Monday, March 05, 2007

No Space In BC for "The Incredible Hulk"?

According to Don Cott, Canadian vice-president of the American-based Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, "there certainly wasn't studio space," in Vancouver when producers scouted locations in both British Columbia and Ontario for the upcoming Marvel/Universal movie "The Incredible Hulk", now locked into a Toronto shoot this summer.

"Studio space is virtually full and they need a lot of stage space," Cott told the Toronto Star.

20th Century Fox has already booked Vancouver's Mammoth Studios until the end of 2007 for a 'yet-to-be-named' blockbuster project.

With labour uncertainty in the US as writers and actors bargain separately with producers over similar issues that caused the recent ACTRA strike, BC's working environment could set the stage for a rewarding year.

"The track record has been if you head into the bargaining down there, they try to build up a library of stuff that's already been shot," said Cott.

"We see post-production facilities migrating from Los Angeles up to Vancouver," said Peter Leitch, chair of the Motion Picture Production Industry Association of BC and president of North Shore Studios, which operates Mammoth.

Leitch said the association is keeping tabs on Toronto and Montreal to make sure BC doesn't make the same 'mistakes' as those two cities.

"If your business goes down to a certain level for a long period of time, you're going to lose your labour force and infrastructure and it's very hard to build it back up," Leitch said.

"Vancouver and Toronto, in ways, compete for the same business," said Cott.

"It's just a matter of stage space availability and labour relations."

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