Why the Hollywood strike is already ‘a big deal’ for Canada’s film industry – National

The strain of Hollywood actors and writers’ strikes is being felt on production sites around the world, and film industry insiders say Canada is no exception.

Due to longstanding industry ties with American unions and networks, most Canadian film and television production has shrieked to a halt. ACTRA Toronto executive director Alistair Hepburn says production began to stall in the spring when rumors of a Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike began circulating.

“Some of the shows that were scheduled[in Canada]didn’t even start. Now adding the SAG-AFTRA brothers to the picket line will definitely make an impact,” Hepburn said. In an interview with Global News, he made reference to the Screen Actors Guild and the Federation of American Television and Radio Artists.

“We can’t record new shows over the summer in time for the fall premiere.”

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Summer is generally the most lucrative season in the film industry as a whole, but this year will be “relatively weak,” he said.

While much of the Canadian production works with American studios and SAG-AFTRA actors, just under half of the production done in provinces such as Ontario is domestic, including shows such as is also included. murdoch mystery and run in the suburbs.

“All of these shows are shot here with Canadian talent, Canadian writers, Canadian directors, and Canadian staff. Those shows will continue,” Hepburn explained.

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Impact of the Hollywood Strike on the Canadian Film Industry

SAG-AFTRA is also working on an agreement that allows Canadian independent producers not affiliated with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) to serve SAG members through a strike waiver scheme. .

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Canadian independent producers will also have access to dual cardholders, i.e. actors with both SAG-AFTRA and ACTRA membership.

“We are in constant contact with our colleagues at SAG-AFTRA and they have assured us that they do not intend to harm our industry,” Hepburn said.

Hepburn said he did not know how long the strike would last and did not believe a solution would come soon.

“This is going to impact not just performance, but the industry as a whole for months, absolutely months.”

Hepburn stressed that performers aren’t the only ones affected by the production drought. Directors, technicians, caterers, and independent hardware stores will also feel the strain.

“Ontario has 35,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the film industry. The trickle-down effect is real,” Hepburn said.

Shane Boucher, founder of Ottawa-based studio 1Development Entertainment Services, said this was the first July in the industry when she didn’t work.

“This is just an industry-wide shutdown. It’s a big deal,” Boucher said in an interview with Global News.

1Development is a service company. That is, they provide services to other parent companies or networks. Most of the company’s TV movies are American.

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Impact of the Hollywood Strike on the Canadian Film Industry

Boucher said business began as normal at the beginning of the year, with about 16 productions scheduled. When rumors of a WGA strike began to circulate, Boucher was in a rush to finish as many films as he could by June. He currently has no projects in production.

When it was announced that filming was scheduled to take place in Canada this summer, many of the works became a hot topic. cruel intentionswas taken in Toronto.

Amazon show producer Stephen Steen said production would be halted until the strike ended.

“This is completely devastating to the local film industry. Anyone currently filming a US production must stop and all local staff are immediately out of work. Most people are 1 You get a weekly extra wage, but that’s it,” Steen said in an email to Global News.

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Click to play video: 'We are the victims here': SAG-AFTRA president speaks out as Hollywood actors go on strike

‘We are the victims here’: SAG-AFTRA president speaks out after Hollywood actors strike

Creative BC, a program that helps British Columbia’s creative sector, said in a statement on its website that it was “monitoring the situation closely” and “respects the process and all parties involved.”

“In our role as British Columbia’s film economic development organization, we, along with our local industry partners, care for the workforce, businesses, industry and people,” the group said.

“The industry is evolving rapidly, business models are changing, and responding to these changes is part of the industry’s necessary business cycle.”

Hepburn said anyone who wanted to support the strike could vote with their wallet.

“It’s time to cancel the streaming account. That’s what we’re finally going to get our hands on here. It’s going to be about the financial difficulties of the AMPTP companies,” he said.

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‘We need action by the people’

Hepburn also said she hopes other countries will show unity for the performers to fight.

“The SAG fight is everyone’s fight,” he said. “This is a fight for justice on behalf of performers around the world.”

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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