Film, TV production booms in the capital

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Friday, March 6, 2015
Victoria, British Columbia
Film, TV
production
booms in
the capital
10 projects planned by late April
— and you could play a part
MICHAEL D. REID
Times Colonist
A surge in local film and
TV production is bringing
economic benefits, with 10
productions expected to be
filmed here by late April.
“We have never seen
numbers like this,” said
Victoria film commissioner
Kathleen Gilbert.
The Vancouver Island
South Film and Media Commission is working with six
companies on a growing
number of productions,
Gilbert said. She said at the
current rate, this year is
shaping up to beat 2006, the
capital region’s best year
yet, when 12 productions
generated $18 million in
revenue.
A weaker loonie and a
six per cent distant location
provincial tax credit are
among key factors in the
surge, she said.
Just weeks after production wrapped here on The
Devout and the Lifetime
movie Perfect High, filming began on the Netflixbound comedy Monkey Up.
Two more pictures start
shooting next week —
Gourmet Detective 2: A
Healthy Place to Die and
The Boy, director William
Brent Bell’s psychological
thriller starring The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan as
a nanny who encounters
strange goings-on in the
English countryside.
Other projects in preproduction include the
Hallmark movies Playdate
and The Last Resort.
The downside is a shortage of trained local crews.
While there’s a crew
base of about 60 here,
200 are required with four
shows overlapping, said
Gilbert. Many underemployed locals relocated to
Vancouver or “took jobs in
the real world” several
years ago when production
slowed. “We need to identify people in the community with experience in
film, or lighting, wardrobe
and makeup for theatre,”
said Gilbert, who is
inviting skilled locals to
email resumés to
[email protected]
People aged eight to 45
can become extras on Monkey Up by showing up at
the Parkside Hotel Sunday
between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
or emailing monkeyup
[email protected]
“I don’t believe we’ve
ever been so busy,” said
Allen Lewis, vice-president
of production for Front
Street Pictures. The
Metchosin-based producer,
whose crews filmed the
first in a series of Gourmet
Detective movies for Hallmark here in November,
has the advantage of familiarity, having frequently
worked in the region.
“Now everyone seems to
F R I D AY S E C T I O N S
A NEWS, CAPITAL, EDITORIAL
B BUSINESS, STOCKS
C LIFE, DIVERSIONS, ARTS
D SPORTS E, F DRIVING
have woken up to what
we’ve learned Victoria has
to offer.”
Richard Brownsey, CEO
of Creative B.C., the
agency responsible for promoting creative industries
in the province, said the
surge has as much to do
with B.C.’s reputation as a
production centre as the
exchange rate or tax incentives.
“The dilemmas that
come with being so busy
are better to deal with than
the dilemmas that come
with not being busy,” he said.
Paul Russell, the Duncan-born location manager
on Gourmet Detective 2 and
Playdate, and assistant
location manager on
Gracepoint, said the boom
inspired him to move back
to the capital region from
Vancouver.
“It’s quite a thing,” said
Russell, while scouting at
Dominion Astrophysical
Observatory. “We just have
to make sure we’re not getting on top of each other
with five shows going on at
the same time.”
Another challenge is
securing enough longerterm accommodation on
short notice for visiting
crews. “Most hotels are
already getting busy,” said
Harbour Towers manager
Hazel Thalakkat, who has
booked 669 room nights for
crews in March and April.
Monkey Up director
Robert Vince said he has
noticed “Victoria has
become much more cosmopolitan” since he filmed
The Duke here in 1998.
“I’m impressed by how
logistically easy it is to get
around,” said the Malibu,
California-based filmmaker.
He said he has only one
complaint in trying to pass
Victoria off as New Jersey
from October through
Christmas. “If any more of
these blossoms come out,
I’m in big trouble.”
