Monday, June 30, 2014

Mix-ups and a little bit of hope

We received some good news late Friday on Ghostkeeper 2 in that one of those funding agencies will consider our proposal. While this is not a decision by any stretch, it is at the very least -- promising.

As with most government workings, there is a lot of paperwork, of which I have learned that the more paper you send the more important it seems to be. 

You also might wonder why the government seems to show up in every movie or TV series that is made in Canada. Or maybe you haven't as there's only a few readers from Canada on this blog, most likely friends or family.  Probably mostly friends.

The answer is simple; Canada has no real film industry and this is due to the fact there are no studios like Paramount or Universal. All we have is a handful of production companies who weave foreign films among obscure Canadian films that never get shown anywhere because they really aren't very good.

But there's always Quebec.

Quebec, one of Canada's provinces, is all French, even their first language is French, everything is written in French. Okay, there is English but it is referred to the "2nd Language".

French-Canadian filmmakers make good movies, they even win oscars as "foreign films" because they're mostly French.

So why do they make good movies?

I think it's because the French Canadians have a very strong idea of who they are. I've always said that English Canadians (which includes every ethnic group other than French) don't really know if they're British or American.

So why do I knock my own brothers and sisters of film?

Because they make bad movies.

I know because I made bad movies. And nobody liked my screenplays. They said I was "too American". So I moved to America and guess what?

They liked my scripts. They even paid for them. At least 35 scripts, of which around 19 were finally made.

But there once were good English Canadian films. But those were made during the "tax credit days". 

Those days were from 1975 to 1985 more or less. This was when an investor could put $200,000 into a movie and write it off as taxes. One investor for Ghostkeeper 1980 did exactly that.

Suddenly we began to get some good movies and some that made lots of money. There was a teen comedy, Porky's, that made $100 million. There was also The Silent Partner, with Eliott Gould, and Black Christmas and the memorable Christmas Story which still plays 24 hours on Christmas Day.

There was also The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz with Richard Dreyfuss. Also Videodrome and Scanners from David Cronenberg. How about Meatballs that made Bill Murray a star. And of course my friend's movie The Grey Fox. And again some great films from Quebec.

So why were they so good, or at least not bad?

Yes, Americans came to Canada in the form of movie stars, except Donald Sutherland who seemed to be in almost every movie in that time.  But they also came as technicians and cameramen and in a strange way, created the real movie crew as per American standards.

But the tax credit was soon to die as lawyers and accountants began taking lots of money from the bank and that soon spoiled everything for everybody and after 10 years, the government told the crooks that the tax credit is over.

And then Canadian writers and directors had to go back to movies that nobody wants to see.

But the Canadian crews are now some of the best crews around. So at least something came of those 10 years. But the movies sadly still don't make the grade.

No comments:

Post a Comment