B.C. film industry workers prepare for return as Hollywood actors’ strike ends
Posted November 8, 2023 9:45 pm.
Workers in B.C.’s film industry are preparing to head back to work as Hollywood’s actors’ union reaches a tentative deal with studios and ends their strike.
More than 60,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Performers (SAG-AFTRA) went on strike July 14, joining screenwriters who had walked off the job more than two months earlier. It was the first time the two unions had been on strike together since 1960. Studios chose to negotiate with the writers first, striking a deal that their leadership marked as a major win and bringing their strike to an end on Sept. 26.
Creative BC CEO Prem Gill tells CityNews the tentative agreement between the union and studios bring on a big sigh of relief for many in the industry.
She says B.C. has a very large film industry, and it will primarily focus on supporting productions that are restarting over the next few months.
“It’s pretty exciting for people to be able to get back to work from productions to gear back up to the levels that we’re used to,” she said. “All through the summer period, we’ve still been getting queries about B.C. as a potential production location from producers and different people.”
However, Gill says it is too soon to say when production in the province will return to pre-strike levels. She says it could take until early 2024 for things to really get rolling.
“There were productions that were on pause that had started some pre-production and then stopped. So those are hopefully get geared up pretty quickly over the next few weeks,” she said.
“We’ll really be looking at trying to understand what productions that went on pause and are now looking to find a place to land … for us, it’s really ensuring that B.C. remains a jurisdiction of choice.”
Gill adds that she expects the union’s tentative deal to be ratified after the New Year as well.
On top of the list of issues actors wanted addressed in their agreement includes compensation and the use of artificial intelligence in the industry.