Friday, July 13, 2007

Call To Arms...

Henshaw has joined our little march to the CRTC with yet another impassioned plea for writers and creatives in TV in this country to voice their opinion (preferably a negative one) on the recent recommended changes to the Canadian Television Fund through the Commission’s web site at

UPDATE: Could they make this process for commenting any more confusing or complicated??!!
If you are trying to navigate the instructions below (and I hope you are), when you get to the list of application/notices, the one you are looking for is about halfway down and is numbered 2007-70. That's 2007-70 (of course there's no mention of the CTF just to make it difficult to locate). Click on that and about halfway through that page is a link to a comments form (make sure you say your comment is 'In Opposition' at the top), and from there is pretty straight forward. Sheeesh.

Click on E-Pass in the top menu, then click on participate in a CRTC public proceeding, then find the sentence to submit a comment related to a public proceeding and click on the word “form.” Then you scroll down to , click on it and submit your comments.

But do it quickly...there's not a lot of time (by July 27) and we need a lot of nuts (see Jericho).

Jim joins Alex Epstein and Denis McGrath and John Doyle and their posts and columns this week encouraging the same action. These gentlemen all say what needs to be said better than I, and thus don't have much to add....but off this from DMc:

In 1999, when the CRTC relaxed the rules on drama spending by networks, allowing them to count reality and cheaper fare as Cancon, they insisted this wouldn't result in less homegrown material. Instead, the number of Canadian scripted shows dropped off overnight.

We're the ones who are still fighting the perception that we're not good enough -- even though there are plenty of us who want to write in a more commercial vein -- we just don't want to have to go to L.A. to work on Canadian shows.

The whole thing's a mess. And it basically still comes down to: you haven't fixed what was wrong from 1999, and you're rolling the dice on us again.

Those rulings in 1999 sent a lot of guys like me who wanted to keep working here down to LA to basically try to keep getting employed on Canadian-shot dramatic television shows. It was a move made against my wishes. I preferred a life for me and my kids here in Canada, and ultimately came back to try to fulfill that existence. But it's been difficult to stay in the drama game --- the number of shows just don't support the amount of writers/creatives. And to let these new recommendations pass will only send the majority of us back to LA again, or just getting out of the business altogether.

But this isn't about me, it's about the bigger picture and draining a swamp that has filled with alligators. And like these excerpts from some commenters state:

Canadian money from these funds should go to Canadians and Canadian shows, full stop. If a project is populated by Canadians above the line, it is ipso facto Canadian, no matter the content. There is no need to pretend to be yourself. We have to stop trying to manufacture culture. It's the only true "free market" out there.

Hear here?

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