Post Magazine

February 2015

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 35 of 51 34 POST FEBRUARY 2015 ancouver, also referred to as "Hollywood North," has long been a magnet for fi lmmakers and "runaway" Hollywood TV production seeking fi nancial advantages, diverse locations, a sophisti- cated technical infrastructure and a talent- ed workforce. Major studios were devel- oped in the greater Vancouver area in the late 1980s, and the government of British Columbia (BC) began providing industry incentives in 1998. Today, BC accounts for about 60 percent of all foreign location fi lm and TV production in Canada, and total direct and indirect full time-equivalent jobs generated by fi lm and TV production are estimated at over 36,000. SHOW ME THE MONEY Tax incentives are a big factor in attract- ing US productions. The government of Canada off ers tax incentives, amounting to 16 percent of Canadian labor costs, to qualifi ed foreign fi lm and video produc- tion through the Canadian Audio-Visual Certifi cation Offi ce. The BC government provides a 33 percent refundable tax credit for Canadian or international fi lm and television production companies that incur eligible labor costs in the prov- ince. More recently, BC's Digital Anima- tion or Visual Eff ects (DAVE) tax credit rebates 17.5 percent of labor costs for digital animation, VFX and video game development. Recipient corporations don't have to be Canadian-owned or have an interest in the copyright. Little wonder that Vancouver has experienced an infl ux of international VFX studios to the marketplace, joining a strong roster of facilities already operat- ing in town. The DAVE tax credit is "a huge driver" in the growing VFX industry, says Randy Lake, executive vice president and general manager of Sony Pictures Digital Production Services. "In the majority of cases, the client claims [the tax credit] directly or the VFX facility can claim the rebate on a per-project basis and pass it on in pricing to the client." Sony Pictures Imageworks ( is moving its headquarters from Culver City, CA, to Vancouver, where it will be the city's largest VFX and digital charac- ter animation studio by fl oor space. "Vancouver is not just a TV town," says Andrew Orloff , one of the founders of Zoic Studios (, creative director for episodic television and president of the thriving BC offi ce. "Motion picture studios are even more strict about saying they need tax credits on VFX. They want to see their money on the screen, and they go where they can get the most. Internationally-fi nanced projects for TV and fi lm get fi nancing based on Vancouver tax credits." Tim Jacobsen, executive producer and co-founder of FuseFX (, which opened a full-scale facility in Van- couver last fall, fi nds that "not all work requires tax incentives, but you need to have options for all clients: those shoot- ing in Vancouver or those working here in LA, but directed through a Vancouver offi ce. Vancouver allows us to expand and cast our net wider." Ollin FX ( has a ca- pacity of 120 at its headquarters in Mexi- co City, which off ers tax benefi ts through NAFTA, plus an LA offi ce established 10 years ago. "We were already one of the major VFX and post facilities in Latin America, but we wanted to reach Hol- lywood from the inside," says Charlie Itur- riaga, VFX supervisor at Ollin FX. "That's where the key creative people are. We needed space in LA so our artists could sit down with the creatives." Right now, Ollin FX is "running the numbers" on establishing a facility in Vancouver, where it has been working with several independent artists on shots HOLLYWOOD V BY CHRISTINE BUNISH North A Spotlight on Vancouver

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Post Magazine - February 2015