Industry Report: Focus: North America
- Articles, interviews, news, analysis focusing on the audiovisual sector in North America
With the theatrical release of the new Spider-Man movie (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and the dazzling total takings for the second Captain America film (645 million), the obsession with superheroes just seems to get bigger and bigger. This is a disconcerting phenomenon that goes far beyond a cultural object. It is absolutely entrenched in our globalised society; a society of mass consumption and liberal policies.
The introduction of film incentives in Canada in 1997 was followed up by more programs in 40 U.S. states and 30 countries, but local policymakers did little and ultimately "paid a heavy price," according to a report
It happens just about every year - a film that many don't consider an independent film wins an independent film award or two; while a film that many consider quintessentially indie, is seemingly looked over.
This report was ordered last fall by the Minister of Culture and Communications Christine Saint-Pierre in the afterwards of the diffusion of the Radio-Canada's show Enquête. An investigation that depicted the frustration of some technicians who complain about the balance of power between Studio Mel's CEO, who is also at the head of the biggest rental cinema equipment firm, with the entire industry.
While financial incentives to lure film and TV production have been controversial in other cities and states, especially in an era of budget gaps and fiscal austerity, New York has worked to retain its leading role.
The home of X-Men, Stargate and other big projects, third biggest centre for cinematographic and televisual production in North America, Vancouver is looking to diversify its activities by developing a lucrative digital special effects market.
According to the Bureau du cinéma et de la télévision of Québec, 2011 is a record year for foreigners shooting in Québec with direct incomes of 235 millions of dollars for a dozen of feature films and television series ( including Mirror, Mirror on Snow White with Julia Roberts).
Telefilm Canada is introducing a new system to measure the success of Canadian films. For years, the crown corporation measured the success of the films it funds merely by domestic box-office numbers. A new index will now take in worldwide sales, as well as give points to awards and film-festival appearances, and the ratio of private backing a film generates.
It's feeling very much like Hollywood North in Vancouver these days: Russell Crowe for the new Superman film Man of Steel, Matt Damon has been here shooting Neill Blomkamp's follow-up to District 9 and Robert Redford is shooting his next film here with a blockbuster cast that includes Shia LaBeouf, Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte. But increasingly the local production industry is also setting its sights further east, to China.
A popular boy wizard, comic-book heroes and some foul-mouthed women are leading Hollywood toward a record-breaking summer despite the sour economy and high unemployment resulting in tightened consumer spending.
Sixty film and TV projects that were otherwise poised to leave California, representing about $710 million in local wages, were kept in-state due government retention measures, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced on January 21th