Foreign prod’n runs out of Canada

Shooting drops 10% between April 2001-March 2002

TORONTO — Runaway production could be running out on the Great White North, according to the latest stats from the Canadian Film and Television Production Assn.

Between April 2001 and March 2002, foreign location shooting dropped 10% to C$737 million ($484.7 million); the total value of production exports fell 14% to $1.51 billion; and overall film and TV production volume nationwide, at $3.35 billion, failed to climb for the first time in a decade, according to the report “Profile 2003,” released annually.

The CFTPA attributes the plunge to “a downturn in global markets, the failure of convergence strategies and a drive towards cheaper television programming.” The data was collected during the SAG strike scare and during and after the 9/11 tragedy.

“The industry is still a healthy one, but there are trends which I find disconcerting,” said CFTPA prexy and CEO Elizabeth McDonald, “particularly the downturn in English-language drama, children’s programming and the increase of inhouse production by the broadcasters.”

Inhouse production was up 9% to $616 million, while overall, indigenous Canadian production was down 3% to $1.58 billion.

The news comes as Moviemaker magazine named Vancouver and Toronto as Nos. 1 and 2 among the 10 top cities to film in North America. L.A. came in seventh.

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