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Vancouver-“Hollywood North” vs the Loss of Canadian Identity Essay

Introduction:

1 Vancouver is being called “North Hollywood” because a vast of film producers decide to set up their shooting places at BC, Canada. Vancouver is deserved to be rewarded as this special title because it’s unique beauty of the diverse sceneries and the sophisticated filming technologies. These inputs have already attracted by Hollywood and lead the U.S. film industry entry into making the huge quantity of “runaway production” era. “The 2001 Report concluded that the 1998 Canadian production incentive programs were very successful in attracting production from the U.S.A”(StephenM.Katz, 2006, p.1). question has been brought into the public attention and this paper will mainly focus on: why does Canada not encourage their own domestic film industry, but would rather give foreign film industry tax incentives.

Additionally, due to the growing number of American movies crushed into the Canadian entertainment market, this paper will also discuss both the positive and negative effects emerged under this issue. The tax incentive given by the Canadian government cannot be denied for one of the reason to turn BC as well known as”North Hollywood”: “ Foreign production companies will see the Production Services Tax Credit jump to 25%, with an unchanged 6% bonus for work done outside the Vancouver area.”(“BC Announce 35% Film Incentive Credit”, 2008). Actually, not only BC is doing such things but also New Zealand.

Newman illustrates “The film and television production industry is significant in both New Zealand and British Columbia. Governments in both localities provide substantial support for the industry through government agencies and tax incentives”.(Newman.D,2005,abstract).Currently, BC is directly toward into a service-oriented country by providing the U.S. big financial profits. This strategy seems to become a really effective approach to enlarge their awareness toward the global without promoting their own film industry but rather borrowing their beauty to U.S.

Takaki and Shoot explains that “some of the U.S. Film associations like SAG (Screen Actors Guide) and FTAC (Television Actions Committee) already had an unpleasant attitude toward the Canadian federal government’s tax incentive legislation “(Takaki,Millie&Shoot, Film&Television,2001). They are not encourage the U.S. film industry to do the runaway productions in order to persist the U.S. rights and promoting their own movie domestically. Currently, there are a lot of such top-grossing movies include:”X men, Silent Hill, Mean girls,etc(Chris Hamilton, 2008) “. Apparently, there are both advantages and disadvantages behind the runaway production for both U.S. and Canada.

Take the employment issue as instance:the loss of the job opportunities would be one of the serious concern towards the Americas because the film producer would prefer to hire the local employers rather than bring the workers all the way to B.C. This is aiming of saving appropriation expenditure. Many people like Pendarkur M hold the belief of: “creating employment is more important than fighting for better wages and working conditions”(Pendarkur, 1998). Basically, this idea is fairly straight forward which stand for it’s way much better to have a job rather than getting a better wages and working conditions provided by their boss.

In this way, the employment is seen as the “priority” of one country. Nevertheless, we still cannot deny the advantages and disadvantages it brought to BC and U.S. The optimistic effects might probably cause a decrease unemployed rate for the Canadians. In another words, more Canadians would find a job under the help of the U.S. film industry.On the other hand, there would be a high unemployed rate for the Americans. Other than the job opportunities we get, Vancouver is successfully known as “North Hollywood” currently and it helps to promote Canadian’s film industry.

After that, it widen the opportunities for the TV producer to do the movies and help to expose the beauty of diverse BC sceneries to the whole world. Eventually, he ended up with the solution that:” This type of thinking has resulted from the weakened position of Canadian and international unions, which has placed them in a struggle for survival and left them unprepared to negotiate with the powerful and expanding entertainment industry”(Pendarkur, 1998). After getting the great job opportunities, BC is actually facing a further serious problem which is the lack of capability to get rid of the domination of U.S. and build their own entertainment industry. The longer period people adopted into something, the harder for them to leave it behind and build a new industry.

Actually, there is a far long period when the U.S. Corporation first started dominated some of the Canadian entertainment market. According to Pendarur M:

4 “Paramount Famous-Lasky, the leading vertically integrated firm in the United States, dominated the Canadian feature film market through its subsidiary, Fomous Players Canadian Corporation,”(Pendakur, M. 1990). The Canadians were influenced and dominated by the U.S. Industry for such a long period already. This situation lead the Canadian get more adopted to U.S. Entertainment world rather than building up their own film industry. This lead to the consideration of the loss of local audiences once the government decide to promote their local film market. Moreover, audience fragmentation is another concerns about why Canadian not encourage making its own movies.If people randomly walk into a cinema, it is obviously to find out the U.S. movies took over a great percentage of movie products on the Canadian cinema.

