Halifax production company takes premier to task over digital tax credit comments

John Wesley Chisholm and the Arcadia Entertainment team want Premier Stephen McNeil to know they do indeed exist.

That was the purpose of Friday’s “existential press conference” at Arcadia’s Quinpool Road offices.

“Yesterday the Premier of Nova Scotia said that we don’t exist, and I’m here to say that we do,” Chisholm, president of Arcadia, said to media surrounded by his colleagues.

The clip he’s referring to shows McNeil speaking to media, talking about the full time, permanent jobs provided by the digital tax credit. When a reporter says that’s exactly what’s said about the film tax credit, McNeil replies “we didn’t see that.”

The film tax credit had been in use for 20 years but was cut last year by the Liberals. In response to protests, a tax credit specifically for digital and animation media was re-introduced, leaving out live-action productions like those Arcadia creates.

One of Arcadia’s most popular programs is Hope for Wildlife, which airs in more than 100 countries and profiles the wildlife rescue of the same name. Hope for Wildlife staff and a few of the animals they care for, including a skunk, were also at the rally.

There are more than 30 full time staff employed by Arcadia, and Chisholm said he’d like McNeil to know many of them have had their jobs longer than he’s had his as premier.

Andrew Killawee, a writer and director, said he’s had his job for 14 years, since before McNeil was an MLA.


“Fourteen years is as full time a job as you can get,” he said. “They exist here in the province and the premier has to own up and either say what he really thinks or he’s got to come clean and have some serious talks with us because we’re in crisis mode.”

Chisholm said he and the rest of the staff just want to get back to doing their jobs, and they need support if they’re going to be able to do that.

“Our roots are here, our shows are here, Hope for Wildlife is not going anywhere,” he said.

“They’re going to keep rescuing 3,000 plus animals a year and we’re going to keep telling those stories to the world, but we need the tools to do it.”


Segunda Entrevista especial para el blog: Kelli Morehouse

La industria del cine y la televisión de Nova Scotia y su gran crisis.

Segunda Entrevista especial para el blog: Kelli Morehouse

En el post de Febrero 28 les expliqué el gran Éxodo que ha sufrido la Industria de cine y televisión de Nova Scotia, del cual mi familia y yo formamos parte. Desde este espacio prometí ir entregándoles opiniones de algunos de nuestros amigos y colegas, trabajadores afectados por la crisis de la Industria de Cine y TV. Mi manera de hacer justicia ante tan mala decisión provincial.

Para los que no estén informados, que paso allí en la lejana y bella provincia Nova Scotia, les hago un resumito, también les invito a que lean mis anteriores post sobre el tema y las entrevistas que Chris Brown me ofreció para el blog.

Durante las elecciones de 2013, el gobierno liberal prometió una financiación estable para la industria del cine hasta el año 2020. Sin embargo, el 9 abril 2015 se recortó bruscamente dicho crédito fiscal. El gobierno de Nova Scotia, representado por Stephen McNeil, contrario a lo que prometió, llevó a cabo el más terrible plan económico contra la industria del cine. 

Kelli Morehouse, durante Diez y nueve décadas ha trabajado en la Industria de cine y TV de Nova Scotia. Morehouse es Prop Master, ha trabajado en todos los grandes proyectos internacionales que se han filmado en Nova Scotia, tales como: Trailer park boys 2 features; Moby dick feature; Drunk and on drugs series; Lizzie Borden series; Mr. D series.

Kelli Morehouse, de manera muy amable accedió a responder mis tres preguntas

Can you explain how the new Nova Scotia film tax incentive fund works?

How to explain the new incentive fund is not so simple! My understanding of it in talking with friends, producers, production managers is that the fund is very difficult to maneuver with no guaranty after jumping through all the hoops you will get any funding. How are productions suppose to do a budget without realistically knowing what they will receive in funding or even if there is anything left in the fund. I have no doubt that the NS government has no idea how their new fund is suppose to work either, especially the new business agency in charge of the fund, they don’t have a very good record of investing wisely . I truly believe the government didn’t really think things through and did not do there do diligence on the financial impact on the province and it’s citizens .

How did the change to the tax incentive fund affect your life?

