Saskatchewan’s Film Industry Not Feeling It!
July 3, 2013.
Story by Norm Richards
In the late 80's and early 90's a number us got together to promote investment in our communities for filmmaking, video production, audio development and industry infrastructure. I think we succeeded for the most part. There is film industry in other places besides Toronto and Montreal. Today, a report in The Star Phoenix in Saskatoon reports the provincial government in Saskatchewan has created a fund and program named "Creative Saskatchewan." Not saying it meets all the requirements of putting back into place what was taken away when the film industry tax credit for film production was cancelled last year, but it may help.
Sure, SaskFilm is still in place but it's limp and running on dust. Most of us knew if you work hard to develop and lobby governments to invest, outsiders who care about creative image making would come and invest. The result is; you built an industry, you attract talent, build working crews, producers buy better equipment and a great deal of spin, energy and bang for the dollar is set off.
Now, I'm not saying a tax credits is the only thing that works. But, at what point do you slack off and see less need to stimulate a dollar driven business? For every dollar invested in film production it's ten or twelve times better for what you put in. I'm sure it's greater in many places across Canada. Studios are created. Audio postproduction houses are built. Producers open up offices and employ the locals. World level creative people come to work. Big name actors show up. They raise the bar.
My brothers and sisters of SMPIA the independent producers organization claim their membership dropped to 60 from 600 after the tax credit died. I wish everyone here a better year next year and over the next five years. It takes time to re-build. Producers in Saskatchewan have to weigh the positive against the negative. The intent of a $5 million fund for culture administered by Creative Saskatchewan may fall short for big industry filmmaking.