Monday, January 26, 2009


Pardon me if my German is off; I am still trying to master English.

Toronto's mayor, David Miller, has been in Los Angeles (home of the big U.S. film studios) trying to drum up business by reminding them that the Canadian dollar is back down low. I'm sure that the Americans don't really care anymore -- there are too many other options, towns that encourage production within the U.S. border, and running away to the country next door at this economically stressful time is tantamount to treason. (Perhaps "treason" is too much, but the idea is not off, I don't think.) There are a few new production hot-spots in the States attracting producers. For example, Austin, Texas, has done a fine job at converting an airport and its aircraft hangers into a studio complex.

Mr. Miller, please come home. The Toronto film industry (there never was one) is dead. It would not come back alive even if you put a hundred million volts through it!

Toronto Star story...


The Pope said...

The linked article is good, and certainly more upbeat.

What is the point of being so down on Toronto film production?

Filmport is a viable studio. I hope it does well.

There is and has been a thriving film industry here and there's plenty of chance for it to grow again.

Mind you, they should be using my scripts.

Barry Smight said...

The Star article is upbeat. I think a lot of people are down on Toronto film production -- although, there is nothing to be down on at the moment.

The concensus is that Filmport was built years too late. You are right in saying the studio is viable... it just needs bookings to make it so. The amount of film productions the city once thrived on are probably no more as conditions have changed over the years. It is literally a different world now.

It will take guys like you to make a real film industry. Indigenous product is essential to make any "industry"; visitors and welfare do not make one.

(We need to nurture the "indi" part of indigenous. The big U.S. studios started by independent producers putting 'manufacturing' in film production... not treating it as a 'one-off' business, which is exactly what a welfare film state propagates.)

enjonze said...

Does anyone really believe that Filmport is a case of "build it and they will come?" Nonsense. Canadian productions alone won't keep that place afloat. American productions aren't coming anymore.

In the late 80s and first bit of the 90s you couldn't walk down a city street without encountering a film crew, or take a latenight streetcar that wasn't diverted due to filming of some film or TV series. How many times did I see the Robocop stand-in walking down Wellington under a full lighting rig? Production work was plentiful and I'd sometimes beg off or call in sick the last day on one shoot to start on another. I had a 13-1/2 month run of 12+ hours days, with, I think, only two weekends off. Good time$.

Toronto, apart from the promotion end we call the Toronto International Film Festival, is not a film town, was never really a film town despite the few good years, and probably never will be a film town.

I see that the Sun ran an article about the growth of Toronto-shot porn recently though. Cue terrible joke about it being a "growth" industry.

Being honest about the current state of the biz isn't the same as being "down" on it. We'd all like to see some filming happening on our streets and in our studios.