Yesterday, I had a really interesting meeting which I wanted to expand on a little bit. It was with the OMDC, regarding a Canadian / German co-production I’m working on. The OMDC had an info session at the Canadian Pavilion to talk about the benefits of co-producing with Canada, and even though I’m Canadian and the event was intended for foreign producers, I found it super useful and am glad I was able to attend.
Apparently, Canada has more co-production treaties than just about any other place in the world, so there are lots of benefits of partnering with us, but there are even more added benefits at the provincial level. For example, who knew that there were major incentives to do visual effects in Ontario? Probably lots of people. But not me.
The whole tax credit system has always been a bit of a mystery to me, but I do understand the basics. The government gives you cash back for money you spend employing people in a given province, up to a certain percentage. In Ontario, it’s 35% of all eligible labour costs, but there’s a 10% bonus if you shoot outside of the GTA, which is why places like Hamilton and Ottawa are such popular choices. And that’s without even getting into the additional incentives that exist for those who want to shoot up north in places like Sudbury or North Bay, where government programs have in the past given up to a million bucks (as long as that’s not more than 50% of your budget, and actually it is a bit more complicated than that) for productions taking their business to northern communities.
At the OMDC meeting, I discussed the German / Canadian co-production with the representatives present, then told them all about Ultra 8 Pictures, and mentioned that since I’m Toronto based, we should follow up when we get back … what’s the Canadian slang equivalent of “stateside”? That.
I also heavily pimped the project I’m working on with Peter Lynch, because we definitely hope to get some support from the OMDC on either the film or the cross-platform / digital / new media component of the project, which is also looking like it’ll be super cool. I got the feeling that one of the people I met with took a genuine interest and really wanted to follow up later. It’s someone I’ve met via email many times before during my time at REEL CANADA so we kind of “know” each other already even though we’d never met face to face. The other person we met with, I think will probably require 3-5 more introductions to me before I start registering as a person that’s worth remembering. But that’s the film biz, I guess. I am not yet important enough for certain people. No point getting upset about it.
But anyway. That was Sunday! On Monday, I spent a couple of hours catching up on emails, a couple of hours running around having meetings, and then a whole lot of hours in the evening catching up with various friends over drinks and/or snacks. We even went to the Serbian Happy Hour, where rakija was being served in traditional glasses. A taste of home!
It was kind of a relaxed pace, as far as this week has gone, and we topped it off by going to the Fantasia / Fantastic Fest Karaoke Party, a super fun staple of every market, even though I don’t actually sing karaoke. I like watching other people give’r, though.
In fact, it was kind of a “relaxed pace” day out of necessity, because I can feel the scratch in the back of my throat that signals “you are too tired and if you’re not careful, you will wake up sick tomorrow”. Only had one beer at the party and got home just after midnight (other pals stayed out till 5am, I hear). At least the weather’s gotten pretty warm (though insanely windy).