Possibility of creating a film studio at Camosun College a little closer to reality thanks to new provincial funding
Show business is big business in British Columbia’s capital and new provincial government funding to a local college could mean the potential for larger productions and bigger profits in the future, according to the film commissioner of the region.
Kathleen Gilbert, of the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission, told CBC Radio on Thursday that regional productions contributed about $ 55 million to the provincial economy in 2020 and that number would likely increase if the region had a studio. movies.
Gilbert’s comments follow an announcement from Camosun College that the province will provide $ 150,000 to the school to explore educational opportunities for students in the film industry and the possible development of a film studio on the college’s intercity campus in Victoria.
“If we were to get some of these really big shows, it could be the direct expense of one show rather than having to land 25 shows, which we have to do to make $ 55 million,” Gilbert said, during an interview on CBC On the island.
Despite the lack of studio space and a raging global virus, Gilbert says there are still plenty of TV and film productions filming in and around Victoria.
For privacy reasons – and to avoid spoilers – Gilbert can’t disclose all shows and movies shot about the city at this time, but she has taken note of the comedy flick. American dreamer, which she says was filmed locally and is due out on Netflix soon.
The cast includes actors Peter Dinklage and Shirley MacLaine, as well as the local Island of Letterkenney fame Michelle Mylett.
And Gilbert said the commission is also working on securing a number of summer and fall projects.
New provincial money could help motivate more locals to work in the industry, according to a statement from Camosun College.
“Training opportunities could include carpentry and electrical programs for trades students, new diploma and certificate programs like digital animation, and vocational training programs for people in the industry,” he said. said Sherri Bell, president of the college.
Lana Popham, MP for Saanich South, also expressed her enthusiasm for the opportunities that a college studio could create.
“This investment could help Camosun achieve its goal of developing sound stages that can attract international productions and educate the next generation of people who do the incredible work behind the scenes in the film and television industry,” Popham said.
The college sets up an advisory committee to help with planning.
And in the meantime, Gilbert said the unusual filming locations were among the highlights of the region.
“We have castles and lighthouses, things you can’t find elsewhere in British Columbia”