Monday, June 21, 2010

"WEEKLY UPDATE" From Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Marketing Agent

Michigan Film Commissioner Janet Lockwood resigned last week amid continuing controversy over how film and television tax credits are administered in that state. Lockwood has been an enthusiastic and high-profile booster of Michigan's industry and a familiar face to me at LA marketing events over the last several months. Her resignation, along with that of an aide to a state representative announced yesterday, has reiterated for me the continued importance of highlighting Ontario's record of stability and reliability with regards to its tax incentives. I spoke to many of you last week about how these qualities are swiftly becoming our jurisdiction's greatest asset as newer and flashier incentives programs are facing increasing scrutiny in competing jurisdictions. You can read more about the scandal in Michigan below in the Michigan Messenger, which continues to identify film and television tax credits as an election issue in that state... controversy-over-tax-incentives

With regards to film and television tax credits, another interesting issue is emerging in several US jurisdictions and I think it is one to watch: the New York Times reports below that states are increasingly reviewing the content of the projects that are applying for tax credits. The piece talks at length about how Michigan's Janet Lockwood recently rejected an application from established filmmaker Andrew van den Houten due to the violent and graphic nature of his script and reports that film offices from Texas to Florida to Georgia are grappling with whether to apply content restrictions to their incentives.

Over the last several months I have heard time and time again that tax credits are the soft money that gets pictures made. I have heard state film commissioners refer to themselves as equity partners and I heard one ask a panel of production executives if they considered her a co-producer: that state film offices are starting to flex their muscles with regards to content does not surprise me. Although Canadian jurisdictions are not immune (Bill C-10 anyone?) I sense that this is an issue poised to gain traction in the US, especially in conservative jurisdictions...

An addendum to the above: Andrew van den Houten said in the Times that he will move his picture to Massechusetts where the "subsidy program has no apparent strictures on extreme horror". Just one day later a story about his pending application appeared in the Boston Herald and referred to his project as "taxpayer-funded cannibalism"...

The Los Angeles Times reports that booming business in Georgia has resulted in the opening of a new 30-acre studio complex. Since beefing up its incentive in 2008 Georgia has emerged among the top five states in the US for film production, attracting such movies as The Blind Side, Zombieland and the fifth installment of Universal's Fast & Furious franchise... georgia-booms.html

Also from the Los Angeles Times, despite opposition from the major Hollywood studios, federal regulators voted 3 to 2 on Monday to approve an investment vehicle that will allow professional traders to bet on the ticket sales that a movie generates during its opening weekend...,0,6162556.story

And finally Canadian Business reports that Telefilm Canada and the OMDC congratulate Splice, a Canada-France co production supported by both organizations, for exceeding the million dollar mark after just one week in Canadian theatres. Opening Friday, June 4, Splice generated box office sales of $1.12 million across 170 screens in Canada in its first week. At time of writing the US box office for Splice was more than $14.3 million...

You will find the full text for linked articles below my signature. Please feel free to distribute this widely and contact me with feedback. Have a great weekend.

Warmest regards,
Kelly Graham-Scherer
Los Angeles Marketing Consultant

For The Full Article:

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Consulate of General Invites You to The "2010 NHL Entry Draft"

You and a guest are invited to join the Los Angeles Kings as they host the "2010 NHL Entry Draft".

Date: Friday, June 25, 2010
Time: 4:00 - 7:00pm (doors open at 2pm)
Place: Staples Center 111 South Figueroa St, LA, CA 90015

For more information please visit

Budgeting Visual Effects Seminar

A streaming video Webinar on Budgeting Visual Effects for Feature Films.
Topics to be covered include:

•Defining the Role of the VFX Supervisor and VFX Producer
•The VFX Chart of Accounts
•Globals Fringes
•Production Support: from pre-production through post

Seminar leaders:

Susan Zwerman, VFX Producer, (DGA, PGA and VES Member)
Charles Finance, VFX Producer, (VES Member)