The obvious answer to how the new fund has changed my life is of course financially as it is for all of the film community and it’s suppliers. In actuality it is so much more than that, the community has been torn apart with friends and families leaving the province in search for film work in other provinces that are busy especially with the low Canadian dollar. In some cases families are being split up where a spouse goes to find work or they have to make a tough decision to try and sell the family home in a very difficult market. This is a province that doesn’t have a lot of opportunities with good paying jobs and careers, the film industry was one, the provincial government doesn’t understand that! I have worked my butt off for 19 yrs in this province in the film industry making a career for myself along with my friends and that has not always been easy but we as a community have built a reputation internationally which we are very proud of. To have everything we as a community and have worked so hard for over the past 25 yrs dismantled in one uneducated decision without consultation is the act of a reckless government . The financial impact is so much greater in our economy with local business and personal tax revenue no longer contributing the amount of money it did to the province before the changes.
I moved back to this province 23 years ago after living and working out west because I love Nova Scotia and with hard work and professional integrity I could have a good career within the province I chose to live in, now I am no longer certain of that and may have to leave for financial reasons. I am not alone in this dilemma as you and Chris have had to make and countless other friends, the way I see it is we are one big family being torn apart. In hard times you need your family around you whether it is a hug a meal or as simply as familiar, they are your people and that to me is what our community was.

Your opinion and what do suggest?

So my dear friend this is my opinion on how the NS incentive fund has changed the film industry in our province. Good job keeping people in the province Stephen MacNeil !!

Otros colegas y amigos se han ofrecido a colaborar y aportar sus opiniones sobre este tema, que no solo es provincial, sino que nos afecta a muchos a nivel internacional.

Siéntete libre de dejar tu comentario, y si conoces a alguien de la Industria del cine en Nova Scotia invítalo a dejar su opinión, entre todos, quien sabe si logramos hacer que El gobierno de Nova Scotia, representado por Stephen McNeil cambie de opinión o se vaya del poder.

Mi querida amiga Kelli Morehouse y Ann. Foto Chris Brown



Entrevista a Chris Brown. Primera parte

Entrevista a Chris Brown. Primera parte

Esta es la primera parte de una serie de entrevistas, que realizaré sobre el tema de la crisis que ha provocado  Stephen McNeil en Nova Scotia. Su más terrible plan económico contra la industria del cine. Los recortes de crédito fiscal en la industria del Cine en Nova Scotia.

Chris Brown, nos explica  su visión del tema,  su obligada estrategia de inmigrar a Toronto. La crisis de #NSFilmJobs. Una  triste y lamentable situación para la industria del cine en Nova Scotia.

My opinion is that the government of Nova Scotia had a tax incentive program before April 2015.. which supported the industry, which encouraged the industry, which basically the industries’ 30 years in the making but for the past 20 years had really developed. We had hosted international filmmakers directors and producers which we had won the respect of. We hosted projects that were based in Hollywood. We developed the talents of our technicians, artists and craftspeople. We had a viable industry that for the government, who for every $1 dollar invested $4 dollars would come back into the economy in an average year. In a good year it would be $6 for every $1 they invested. When they decided to change the incentive fund the industry came to a screeching halt because the producers no longer had confidence that they could produce a film or TV show in the province NS with the support of the government. For us we had to move. For 17 years I made a great living in Nova Scotia, that was basically finished in 20 minutes. The decision that was made impacted our lives negatively but at the same time it had some sort of positive effect. We had to move to another province. In another province my talent and experience were looked at, at par with international filmmakers.

Right now there is nothing happening in the industry, There has been no new development. The government has decided not to change their stance on how they administer the new tax incentive fund. The new tax incentive fund is non competitive. That is to say that it can’t compete with any other region in Canada as far as offering the same sort of incentive. Basically the producers are no longer interested in coming to the province and are no longer interested in investing any time or capital in the industry there. It is disappointing because there were 2700 people out of work because of it. There are many families that are basically having to go through a conflict because one parent, say works in the film industry and the other one doesn’t. So that one has to leave to go work in another province, while the other one stays maybe they have kids which isn’t easy for everybody. We have more of an advantage to be able to be mobile.
In our case, we… because our daughter is really young and my beautiful wife takes care of her and takes care of our home-life; we were able to pick up and leave because you know we had no other commitments. That is not the case for a lot of other people as well I was originally born in Ontario, had family in Toronto and have friends. I have other friends and contacts that I made in the film industry that were more than willing to help out. With that support and with a lot of help from certain friends we were able to make a transition. It is still very hard. You know that is a great financial burden we have to suffer for moving. It is not easy. Ontario is not very easy to navigate. It’s more expensive. It is very heavily populated. However there are lots of opportunities. I feel positive for the future. i didn’t necessarily want my daughter to grow up in a big city but if that’s the case,  because we had to move,then that is the case. She will still have those ties to Nova Scotia that she has.

