Film commission victim of its own success
The folks in charge of bringing movies to the region to film may have to make some changes to their website.
After all, said Vicci Weller, executive director of the Thompson-Nicolar Regional District film commission, it’s so detailed that there have been plenty of times in the past year when film location specialists have called just to confirm a site is available and then made their own arrangements to film there.
And that kind of interaction, while it brings money to the TNRD area, doesn’t make it into the annual report Weller files with the commission.
This year, that report indicated 2010 was the worst year for bringing movies to the area in the past decade, with an income of just $536,000 and only 67 projects serviced.
The actual spinoff to the economy was about $1.7 million, Weller said.
That’s not an accurate reflection of the reality, Weller said, because her report only includes projects she has had a direct hand in bringing to the area — so things like movies that use the website to find their own locations aren’t counted.
Neither is the work she’s done promoting the Race To A Million social-network project now underway in Kamloops — even though she has taken it to developers in Vancouver and is hoping to market it at a film festival in Banff — because it was already in production when its creators partnered with her to expand the idea outside the River City.
One Big Hapa Family, a documentary made by Japanese-Canadian filmmaker Jeff Chiba Stearns looking at why everyone in his family has had an inter-racial marriage, was also filmed in the area “but it’s not on my books because they didn’t need our help.”
Weller said changes might be needed to the commission’s mandate, which now requires her to go after major movies only “but there are lots of small projects out there that we should be going after, too,”
She’s in discussion with decision-makers in the technology industry, looking at partnering to bring more video and technology-dependent productions to Kamloops, too — something that, under her current reporting rules also wouldn’t make it into that year-end wrap-up.