For full details and registration please visit:

Friday, June 11, 2010

PipelineFX, Shotgun Software and Tweak Software Announce Global Roadshow to Showcase Integrated Product Line


PipelineFX, Shotgun Software and Tweak Software Announce Global Roadshow to Showcase Integrated Product Line

Three companies announce 8-city worldwide tour
Los Angeles, CA – June 1, 2010 – Tweak Software, makers of RV, the next generation image and sequence viewer for VFX and animation artists, PipelineFX, makers of Qube!™ - the leading render farm management software for digital media creation, and Shotgun Software, makers of Shotgun, a customizable web-based project management and collaboration system, announced today an 8-city world tour showcasing their latest integrated products and discussing integrated pipelines with the digital content creation community.

Shotgun Software, PipelineFX and Tweak Software develop flexible tools for high-end production environments that allow their customers to focus on creating content rather than managing infrastructure. The three solutions work together to facilitate render farm management, production management and media review/playback and are built on open standards to provide the hooks for extensive customization.

For more information and to RSVP to the tour stop in your city, click on this link:
• Los Angeles June 16, 2010 (Wednesday, 7pm) Digital Domain
• Vancouver June 17, 2010 (Thursday,7pm) Rainmaker Entertainment
• Toronto June 21, 2010 (Monday, 7pm) Starz Animation Toronto
• New York June 23, 2010 (Wednesday, 7pm) Offhollywood
• London June 30, 2010 (Wednesday, 7pm) Framestore
• Mumbai July 2, 2010 (Friday, 7pm) To Be Announced
• Singapore July 5, 2010 (Monday, 7pm) To Be Announced
• Beijing July 7, 2010 (Wednesday, 7pm) Xing Xing

About PipelineFX

PipelineFX is the leading provider of renderfarm management solutions for digital content creation. PipelineFX has more than 400 customers worldwide including BBC, Digital Domain, Electronic Arts, Fisher Price, General Motors, Herman Miller, Imagemovers Digital, Laika Studios, Lockheed Martin, MTV, NBC, NHK, Proctor & Gamble, Rainmaker Animation, ReelFX, Smoke & Mirrors, Sony Computer, South Park Studios, Starz Entertainment, Technicolor and Telemundo. PipelineFX is headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii, and has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Las Vegas. For more information, please contact Richard Lewis, CEO of PipelineFX:

About Shotgun Software

Shotgun Software was founded in January 2006 by a group of visual effects professionals to build production tracking and pipeline solutions. The founding members worked together on a major studio animated feature, and are developing Shotgun to fill the mounting industry need for a commercially viable system for managing complex projects spread across multiple locations. Shotgun is actively developing the system with more than 100 industry studios including Digital Domain, Framestore, Rainmaker, Playstation, Blizzard, Zoic Studios, Dr. D, and Laika. For more information, and an online demonstration, visit

About Tweak Software

Tweak Software was founded in 2007 to develop tools that address real-world production needs of VFX and animation professionals. The Tweak partners Jim Hourihan, Seth Rosenthal and Alan Trombla spent many years at Industrial Light and Magic where they developed tools and techniques still in use at that facility today. Jim Hourihan is the recipient of two Sci-Tech Academy Awards and is best known for developing Dynamation, the first commercial particle system that was subsequently incorporated into Autodesk’s Maya software. For more information, visit

Friday, June 4, 2010

BAICAA - International Animation Film Festival "Golden Kuker" 2010

The International Animation Film Festival “Golden Kuker” 2010, which aim is to continue the tradition of the World Animated Film Festival, held from 1979 to 1989 in Varna, Bulgaria, will take place from 13 to 17 October 2010 in Sofia, at the National Palace of Culture. It is been organized by the Bulgarian Association of the Independent Cartoon Animation Artists (BAICAA).