[email protected]
High 11. Low 4. Details, D8
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INSIDE TODAY
TV SCENE:
The ‘motive’ behind
the ‘whydunit’
DRIVING: 28 pages in E and F
STEVE WALLACE
The uncertain behaviour
of hobby cyclists >F1
Using the men’s washroom
to make a political statement
ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST
Brae Carnes, 23, uses a men’s washroom to show what it would look like if a bill amendment became law —
and “how completely ridiculous it is.” The change would give operators of single-sex facilities such as bathrooms
the power to stop trans people from using facilities that match their gender identity.
Transgender woman battling ‘dangerous’ change to rights bill
AMY SMART
Times Colonist
Using the bathroom is no big deal for
most people, but for Brae Carnes, it’s
a political act.
The transgender woman, 23, is
using men’s facilities to show that an
amendment to a trans-rights bill could
expose transgender people to danger.
The amendment would give operators of single-sex facilities — such as
bathrooms, shelters and prisons — the
power to prevent trans people from
using facilities that match their gender identity.
“I’m giving them what they want,”
Carnes said.
“I’m actively showing them what it
would look like if that became law and
how completely ridiculous it is. It’s
just not right.”
The Victoria resident said it’s
uncomfortable for everyone in the
men’s bathroom, including herself,
when she enters.
“There’s a sense of, oh, I’m in the
wrong place,” she said.
“And it’s scary. Luckily, I haven’t
had any altercations in the men’s
room thus far. But they look at me
like, ‘What is she doing here?’ It’s very
awkward for them and it puts them in
an awkward situation.”
Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca NDP MP
Randall Garrison introduced Bill
C-279 in 2011, saying transgender
people should enjoy the same rights
as everyone else. The bill would alter
the Canadian Human Rights Act and
Criminal Code to protect people from
discrimination on the basis of gender
identity.
Bill C-279 passed in the House of
Commons in 2013, but has languished
in the Senate since.
Conservative Sen. Don Plett, who
introduced the amendment, said he
wants to protect vulnerable people
such as women who have experienced
abuse from the trauma of sharing a
space with anyone who is “biologically
male.”
But Garrison said the main goal of
the amendment is likely to create a
delay, since if the bill doesn’t become
law before the election expected this
year, it will die.
He said that he doesn’t believe
Plett’s amendment will ever become
law.
“I would encourage people to continue using restrooms that are appropriate to their gender identity,” Garrison said.
Makenna Rielly, executive director
of both the Women’s Sexual Assault
Network and the Victoria Women’s
Transition House, said the organizations serve transgender community
members and neither would stop if
the amendment became law.
“This whole thing really bugs me,
that this amendment was supposedly
protecting women who’ve experienced abuse. We see this as a huge setback,” Rielly said.
“People don’t understand that trans
people face 50 to 70 per cent of
assaults in washrooms.”
Carnes said the amendment puts
vulnerable people who are already
subject to sexual violence and assaults
in more danger.
“Why would you put, for lack of a
better word, an ‘endangered’ person
into situations where they’re going be
even more are risk?” Carnes said she
hasn’t experienced any serious incidents. But after using a men’s room at
a local mall, she was followed by a
man to her car. He knocked on her
window, trying to pick her up.
“I think [the amendment] is actually giving predators a chance and an
opportunity. People think, ‘Why’s this
girl in the washroom? She must be
looking for a guy,’ ” Carnes said.
[email protected]
BRUCE STOTESBURY, TIMES COLONIST
MONKEY UP
Crystal, the capuchin
monkey of Night at the
Museum and Hangover II
fame, is shooting a familyfriendly comedy here.
> Arts, C12
20 ducks die after toxin exposure
B.C. to ban sale of e-cigs to youth
About 20 ducks that died in
Beacon Hill Park in December were exposed to a
toxin, initial tests indicate.
The B.C. government is
moving to prohibit the sale
of e-cigarettes to anyone
under 19 and ban their use
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But officials say there’s no
reason to suggest they
were poisoned and more
tests are planned. > A3
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on school grounds. It would
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