film committee 

The stage is set to create the Sea to Sky Corridor's first Film Committee, an attempt to lure big productions north in search of impressive local vistas as backdrops to big-budget films, videos and commercials Southwestern B.C. is becoming known more and more as the Hollywood of the North and Robert Fine, economic development officer for the Sea to Sky Economic Development Commission, has issued a casting call for interested volunteers to get involved with the scripting of rules for the regulation of the film business in the corridor. "So far, we have had an unbelievable response," Fine says of the search for 12 local members to make up the inaugural Sea to Sky Film Committee. Identify potential barriers to filming in the corridor, determining the best ways to accommodate film crews, developing recommendations and policies to promote filming in the corridor, setting standards and guidelines for productions and identifying professionals in the industry residing in the corridor are the main tasks at hand for the committee, says Fine. Representatives from Pemberton, Whistler, Squamish and the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District are being sought as Fine says it is time to set a uniform group of principals and rules to streamline the bureaucracy of film applications and to promote the Sea to Sky Corridor as a film-friendly area. Last week, the film business in the Lower Mainland was sent reeling by rumours that Paramount Pictures would be pulling two major productions and hundreds of thousands of dollars out of B.C. because of problems with the Teamsters Union. Fine says the labour problems on film sets in Vancouver should not be a deterrent to creating a proactive committee in the corridor. "If indeed Paramount is going to follow through with their threat it will be this group that is going to do their best to promote this area and make it a viable option in the film industry," Fine says. Smoothing out bureaucratic bumps and cutting through red tape is what is going to make the Sea to Sky Corridor a very attractive place for film producers to scout out locations. "Whistler has a developed policy regarding filming in the municipal boundaries, but the policies in the rest of the corridor are different, and in many ways that could create problems for people interested in looking here as a potential film location," he says. According to Whistler-based ski film producer Greg Stump "anything that makes it easier for people to get to work and away from red tape is cool." Dan Redford, a freelance stunt performer, location manager and special effects technician based in Whistler, says the whole idea of promoting the corridor as a location is positive. "People are looking for shots of the wilderness, but they also like to be close to the necessities and anyone working on a film would like to spend time in Whistler while they're working," he says. And according to Fine, the Sea to Sky Corridor is getting enough of a name in the film industry that the time is right for a co-ordinated marketing effort to attract production crews, and the big bucks that go with them. "We might as well get local people who want to be involved to help shape the direction we're going to take policy-wise, as this has the potential to be a big economic part of the corridor," Fine says. Applications are being accepted up to Feb. 19, 1995 and are available at municipal halls throughout the corridor and at the Sea to Sky Economic Development Commission Office.

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