Work & Play
Hello members of ACTRA Montreal.
If you’ve looked outside your window lately, you’ve noticed that summer is nearly upon us. And if you’ve looked at the shooting list on our website lately, you’ve also probably noticed that the summer shooting season is upon us. We have a number of big U.S. on-location projects in town with more on the horizon. We are also encouraged by the news that Being Human will be returning for a fourth season and that a second ScyFy series, Helix, will be shooting in Montreal this year as well. As we all know, episodic TV is crucial to having a truly vibrant production community.
In terms of videogames, the industry continues to thrive. Indications are that 2013 will be as good – if not better – than last for members’ earnings as all of the major Montreal-based publishers are developing AAA titles this year.
All of this should add up to a year in which our members will enjoy the benefits of great work opportunities.
And while we are not prepared to attribute any of these projects as a direct result of our recent lobbying efforts, it may be safe to say that our investment in the Quebec English-language Production Council is paying dividends. Most recently, our own Gary Saxe was re-confirmed as co-Chair of the council that has been trying to address our concerns over the decrease in English-language production in the province this past decade.
Following our recent success in getting Montreal designated as a Region for broadcaster incentives, the QEPC’s work has resulted in yet another win – an acknowledgement of English-language production as a minority in Quebec and subsequent establishment of an envelope at the Canadian Media Fund, specific to English-language projects shot in our province. The addendum to this good news is that the fund is considerably smaller than we would have hoped, but it’s a start.
Also, earlier this month, Gary spoke on the QEPC’s behalf, arguing for a greater investment in Quebec production at the CRTC hearings on Bell’s proposed purchase of Astral Media.
On the community front, May saw our Young Emerging Actors’ Assembly hold its first ever event, called the Mega-Apprentice-Casting-Fest-A-Palooza. Ten people from the casting community – working in film, TV, videogames, dubbing and animation – attended a massive audition session for Montreal apprentice members aged 18-30. The event was meant to give young performers that may not have had a lot of audition experience a chance to showcase their talent for these decision makers. Nearly 60 members applied to get a 10 minute audition slot and 30 were selected to read sides provided to them.
The event was a massive success with the members being eternally grateful for the opportunity and the casting directors being equally appreciative. Behind closed doors, a number of casting directors stated matter-of-factly: I will be bringing that person in to audition for a part in the next project I cast.
In other community building news, our 2013 ACTRA Awards and Short Film Festival are fast approaching. Festivities will be held July 6th at the beautiful Rialto Theatre. Our Award of Excellence recipient this year is David Rigby – a man who, over 30 years ago, essentially created the highly respected stunt community that we now have in Montreal. We will also be giving a performance based award for Outstanding Male, Female and Voice performance as well as outstanding performance in a videogame for the first time in our awards history. Once again, ACTRA Montreal is setting the trend.