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Film and TV production ramping up for the summer

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Expect to see more film crews around Vancouver as B.C. braces for even more productions this summer

Creative B.C. says 2019 is already shaping up to be a busy season for the film and TV industries

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — B.C. is drawing in a lot of film and TV productions, so expect to see more crews around Vancouver over the next few months.

Prem Gill with Creative B.C. says 2019 is already busy, thanks, in part, to Netflix.

“Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, the province: business is good and steady, and very similar to what we’ve seen in the last couple of years. Feature films, movies of the week, tv series, new series, returning series,” she says. “A lot of people are working and the content is travelling around the world.”

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She adds foreign production last year included some visual effects for “Avengers: Endgame” –a blockbuster franchise film expected to shatter box office records this weekend as it opens in an unprecedented number of theatres around the world.

“We’re so proud. The teams like Avengers, they’re so talented. I think it just shows that this is a global centre of excellence when it comes to visual effects and animation, and we’ve got some of the best talent in the world who are in demand everywhere and they choose to stay here,” she says.

Gill tells NEWS 1130 that helps B.C. solidify itself as a top destination.

“That’s why the work keeps coming back,” she says. “It’s something that everybody should be very proud of. This type of work is –especially in visual effects– can take many years. The teams here are known, have global reputations now.”

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Vancouver Film Studios President Pete Mitchell says business since 2016, so much so, it can be hard to book space in and around the city.

He says the process to get permits for productions in Metro Vancouver municipalities is much more ‘sophisticated’ than it was a few years ago.

“Representatives have gotten together and coordinated communication about who’s going where and when and trying not to overload their neighbourhoods,” he says.

He says he’s not worried about losing business to other provinces like Ontario.

“This industry is just firing on all cylinders right now. (In) 2016, there was a real surge, so we’re doing a great job in B.C., in terms of welcoming production and making sure that it’s here for the long-term,” he says.

Mitchell adds, at his studio which produces Arrow and The Flash for CW, television productions outnumber feature films.

Gill says she’s expecting overall business this year to be as good or better than the nearly $3.6-billion reported by the Canadian Media Producers Association for 2018, so she’s also not worried about increased competition from Ontario.

“Anything for Canada is good. There’s a lot of stuff that happens in both provinces. You know, we have a very friendly relationship,” she says. “There’s a lot of business out there that, I think, everybody is doing very well right now.”

Last year, film production grew more than 20 per cent from 2017 with B.C. drawing 40 per cent of all production in Canada.

At nearly $2.9-billion, Ontario was number two.