Lionsgate mystery series nets almost $9 million
Lionsgate Entertainment has secured a cool $8.9 million in provincial and municipal government incentives to shoot an unnamed U.S. series in Edmonton -- scoring a whopping 44.5% of its $20-million budget.
The unique deal was initiated by the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, which brought Lionsgate and the Alberta Film Commission to the table. The City of Edmonton kicked in $3.5 million in grants and the province ponied up $5.4 million. Officials are talking up the job opportunities.
"A TV series like the Lionsgate production creates long-term, ongoing employment throughout the year," says Ron Gilbertson, EEDC president and CEO. "While movies generate high-profile attention, they employ crews for a comparatively short period; several weeks or a couple of months."
In an EEDC news release, it hinted that the deal may extend past one year, stating that 13 hour-longs "per season" will be "filmed both in-studio and throughout various locations in the city."
Lionsgate has not yet said if the show is new to its slate, or if it will relocate one of its existing series -- such as The Dresden Files, which shoots in Toronto.
The job opportunities...um, yeah. I know I'm only speculating, but it sure seems to me that under the guise of testing the viability of supporting a film/TV industry in Edmonton and 'diversifying the local economy', we'll just see a scenario that'll play out a lot like the ones described in previous posts should the CTF go to an 8 out of 10 point system.
As in: yes, there will be money spent in city for food, supplies, basic labour, accommodations, and misc. services....and a fair number of 'locals' will be hired in below the line crew positions or secondary cast roles...but none or next to none of the above-the-line key creative (i.e. writers, directors, producers, lead actors) will be local, much less Canadian. In fact, it very well may be primarily run and written out of LA with the majority of actors and directors flown in.
But the series will be getting a whack of Canadian money. Hmmmm...
How the hell can the creatives still living here in Canada get more experience and improve their craft while trying to create a dramatic television 'hit' if they hardly ever get the opportunity to do so? What we hear instead is that most all our indigenous shows suck and so the CRTC puts forward recommendations to allow American key creatives to access and/or receive Canadian Television Funding monies. And this isn't just me whining or only looking out for my self-interests...it's a flawed system that doesn't seem to be able to let the big American boys to play in our sandbox without essentially sacrificing the sand castle creators who still work in Canada.
Trust me, over the years I've been witness to plenty of these provincial incentive programs designed to 'kickstart' the industry and provide opportunities to locals, but other than line producers/glorified production managers and the occasional director, the majority of the creative and decision-making work goes to personnel from the outside.
And can you really blame Lionsgate? I mean, the shows being bandied about for relocation to Edmonton are 'Everytown' USA shows (so it doesn't really matter where they're filmed), and look at all the money they get in return. In fact, according to the articles HERE and HERE, the Alberta governments has been wooing them for over a year.
Must be nice to feel wanted...
Can anyone clarify this Lionsgate deal for me if they know more details? I hate to sound critical without knowing all the facts.