Ontario's film & television production up more than 40 per cent

Industry contributed $946.4 million to Ontario's economy in 2009

TORONTO, Feb. 17 /CNW/ -

NEWS

Ontario's film and television industry contributed $946.4 million to the provincial economy in 2009 - up by 41 per cent over 2008 - see attached backgrounder.

Ontario held its competitive edge, marking a return to production levels not seen since 2002 - despite the continued strength of the Canadian dollar, aggressive competition from other jurisdictions and a global economic crisis.

Increases were seen in all genres -- foreign and domestic -- compared to 2008. Ontario's strong domestic film and television sector continued to experience growth in 2009. The increase in foreign productions was in part attributed to the Ontario Government's enhancements to the Ontario Production Services Tax Credit (OPSTC) announced on June 30, 2009. The OPSTC was expanded from 25 per cent of eligible labour to include all eligible Ontario production costs. The tax credit enhancement added an important incentive to the many other advantages Ontario offers film and television producers.

Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) (http://www.omdc.on.ca/Page3283.aspx) programs also support the book and magazine publishing, music and interactive digital media industries - all of which experienced growth in 2009. The entire entertainment and creative cluster produces $15 billion in revenue and over 200,000 jobs, contributing $12.7 billion to the province's GDP.

QUOTES

"This tremendous show of strength from Ontario's film and television industry helps demonstrate the enormous competitive advantage that cultural industries give us in the global economy. These industries have had a significant impact on Ontario's economy and continue to show impressive upside potential."

- Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism and Culture

"We are delighted that Ontario's film and television industry has come back so strongly in such a globally-competitive environment! Despite economic challenges and a strong Canadian dollar, Ontario has consistently demonstrated that it has the right mix of government support, financial incentives, world-class infrastructure, superb talent and skills and diverse locations to attract outstanding foreign and domestic productions. Early indications point to 2010 being another strong year."

- Karen Thorne-Stone, President & CEO, Ontario Media Development Corporation

QUICK FACTS

    
    -   Ontario's 2009 film & TV production activity contributed $946.4
        million to the economy -- an increase of 41 per cent over 2008
    -   Total domestic production spending increased by $129.8 million, or
        23.8%, contributing $674.4 million
    -   The number of domestic productions was similar to last year, but
        budgets were up in all categories - with the largest increase
        occurring in domestic feature films, whose average budget spending
        was up by 99.8 per cent
    -   Total foreign production spending increased by $145.5 million or 114
        per cent
    -   Foreign feature spending increased from $79 million to $161.8 million
        -- a 104.5 per cent increase
    -   Foreign television series spending spiked in 2009 contributing $58.0
        million in 2009 compared to $16 million in 2008 (a 262 per cent
        increase) with the average foreign television series production
        budget increasing by 201.6 per cent from 2008
    -   Ontario's entire creative cluster includes: book and magazine
        publishing; sound recording; film and television; interactive digital
        media; performing arts; radio; advertising; architecture and design
    

LEARN MORE

2007-09 Ontario Film and Television Production activity chart broken down by format with foreign and domestic levels. - http://www.omdc.on.ca/Page5698.aspx

1989-2009 20-year graph showing Ontario production levels comparing foreign and domestic activity. - http://www.omdc.on.ca/Page3417.aspx

Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) is an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture that facilitates economic development opportunities for Ontario's cultural media industries including: book and magazine publishing, film and television, interactive digital media, and sound recording industries.

    
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                                                              www.omdc.on.ca
                                                      Disponible en français


    BACKGROUNDER
    Ontario Media Development Corporation
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

             Ontario Film and Television Production 2007 - 2009

    By Format
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         2009                2008                2007
                        as at               as at               as at
                    Dec. 31, 2009       Dec. 31, 2008       Dec. 31, 2007
                -------------------------------------------------------------
                  Number  Production  Number  Production  Number  Production
                    of    $ left in     of    $ left in     of    $ left in
                 Projects   Ontario  Projects   Ontario  Projects   Ontario
                -------------------------------------------------------------
                             Production $ = millions of dollars
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Domestic

    Feature Film    28       99.2       15       26.6       25       75.7

    Television
     Series(1)     106      488.3      127      453.5       79      326.0

    Television
     Movies,
     Mini-series,
     Specials,
     Pilots(2)      63       86.8       58       64.5       60       96.9
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Domestic 197      674.4      200      544.6      164      498.6
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Foreign

    Feature Film     9      161.8        9       79.0       14      224.9

    Television
     Series(1)       6       58.0        5       16.0        6       16.1

