Film, Television and VFX in British Columbia

Film, Television and VFX in British Columbia

July 5, 2018 Posted by Abby Pollen

Hundreds of feature films and TV series including blockbusters such as Deadpool, Planet of the Apes, Twilight and Mission Impossible 4 and top rated TV series such as Arrow, Riverdale, The Flash and Once Upon a Time have been filmed in British Columbia. Production companies enjoy access to a diverse range of filming locations, support from a highly skilled workforce, and one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the G7. These business advantages have helped British Columbia establish a global reputation as one of North America’s top full service production centres. 

A new deal between Canada and streaming giant Netflix will help add to this success.  Netflix plans to spend at least $500 million on Canadian productions over the next five years, providing greater opportunities for domestic producers to develop locally owned content and helping to further strengthen B.C.’s highly experienced and well-established domestic industry.

Growing international viewership has significantly boosted the demand for Canadian content, thanks in large part to Netflix and other streaming services. Netflix has also increased its Canadian content library, and many British Columbians are swapping cable for online options. Netflix has incorporated a robust selection of languages allowing viewers to select content with captions or dubbing in the language of their choice. As a result, Canadian content is more accessible than ever to audiences in India, Japan, China, South Korea and Europe.

According to MovieMaker Magazine, Vancouver is tied with New York as the best place for film and television professionals to live and work, with Los Angeles coming in third place. Vancouver shares a time zone with Los Angeles, making it easy for the two hubs to collaborate. These features, paired with B.C.’s lower dollar, competitive tax rates, and diverse landscapes and shooting locations give the province a distinct advantage.  With over 2.5 million square feet of stage space in more than 60 facilities and a deep pool of experienced cast and crew, B.C.’s motion picture industry can support more than 50 projects simultaneously and accommodate all sizes and types of production.

British Columbia’s film, television and digital media sector enjoy strong relationships with other industries. This fuels a collaborative and open-minded approach to projects, resulting in innovative productions. BC’s film and television expenditures grew to $2.6 billion in 2016/17, supporting an estimated 60,000 total direct and spin-off full-time equivalent jobs. The rapid industry growth has been smooth, in part due to the spirit of collaboration and the many organizations dedicated to ensuring the success of the sector.

There are several organizations and industry associations that work in partnership with government to grow B.C.’s creative sector.  Creative BC is an independent society created and supported by the Province to sustain and help grow B.C.’s creative industries, including film, digital media, music, and magazine and book publishing.  The Interactive & Digital Media Industry Association of British Columbia  (DigiBC) is a member-supported, non-profit industry association that promotes, supports and accelerates the growth of British Columbia's interactive and digital media industry;  the Motion Picture Production Industry Association (MPPIA) represents all segments of the film industry and works collectively to grow, diversify and promote a competitive and sustainable motion picture industry in BC; and the Canadian Media Producers Association-BC  (CMPA) represents over 100 independent production companies based in British Columbia. 

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