I suggest to

Well to my friends and to my coworkers in Nova Scotia, I suggest to, if you can, make a go at it. But if you can’t.. Move move .. Go somewhere your talents are going to be appreciated. Where you can make a living without having to depend on the Nova Scotia government, that does not support arts and culture. Go to place that does. It is a booming business. It is unprecedented that in February that all reports say that is going to be one of the largest years for film and television in Canada. It is unprecedented that anyone report that early in the first quarter of the year. It’s going to be extraordinarily busy. Yeah come a join us in other provinces, where film and TV is supported and there is an incentive for production to partake in the economy.

¿Partir o sucumbir al futuro incierto de Nova Scotia?

He demorado en escribir este post, porque me encontraba tomando una gran decisión de vida junto a mi familia. ¿Partir o sucumbir al futuro incierto de Nova Scotia?. Sobre este peliagudo y aún irresuelto tema, les hablaré hoy. Desde Toronto, con el dolor de haber dejado atrás nuestro hogar, familias y amigos.

¿Industria del Cine en Nova Scotia?

La industria de producción cine y televisión canadiense es una industria vibrante que ha florecido desde principios de 1980, cuando una combinación de factores trajo más talento a la industria, mayor inversión por parte de inversores privados, del gobierno, instituciones financieras, y más producciones extranjeras a Canadá. El dólar canadiense más barato atrajo a los productores extranjeros, especialmente estudios independientes y organismos de radiodifusión EE.UU. Algunas ciudades canadienses han sido a menudo referidas como el Hollywood del Norte.

La bella Nova Scotia no se quedó atrás. Por casi treinta años, la productoras locales han venido forjando una reputación internacional por la entrega de un alto nivel y experiencia en la producción, e inigualable servicio. Durante mucho tiempo, los hermosos paisajes locales de Halifax, Cape Breton, Darmouth, han servido de escenario a miles de películas, series y miniseries famosas. Peliculas como “Outlander” (2008) dirigida por Howard MacCain, y la serie Jesse Stone, protagonizada por Tom Selleck, han rodado en Halifax por casi diez años.“The Lizzie Borden Chronicles”, la pelicula y luego la serie limitada para tv, de mismo nombre, protagonizada por Christina Ricci. Rodaron en diferentes años, Sandra Bullock, Dennis Leary, Jim Caviezel, y John Hurt , todos quedaron maravillados con los profesionales de Nova Scotia. Yo, como productora de cine al descubrir las locaciones en las que todos estos famosos han estado, fue como revivir las películas antes vistas.

Éxodo en la Industria de cine

Durante las elecciones de 2013, el gobierno liberal prometió una financiación estable para la industria del cine hasta el año 2020. Sin embargo, el 9 abril 2015 se recortó bruscamente dicho crédito fiscal. El nuevo gobierno de Nova Scotia, representado por Stephen McNeil, contrario a lo que prometió, llevó a cabo el más terrible plan económico contra la industria del cine. Los recortes de crédito fiscal en la industria del Cine en Nova Scotia, han provocado muchos daños en cientos de miles de familias en la provincia. Tales como:

  1. Éxodo masivo de profesionales de la industria de cine.
  2. Desempleo de grandes y pequeños negocios.
  3. Limbo laboral a miles de personas directamente vinculadas al cine.
  4. Desconfianza de los productores internacionales respecto a realizar    co-producciones en Nova Scotia.