Also, it gets a fairly good feedback among the audiences which makes the Canadian cinema become prosperous. In order to let it remain the same situation and let it survive, the Canadian film industry realize to spend more time and attract more foreign powerful film-making countries is significant rather than creating their own domestic film. Through David Skinner’s research., he claimed that:”these definitions are all based on a concern that the dominant corporate media do not adequately represent the interests of all members of society”(David, 2010, p.221). “These definitions” on the above quote are actually stand for the idea of “alternative media” . The dominant corporate media cannot be fully satisfied by one hundred percent of the audiences because different people from the various social status have their own interests.

To be more specific, even though the Canadian government invest expenditure to promote the real Canadian movie,the audience fragmentation still exists. To consider this issue in a further financial perspectives, it better and easier to support the U.S. runaway productions in order to keep the Canadian cinema industry alive and have a large number of audiences really buy the tickets. Moreover, a more serious situation would happen derived from the previous sequences. The dominant corporate might only provide the pastime for those of them who have the ability to access media. Nevertheless, the rest of them might remain the same living style as what they were before because they don’t have the capability to access them like some remote areas. The new technology’s exist give people a new sight to understand the world.

The powerful invention of these new media going to influence how we think and how we behave. After that, it causes the huge gaps between the one who can get into the cinema and who are not capable to use that. It’s hard for a whole nation to unite together and figure out what their real interests are. The Canadian government provide the tax incentives undoubtedly created benefits for both of them financially but seems ignore the further concern of creating a “real Canada” consists of it’s real identity. What kind of movie we watch has a direct impact to shape Canadian itself. Specifically, someone who makes the film affect what kind of messages they get. It impacts the Canadian identity in several various aspects. Particularly, there is not doubt that Canada and U.S. overlap a lot of similarities like the languages. However, there is one significant factor cannot be denied on this context which is the “unique identity”.

The Canadians do have its own unique identity including the enthusiasm to the national hockey, the still existing of First Nation’s unsophisticated lifestyle and other factors make Canada become a unique nation and really help the Canadians to define who they are. Along with the tendency of growing proportion U.S. film start to shoot movies in Canada, the Canada seems have less time to promote their own film. Some of the U.S. identities are being shown during the films and this is going to directly injected into Canadian’s mind. Consequently, they would not be able to have a strong nationality traits.

In conclusion, this paper mainly explored the reasons for the Canadian government intentionally turn Vancouver into “north Hollywood” instead of investing the film producer to shoot the real domestic movie with real local identity in it. Also, this paper looked at the profits and drawbacks from both U.S. film association’s perspective and Canadian government’s point of view. Next, it emphasis the significant role of one country’s entertainment industry.

The film industry has no longer simplly provide an entertainment way for people to have a pastime but it become a nation’s symbol and reflected the country’s real identity. The elements being made during the scenes potentially injected into audience’s mind and they behave toward the invisible messages being created by the film. As time passes, it definitely going to influence how Canadian behave and how they communicate between each other. This paper concluded that the creation of one country’s identity is far more significant compared with government’s financial concern.

References
“David, Skinner. (2010) “Minding the Growing Gaps: alternative media in Canada” In Leslie R.S(ed.) Mediascapes. Nelson College Indigenous Press. Famous Movies Filmed in Canada | Cinemaroll. (n.d.). Cinemaroll | film making, from the viewers’ perspective. Retrieved March 24, 2011, from http://cinemaroll.com/cinemarolling/famous-movies-filmed-in-canada/ Newman, D. (2005). Regions And Runways: Film Assistance In New Zealand British Columbia, 1990-2005. Media International Australia Incorporating Culture & Policy, (117), 11-30. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Pendakur, M. M., Sussman, G. G., & Lent, J. A. (1998). Hollywood north: film
and TV production in Canada. In , Global Productions: Labor in the Making of the Information Society (pp. 213-238). Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Pendakur, M. (1990). Canadian Dreams & American Control: The Political Economy of the Canadian Film Industry. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

9
Stephen M. K. (2006). The Global Success of Production Tax Incentives and the Migration of Feature Film Production From The U.S. to the World – Year 2005 Production Report[Adobe Digital Editions version]. Takaki, Millie&Shoot,( 12/14/2001). Dispute Heats Up Over Runaway Tariff Proposal. Film & Television Literature Index with Full Text (Vol. 42, Issue 50) Vancouver Film. Net: BC Announces 35% Film Incentive Credit. (n.d.). Vancouver Film. Net. Retrieved March 24, 2011, from http://www.vancouverfilm.net/2008/01/bc-plans-35-film-tax-credit.html


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