We kindly invite you to enter the festival by submitting your films. The selection for the Competitive and Information Program will be performed by an international Selection Committee, and the prizes will be awarded by the International Jury.
This year special emphasis will be given to children's films and to the works of authors from the Balkan countries.

Panoramas of classic Bulgarian animated films as well as different thematic programmes and retrospectives will be proposed to the audience's attention. The authors of films in the competition will meet every day with professionals, journalists, colleagues and students and will discuss their creative work and the animation art's actual problems. Round tables will be organized to debate the place of the art in the education process, as well as the measures and forms of state's support for the artists / animators in our country. Children will enjoy a special Children Feast, a whole day full of plays and entertainments, concerts and films for them.
The day Festival Club and the night one will provide space for personal meetings and for spending pleasant time with pleasant people.
We are waiting for new films and festival guests. Information about accommodation will be published later on.

You can find the Regulations and the Entry Form on the Festival's site:
Deadline for submission of Entry Forms: July 15, 2010, deadline for receiving animation works (on DVD or videotape): July 30, 2010.
Send Entry Forms to:
Please provide also a professional CV and photo (300 dpi, min 4х6 cm) of the director, as well as 3 stills from the film (300 dpi, min 6 х 8 cm) - by e-mail or on a CD to

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ontario Multimedia Mission to France and Italy 2010

Ontario Multimedia Mission to France and Italy 2010 October 24-29, 2010
The Ontario Government and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada invite you to participate in the Ontario Multimedia Mission to France and Italy. The program will enable Ontario companies to meet with key decision-makers of companies and stakeholders from two world-class multimedia centres: Imaginove (Lyon, France) and Think Up (Turin, Italy).
The program includes:
• Matchmaking with French and Italian companies organized through the expertise our international partners.
• Site visits to animation studios, gaming software companies and other businesses with relevance to the companies participating in the mission.
• Presentations at View Conference 2010 (Turin): a key international stage for business on computer graphics, interactive techniques, digital cinema, 3D animation, gaming and VFX (

Why participate?
The Imaginove cluster, centered in Lyon, brings together over 200 multimedia companies of the Rhône- Alpes region. Rhône-Alpes has over 650 companies and 23 research centres devoted to different multimedia sectors. The region is home to the world famous Game Connection and the Annecy Film Festival. .
Think Up is a project of the Chamber of Commerce of Turin (Piedmont region) to promote internationally 80 IT companies in multimedia, ITS, ERP, finance, industrial automation and telecommunications. The Think Up’s multimedia companies have gained an international reputation for their expertise in virtual reality, web design, multidimensional graphics, e-learning and IPTV. Piedmont, with its strong IT tradition, is home to over 8,000 IT companies.

For further information, please contact: Victor Miranda, Area Director, France Benelux and Southern Europe, International Trade Branch, MEDT
T. 416-314-8231, To apply, please fill in the enclosed form and return it via e-mail to Victor Miranda. A registration fee of
$125.00 (cheque payable to “Minister of Finance”) will apply upon application.
The mission is limited to eight companies. Early registration is advised.
The Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) Export Fund provides eligible Ontario companies with funding to pursue export development activities that correspond to a strategy for company growth. Please consult: .

Precis of Bill 168

From the desk of Brian Simpson, Keyframe Digital Animation

Bill 168 is Ontario Provincial Legislation adding further mandatory duties on Employers within the Occupational Health and Safety Act to cover violence and harassment in the workplace.

This act will significantly impact all workplaces, employing five or more employees, within the province of Ontario. It is apparent that the Provincial Government is quite serious in ensuring compliance with the bill, as it has hired some 200 inspectors to audit workplaces and enforce the act.

Effective June 15, 2010, all Employers must

- prepare policies with respect to workplace violence and workplace harassment; and post such policies in conspicuous locations within the workplace.

- in addition to the policies, the employer shall assess risks in the workplace and then develop and maintain programs to implement each of the policies with respect to workplace violence and harassment, which shall then be fully communicated to employees.

