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How can a movie be filmed in Squamish during the strike?

After receiving a filming notice from A24 for a movie starring Hugh Grant, The Chief wanted to know how that could happen during the SAG-AFTRA strike.

Some places in and around downtown Squamish — like The Squamish Chief — recently received notice that a movie is looking to film parts of a feature in the region.

But, how can this happen given the ongoing actors’ strike? 

Well, it seems that the actors’ union, Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), and independent production companies can make an interim agreement.

The potential filming notice The Chief received is for a feature film, Heretic, starring Hugh Grant from production company, A24. While the plot is relatively under wraps, according to IMDB it is rumoured to be about “two young women of religion who are drawn into a game of cat and mouse in the house of a strange man.”

The notice is asking for consultation for filming on Wednesday, Oct. 4 and Thursday, Oct. 5.

“These filming days would consist of both daytime and nighttime work, and will involve SPFX rain and wind, that is, if Mother Nature does not cooperate,” reads the notice.

While the location manager, Desiree Young, couldn’t comment much more on the film, SAG-AFTRA lists the production as one of many that have signed an interim agreement with the union.

From SAG-AFTRA’s website, the agreement “consists of the terms of our last offer to the AMPTP [Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers] before we went on strike.”

Independent production companies, like A24, can sign onto these agreements since they operate outside of who AMPTP is representing, which are Hollywood studios like Disney, Netflix, HBO, Sony and others.

The current actors’ strike boils down to two sticking points: residuals from streaming services and who owns the use of likeness if produced by A.I. 

Before streaming services, residuals were payments from the re-airing of films and T.V. shows. The advent of streaming complicated that process and now SAG-AFTRA wants more residuals from streaming services, largely based on viewership, yet streaming services largely guard these numbers.

These factors are similar to some of the reasons the Writers Guild of America is concurrently striking.

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