’s reputation is stellar across the industry.

“We are a go-to place certainly for Los Angeles, for multiple reasons, but the depth of talent here –the actors and actresses, crew — I mean, we are certainly an A-list place to go.”

Williamson adds having a reputation for producing blockbusters is a huge factor.

“As we continue to do shows that are bigger like Deadpool and The Good Doctor, that we’re doing now, international hits, it turns eyes to Vancouver and again, reminds, certainly Hollywood, that we’re a great place to go where you won’t compromise quality or locations or crews or anything.”

The President of Vancouver Film Studios, Pete Mitchell, also says it’s no surprise BC is now responsible for more than one-third of Canada’s record gain during the last fiscal year.  “The local real estate has warmed to the film and television industry, so you’re seeing a lot of warehouses being converted. It’s something that is elastic. We can expand fairly easily.”

Mitchell’s studio is linked to the popular Fifty Shades trilogy which opens it’s final film on Friday, but he also credits increased production on the growing need to supply online streaming services like Netflix.

“It is completely international, so the audience for their product is growing at a tremendous rate and that is driving production everywhere and BC is uniquely positioned to take advantage of that demand.”

BC’s film and TV sector also generated 24,120 direct full-time jobs, only 40 more than Ontario.

The report adds Star Trek Beyond alone employed more than 3,900 British Columbians and contributed $69 million to the provincial economy during 78 days of shooting.