- once implemented, the Employer shall monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the policy and the programs on a regular basis.

As a result, Employers must develop procedures to investigate and resolve complaints of violence and harassment; and to develop safety plans in the event of occurrence.

Please note that there is a further requirement under the act which makes the Employer responsible in to ensure safety of employees and workers with respect to domestic violence; if an employer becomes aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, that domestic violence would likely expose a worker physical injury in the workplace, the employer shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker (safety plan)

It is important that Employers recognize that it should formally go through all the steps as indicated in the legislation, and ensure that it has a paper trail of its efforts.

For further information on the Bill and recommendations for its implementation, it is recommended consulting the information at the following links

Employers now have only a short period of time to get ready for the new Workplace Violence Prevention law. Bill 168, an Act to amend the OHSA to prevent and manage workplace violence and harassment comes into effect on June 15, 2010 and is enforceable as of that date. The amendments explicitly set out a duty for every Ontario employer to take specific steps to proactively prevent and manage workplace violence. Legal compliance starts with a risk assessment.
The tragedies of the Lori Dupont workplace murder in Windsor and the Pierre Lebrun shootings in Ottawa highlight the seriousness of workplace violence.
Bill 168 contains definitions for workplace violence and workplace harassment. Workplace violence means the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker. It also includes an attempt to exercise physical force or a statement or behaviour that a worker could reasonably interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker in a workplace. Workplace harassment means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.

Risk Assessment
Employers must conduct a risk assessment of workplace violence that may arise from the nature of the workplace, type of work or conditions of work. For example, the activities workers perform, whether workers are required to travel, work alone or work late at night as well as access security and surveillance systems. The risk assessment must also consider circumstances common to similar workplaces – the activities or work conditions that certain sectors have in common and circumstances specific to the workplace such as layout and design and geographic location. If an employer has multiple work locations, each location should be assessed for its own unique risks of workplace violence in addition to the common risks.
Employers must prepare, and review at least annually, a policy with respect to workplace violence and harassment. The policy is required regardless of the size of the workplace or the number of workers. If more than five workers are regularly employed at a workplace, the policy must be in writing and posted in the workplace. Employers may prepare separate policies on workplace violence and workplace harassment or they may combine their workplace violence policy with an existing workplace harassment policy.

The employer must also develop a program to implement the workplace violence and workplace harassment policy. The program must include measures and procedures to control the risks identified in the workplace violence risk assessment; measures and procedures for workers to report incidents of workplace violence and harassment to the employer, for summoning immediate assistance when workplace violence or harassment occurs or is likely to occur; and identify how the employer will investigate and deal with incidents or complaints of workplace violence and harassment. The Bill also places a duty on an employer to take every reasonable precaution for the protection of a worker, if the employer knows or ought to reasonably know that domestic violence may occur in the workplace and likely expose a worker to physical injury.

The employer must also provide information and instruction to its workers on its workplace violence and harassment policy and program. In particular, the employer will be required to disclose to its workers the risk of violence from a person with a history of violent behaviour who they may encounter in the course of work and if the risk of workplace violence is likely to expose the worker to physical injury.

There are also minor amendments to the work refusal provisions contained in section 43 of the Act and the incident reporting provisions contained in section 52(1) of the Act. The Ministry of Labour recently released a guidance document titled ‘Workplace Violence and Harassment: Understanding the Law’.

The Ministry of Labour is committed to enforcing Bill 168. Employers who have not completed their Risk Assessment, policy, program and training by June 15, 2010 are at risk of enforcement actions including orders and prosecutions. Directors and officers must ensure their organizations are in full compliance or risk personal liability. Corporations may be fined up to $500,000.00 and individuals may be fined up to $25,000.00 or jailed for 12 months or both. Compliance with Bill 168 is not only the law, it is also the right thing to prevent workplace viol