    Television
     Movies,
     Mini-series,
     Specials,
     Pilots(2)      13       52.3        9       31.6       15       51.5
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Foreign   28      272.1       23      126.6       35      292.4
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL          225      946.4      223      671.2      199      791.0
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Animation vs. Live Action
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Domestic
    Animation       16       49.5       23       86.4      N/A        N/A
    Live Action    181      624.9      177      458.3      N/A        N/A
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total
     Domestic      197      674.4      200      544.6      N/A        N/A
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Foreign
    Animation        4       63.1        4       15.8      N/A        N/A
    Live Action     24      208.9       19      110.8      N/A        N/A
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Foreign   28      272.0       23      126.6      N/A        N/A
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL          225      946.4      223      671.2      N/A        N/A
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Data represent expenditures of all productions using OMDC-administered
incentives and services. Data do not include television commercial, corporate
video, music video, or broadcaster in-house production. Figures include live
action and animated production. Data reflect the production expenditures in
Ontario during the year and do not always reflect the total budgets of the
projects. There may be productions that shot in Ontario that are not included
in these totals due to the timing of project applications.
    All dollar figures are in millions of Canadian dollars. Dollar figures
have not been adjusted for inflation.
    Totals may not add due to rounding.

    (1) The number of television series does not include cycles which began
        production in the previous year.

    (2) Productions with fewer than six episodes.


    2009 PRODUCTION ACTIVITY NOTES
    ------------------------------

    -   Ontario's domestic production remained strong in 2009 contributing
        $674.4 million, a 23.8 per cent increase over 2008. Although the
        total number of domestic productions remained similar to the previous
        year, their overall budgets were significantly larger in 2009.
        Domestic feature film activity rose from 15 to 28 productions, seven
        of which received direct support from the OMDC Film Fund. The average
        domestic feature film production budget increased by 99.8 per cent
        over 2008. Despite the number of domestic television series
        decreasing from 127 (2008) to 106 in 2009, overall budgets of many of
        these series were larger, contributing $488.3 million. Television
        Movies, mini-series, specials, pilot activity all remained steady
        with an overall spend increasing from $64.5 million in 2008 to $86.8
        million 2009, a 34.6 per cent increase in budgets.

    -   In 2009, overall foreign production spending increased by $145.4
        million to $272 million -- up 114 per cent. This increase was in part
        attributed to the Ontario Government's enhancements to the Ontario
        Production Services Tax Credit (OPSTC) announced on June 30, 2009.
        The OPSTC was expanded from 25 per cent of eligible labour to include
        all eligible Ontario production costs. The total number of foreign
        productions increased from 23 to 28.

    -   Foreign feature numbers remained stable compared to 2008, but budgets
        increased, contributing $161.8 million -- a 104.7 per cent jump from
        2008. Foreign TV series production activity also saw a similar number
        of shows compared to 2008 but with significantly larger budgets,
        contributing $58.0 million - an increase of 262 per cent total spend.
        Television movies, mini-series, specials and pilots increased from
        nine to 13 representing a 34.6 per cent jump in production dollars
        spent, leaving $52.3 million dollars in the province's economy.

    -   Among the foreign productions that led to the big increase in 2009
        were: Universal Studios' Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, set in Toronto
        and starring Brampton native Michael Cera; ABC Studios' new
        television series Happy Town, which will be airing this spring; and
        the fourth installment in the Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil:
        Afterlife, shot in Stereoscopic 3D.

    -   On the domestic side, seven OMDC Film Fund-supported projects shot in
        2009 including: Oliver Sherman and Longfellow (both shot in Northern
        Ontario); The Bang Bang Club; A Beginners Guide to Endings; Barney's
        Version; The Love Child of Andy Warhol and Yoko Ono and The Untitled
        David Suzuki.

    -   On the television front a number of series, both domestic and
        foreign, are returning for 2010, including: CTV's Flashpoint;
        NBC/Universal TV's Warehouse 13; Shaftesbury's Connor Undercover for
        The Family Network and CBC's Sophie. In addition, several brand new
        series, including Shaftesbury's Baxter, USA Network's Covert Affairs
        and the Cartoon Network's Unnatural History, have already announced
        they will be shooting in Ontario this winter/spring, and numerous
        other productions are close to making announcements or are actively
        scouting for spring shoots.

    -   Ontario's world-class facilities and competitive tax credits also
        attracted a number of productions shot outside the Province to do
        their post-production and visual effects here. The Ontario Computer
        Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit (OCASE) helped Ontario's
        computer animation and visual effects companies show a strong
        performance during the year

    -   The outlook for 2010 is already promising: OMDC's Film Commission
        division is scouting a number of projects for 2010. A number of high-
        profile productions are currently up and running for winter shoots.
        These include the foreign features: Red (Summit Entertainment,
        starring Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman); Dream House (Morgan Creek)
        directed by Jim Sheridan; the seventh installment in the hugely
        successful Saw series shooting in 3D and Universal's prequel of The
        Thing. The OMDC-supported domestic feature film Score: A Hockey
        Musical began shooting in early February.

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                                                              www.omdc.on.ca
                                                      Disponible en français
    

SOURCE Ontario Media Development Corporation

For further information: For further information: Contact for OMDC: George McNeillie, OMDC Communications, (416) 642-6619, E-mail: gmcneillie@omdc.on.ca, Cell: (647) 286-3979

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Ontario Media Development Corporation

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