One Last Movie From Saskatchewan’s Dying Film Tax Credit

It’s confirmed: Wolfcop will be filmed in Regina. From CBC:

The film makers were keen to shoot in Saskatchewan and figured the best way for that to happen was to leverage money from the province’s incentive program. But the tax credit was axed months ago. The producers discovered, however, that the old program still had some projects in the works. “One of our partners already had a horror movie approved under the tax credit system,” Bill Marks, a production executive at CineCoup, said. “And Wolfcop fit the bill nicely under the rules and we were able to put Wolfcop under the existing program.”

More here. If you want your region to have the economic spin-offs from a film industry, you have to have a tax credit program. When the Saskatchewan Party government axed ours, our film industry died. It doesn’t matter why they did this. Maybe they hate people working in the arts (a demographic that will never vote for conservatives). Maybe they were inexperienced bumblefucks who didn’t understand any part of the economy that doesn’t involve digging up shit and selling it. Doesn’t matter. It’s a well-documented policy fumble either way.

The important thing is that a way was found to get this movie tax credits and make this happen. Maybe Saskatchewan’s government is finally learning how to be a government for everyone, rather than a snotty clique of dipshit cowboys with dumb ideas and a charismatic leader, and too much support from the business lobby.

Even if that’s not the case, filming on Wolfcop starts Oct. 7.

Want more? Recent PD Wolfcop coverage is here, and anguished howling from the past about the loss of the film industry are here and here, and probably a lot of other places on this website, since this is a thing we talk about.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

22 thoughts on “One Last Movie From Saskatchewan’s Dying Film Tax Credit”

  1. It is indeed happy news that Wolf Cop is shooting here.

    This isn’t happening because the government has seen the light, or that Creative Saskatchewan, which still hasn’t hired a CEO or staff, has made it possible. It’s more of a case of a loophole was found to get Wolf Cop covered under the axed tax credit, and that likely only happened because of all the national attention focused on Wolf Cop winning the $1,000,000 Cinecoup competition.

    If the government doesn’t develop a viable plan for making Saskatchewan an attractive environment for investment, then tv/film production dollars will continue to flow into Manitoba at our expense, which seems only appropriate as many of our experienced producers and crew have already moved one province east.

  2. Wolfcop? Or a Wolfman posing as a cop? Score another B movie as Sask Made!
    I partly agree with you on this one Cowardly Lion.

    As I’ve previously posted, this tax credit was never guaranteed to be a permanent thing. It was only meant to jump start the film industry here in Sask. Instead it became relied upon and that’s where the fault lies. So the Sask Party Gov’t is right about that part.

    What they did wrong was to discontinue it so soon with no ideal alternative to take it’s place right away. They should have kept this Tax Credit going until a proper alternative method was implemented.

  3. Well MB, you don’t seem to know how a tax credit functions if you thought it was a temporary thing to jump start a film industry.

    With our former film tax credit, the government only had to pay out when productions brought outside investment into the province. In the end, the province gained a net benefit as the Sask Chamber of Commerce pointed out, as far money was spent in the province in film/tv production because of the tax credit than the province rebated.

    Without a tax credit, productions go to provinces and states with them (there are dozens and dozens of them) and spend their money there, people get employed, and income and sales taxes get paid into government coffers.

    There was no rationale reason for the government to cut the film tax credit, and it certainly made no financial sense. They offer ongoing incentives to oil exploration, potash extraction, agriculture and manufacturing; why do those industries keep “relying” on the government?

  4. MB: Every place with a film industry has a tax credit program. What are you talking about? Also, what’s wrong with a good B movie?

  5. Well Stephen, Alberta actually doesn’t have a film tax credit. And yet they have film production. How can it be?

    Because Alberta provides grants for film production. The Sask Party cut the film tax credit, calling it a grant (which it wasn’t) and have replaced it with a proposed (inadequate) grant program (Creative Saskatchewan) that isn’t bankable, i.e. film production companies can’t take it to a bank to secure a bridge loan, and without bridge loans, film production does not happen, as production companies don’t get paid until they deliver the finished film, but they incur the costs of production.

    Alberta’s grant program is up to $5 million per project and is bankable. The rumours I’ve been hearing about Creative Sask (and that’s all any of has to go on these days are rumours despite more than 18 months passing since they axed the film tax credit) is their entire budget will be around $5 million, and it covers not just film and tv, but music, art, and performing art.

    And Alberta seems quite happy to give money to Hollywood because they know that Hollywood ends up spending far more in Alberta, than it costs Alberta to lure them there. In short, Alberta wannabe Saskatchewan is falling far short.

  6. “[a] snotty clique of dipshit cowboys with dumb ideas and a charismatic leader, and too much support from the business lobby.”

    Best take ever.

  7. A or B, a lot of movies do good financially in the secondary markets.

    AB. is attractive for filming, partially due to the non-flat scenery.

  8. SW – Nothing wrong with a good B movie at all. I was cheering for Wolfcop in my own little way. And I suppose you aren’t aware that New Brunswick cancelled their film tax credit a year before Sask did.

    And if you check around with your supreme search skills using good old Google, states like Connecticut, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Louisiana all have either cut/modified/reduced their film tax credits as they deal with their fiscal situations. So good all Sask isn’t alone in doing this.

    C Lion. I never professed to know all the functions of this Film Tax Credit.
    What I do know is things come and go or get changed. Nothing is ever guaranteed in life. The same thing also applies for any current incentives to our oil, potash, agriculture uranium, mining and manufacturing sectors. They are subject to changes or cuts also.
    And if Manitoba changes gov’t in 2015, their film tax incentives maybe reviewed as well.