Quizás McNeil no sepa que crear toda la infraestructura y ganar prestigio en la industria del cine a nivel internacional, le tomó a Nova Scotia 30 años, y a ellos solo minutos para destruir todo. McNeil debería reconocer que estos recortes de crédito fiscal en la industria cinematográficas han sido el peor plan jamás visto. Este corto animado me fascina.

Los servicios audiovisuales abordados bajo la industria del cine y televisión en Canadá, representan a un sector maduro en el mercado, junto a países como Estados unidos, Gran Bretaña y Francia, etc. Es por esto que existe una red de apoyo del gobierno federal, provincial y territorial, favoreciendo la inversión de los productores nacionales y extranjeros a través de incentivos que ayudan a compensar el costo de las producciones cinematográficas y medios digitales en locaciones canadienses.

Éxodo de Profesionales del cine en Nova Scotia

Los que pudimos partir, lo hicimos. Los demás, han intentado seguir desde allí, haciendo pequeños trabajos, y protestando ante tan difícil y macabra idea. Partir nunca es fácil, es dejar el confort de tu casa, tus amistades, es empezar de cero.

Mi esposo, Chris Brown, que por 17 años ha estado trabajando en la industria del cine en Nova Scotia, me propuso partir y arriesgarnos en la búsqueda de trabajo en Toronto. Nuestro primer intento fue en Julio, 2015, regresamos a Bedford en Diciembre para la Navidad, con la esperanza de que el año 2016 fuera diferente para Nova Scotia, pero Mc Neil nada ha hecho para resarcir el tema: los recortes de crédito fiscal en la industria del cine en Nova Scotia siguen en el limbo hasta ahora mismo. Chris Brown, me ha ofrecido una entrevista exclusiva para el blog.

Para nosotros, Toronto, fue una gran experiencia. Aunque nada fácil. Casi seis meses, en la gran odisea de hacerte un espacio en medio de otros tantos profesionales, locales y extranjeros, que ya están ubicados. Gracias a un gran amigo, Zeferino Barbosa, nos brindó su casa por casi tres meses, la vida se nos hizo más amena y menos dramática en cuanto a ahorrar dinero para los próximos meses. Chris tuvo mucha suerte, encontró excolegas y conocidos, quienes le orientaron y brindaron trabajo, el cual aunque inconstante nos ayudó a palear la crisis , hasta conseguir varias producciones interesantes. Admiro mucho a mi esposo, no es de quedarse brazos cruzados. Yo tampoco, así que aproveché esos meses para estudiar inglés online, e hice muchas investigaciones de futuros trabajos en el área de mi interés.

Fue una gran experiencia y nuestras agendas personales ganaron excelentes contactos futuros. Y aunque sufrimos un poco la falta del hogar, familia y amigos, creo que nos hizo crecer como familia y profesionales.

¿Sabrá Stephen McNeil el efecto dominó que provocó?

En mi opinión, creo que ellos sí lo saben. Muchos medios reflejan, que el instinto político de Stephen McNeil lo ha abandonado y que los recortes de crédito fiscal en la industria del Cine en Nova Scotia ha sido un error colosal.

¿Futuro incierto en Nova Scotia?

Sí, las actuales condiciones en la industria del cine, debido a los recortes de crédito fiscal han vuelto a la provincia vulnerable, y con un futuro totalmente incierto. Y es que estas medidas, obviamente, no sólo tienen un efecto devastador en la industria del cine directamente, sino también en la economía local de Nova Scotia, ya que cientos de pequeñas empresas, negocios locales, y personas se retroalimentaban de las producciones que se realizaban en la provincia. Un verdadero efecto dominó, el que ha provocado de la noche a la mañana Stephen McNeil y su mala gestión política.

Así que, amigos y lectores, en verdad, cuando no puedan con las situaciones absurdas que crean los políticos, lo mejor, es intentar vivir tu vida lo mas digna posible, sin perder la Fe, de que algún dia las cosas serán mejores. Por lo pronto, nosotros, dejamos atrás a la bella Halifax, y nos aventuramos en la gran urbe Toronto. ¡A por mas aventura, y un futuro mejor. Con la esperanza de que Stephen McNeil se arriepienta de su gran error.

 PD: Esta vez, mi amigo Ríguel Salema, me ayudo en la edición de este Post. Espero, contar con su gran labor de editor, vital para mi. Gracias.