    When this became a news story last year, I wanted to know more about the origins and reasons behind the film tax credit. So, upon researching I was surprised to find out this was originally created by then Conservative Gov’t under premier Grant Devine whom was despised by the political left. They wanted to attract more filming companies and build up an industry here. When the industry was deemed stable, then this incentive would be removed. That is what I understood from reading last year.

    So, if Sask creates something similar to AB like you mentioned in your response to SW, then I’m all for that too.

  9. Yes, New Brunswick did cancel their Film Tax Credit in March, 2011 but after much criticism unwrapped a new Film Tax Credit later that year:

    Alberta utilized a grant system incentive administered under the Alberta Media Fund, but a motion to implement an actual Film Tax Credit was put forward by the opposition Wildrose Party was passed in the Legislature this past May.

  10. Thanks for the clarification, MB. I was a little worried you’d suddenly morphed into an anti-film production troll. Also, thanks for the reminder about New Brunswick — I keep forgetting that’s a province. Because real provinces support film industries. Zing!

    The key point here is that jurisdictions that don’t have film industry support programs — tax credits or grants — don’t have film industries. Sadly, industry support programs tend (TEND) to be cut by conservative governments.

    Which is one of the reasons people in the arts don’t vote for conservatives. Conservatives kill their jobs.

  11. I love to hear comments from Conservatives like MB, who could easily be cast as the “Cowardly Lion”, or perhaps “Spineless Gutless Mouse” that won’t even put his real name to posts. My nom de plume is self-explanatory and directed directly at him/her!

    I read a post back when the tax credit was pulled that guessed that the intent of pulling the credit had nothing to do with intelligence, economics, or rationality. It had to do with a plan to sell the old campus for a conservative hack condo development. WAIT FOR THAT TO HIT THE NEWS after the next election (if Saskatchewan doesn’t wake up … and they win).

    Producers like Lowell Dean should be getting a Saskatchewan medal for his patriotism to Saskatchewan, and not chastised and criticized for doing something positive for it. Cowards like MB should be exposed and get the rewards he/she/it deserve.

    Tell us your contribution to Saskatchewan mb! I’m sure it could be written on a red paper clip.

  12. You lose all credibility when you criticize someone for not commenting under his/her real name, and then you comment under a “nom de plume”.

  13. Well Barb, my words from FO MB speak for themself. Do they change with a name? So now you have a name.

    I always laugh at the irony of politicians who are known as liars to call themselves “honorable”. They have to call themselves that as a protocol because nobody in their right mind would call them that.

  14. Do I, now? Well, I guess someone has to be called “Bob Smith”, so we’ll go with that one.

    You sure do make a lot of assumptions about mb; perhaps if you kept your temper under control, you’d actually make some good points.

  15. Yep, and someone has to be Barb Saylor. Not sure what your point is there. The only assumptions one can make about (ex mb) are what comments that person writes.

    Angry? Not at all. Disappointed, sad, disgusted by another incompetent government ripoff are more in line with my emotions. Anger is not an emotion that has any value even if too many people suffer from extreme apathy. Hopefully voters will remember that this government has destroyed a net profit sector of the arts. Lord only knows that can’t be said for all of the arts sectors so the logic to destroy it can only be “justified” because there is another underlying motive.

    Only time will tell if they will pay a political price for selling off the old U of S building(s). It is prime real estate and with the past history of this party, the campus will be just another piece of history that can never be retrieved and will make an ugly condo eyesore in the heart of this city.

    I would love to hear this party make a public statement about their support of the arts, and that they would not sell or change the old campus in any way other than to rejuvinate its current use.

  16. For every province/ state that cuts/ reduces their tax credit another extends or improves theirs. So while Massachusetts may have reduced theirs, New York extended and improved their tax credit program.

    I may be mistaken, but I am fairly certain the Alberta government recently announced plans to discontinue the grant program and re-introduced a film tax credit.

    I went to the south US recently and met a young boy and his mom, as soon as I mentioned I was from “the middle of Canada” and clarified by saying Saskatchewan, they excitedly asked me about Little Mosque on the Prairie and Corner Gas. We had something that was a sense of pride for Saskatchewan in addition to football and farming and the government threw it away because someone’s feelings got hurt.

  17. I heard a great excerpt just now on “The Dome” spoken to the acting mayor/sleeze bag/murder/… etc..

    BARBIE: “we all know what you are”

    BIG JIM (acting mayor): “What … a criminal?”.

    BARBIE: “Worse … a politician”.

    Truth acknowledged on a TV show.

    (If only the general public could recognize deception.)

  18. SW – Nope, not an antifilm troll. I enjoy films/media/music just like anyone else even if made in Sask or elsewhere in the world. Are you learning from Zingbot of Big Brother? J/K.

    Thanks DKD & Rusty for updating me about New Brunswick and their tax credit. I didn’t see that.

    Barb – Always a pleasure to read your posts and thanks.

    Bob Smith – Quite the angry raving lunatic post you addressed to me. MB are my initials.
    Last I checked, people are free to post under the name “anonymous” here on PD.
    Calling me a coward and putting FO MB in the name line isn’t going to make me go away. I’ll continue to post on these forums. I’m not degrading to your level.

    My views are moderate right wing mixed with some liberal. I’m not a fan of extreme left/right wing views. Heck, back when posters from briefly invaded PD forums, I wasn’t impressed.

    I’ve developed some respect for the staff of PD and Saskatoon Planet S. They do have some good articles and posts. I listen to both occasional John Gormley and Rex Murphy Cross Country Checkup.

    Contributions? Just like the average Sask resident…working, paying taxes, voting, recycling to Sarcan, supporting Telemiracle & Roughriders, spreading organ transplant awareness because I have one, Sasktel Pioneers computer program, Computers for Kids, buying tickets for small town lotteries to support their fundraising efforts, etc.

    I also watched the season finale of Under The Dome, Good Line about being a politician.

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