Mayor’s Film Task Force Report Released

“Greener” productions and improved communication with residents & industry recommended

Mayor Sam Sullivan today released a special Task Force Report on ways the City of Vancouver can improve management of the city’s film industry. The task force was Chaired by Shawn Williamson, CEO of Brightlight Pictures and supported by Councillor Elizabeth Ball.

“Ensuring Vancouver’s economic success is one of the five goals we have established for our government,” said Mayor Sullivan. “The film industry contributes significantly to our economic well-being. I want to thank Shawn, Councillor Ball, our Filming and Special Events Office and the Task Force members for their important contribution.”

The report recommendations include:

  • ensure productions are better educated on specific neighbourhood issues prior to production
  • improve notification and polling procedures to provide more timely and accurate information to residents
  • establish “film hubs” around Vancouver to consolidate production services and reduce energy consumption
  • work with industry on economical reductions to size and impact of “circus” vehicles and work trucks in residential and business areas

“Making sure production crews are more sensitive to local issues is a key theme of this report,” said Mr. Williamson. “Vancouver is made up of many diverse neighbourhoods and some of them – like Chinatown, Southlands, Strathcona and Yaletown – have specific concerns when productions move in for location filming. By continuing to address local issues the industry will find itself more welcome – and that’s important to our long-term viability.”

The report also recommends improvements related to signage, facilitating productions through the 2010 Winter Olympic & Paralympic Games and Vancouver’s film office.
“This report represents a series of practical measures that can make a successful industry even stronger,” said Councillor Ball. “In addition to following through on many of these recommendations, we look forward to working with provincial and federal governments on issues relevant to their responsibilities.”

Download a full copy of the Film Task Force report.


Mayor’s Task Force on Film Industry: Summary of Recommendations

Mayor’s Task Force on Film Industry
Summary of Recommendations

Mayor Sam Sullivan launched the Task Force on the Film Industry to recommend ways in which the City can help sustain the industry and be sensitive to the needs of local communities.

Mayor Sullivan appointed Shawn Williamson, CEO of Brightlight Pictures, to chair the Task Force. It includes representatives from Canadian and American production industry, residential organizations, BIA representative, Vancouver Police Department, Vancouver Park Board, Engineering Services, Real Estate Services, location manager and an independent film producer.

The report recommendations include:

  • Identify and implement ‘filming hubs’ in downtown Vancouver with dedicated parking, electrical power, internet and water hook ups.
  • Explore opportunities for interim use of vacant City properties, and/or the creation of additional parking areas for film parking and staging to reduce set up times and operating costs – particularly in the downtown core.
  • The film industry work to reduce the size and impacts of their ‘circus’ vehicles and work trucks in both residential and businesses areas.
  • The film industry continue to investigate ways to promote the sustainability of the industry – including temporary direct connections to the electrical power grid to reduce the requirement for vehicle idling.
  • The City maintain an ongoing dialogue with the industry through the B.C. Film Commission around the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Games to confirm Vancouver will NOT be closed to filming during this period and inform productions how the Games may might impact their work.
  • Explore opportunities to improve the timeliness of installing and removing ‘no parking’ signage, particularly in commercial areas.
  • Endorse the City’s new Traffic Control Protocol for Film Work, developed by Engineering Services, Vancouver Police Emergency Operational Planning Section staff and the film industry.
  • The City identify “hot spots” for filming using the current process and criteria for assessing impacts on individual properties and for establishing temporary moratoriums and filming restrictions.
  • Productions should issue thank you letters upon leaving locations with high impact and encourage citizen feedback on any concerns.
  • City staff and the film industry review the current Filming Guidelines, specifically as they refer to polling and notification processes to improve objectivity, deal with privacy concerns and provide timely and accurate information to residents.
  • Create location specific guidelines for areas with unusual issues – including how to deal with horses in Southlands, special business hours for Chinatown, specific parking concerns in Strathcona and notification procedures for new condos in Yaletown.
  • The BC Film Commission should coordinate twice-yearly meetings between senior City staff responsible for filming and the film community to maintain communications with the industry.
  • City and Film Commission should consider educating location production personnel about the specific concerns business owners and residents have when they learn that filming activity will be taking place in their neighbourhood.
  • The City of Vancouver review the level of staff resources in the Film Office, Engineering Services and Parks to ensure there are adequate resources to respond to industry needs and to carry out compliance monitoring on a cost recovery basis.
  • Mayor consider an invitation to travel to Los Angeles with representatives from the B.C. Film Commission and the Motion Picture Production Industry Association on one of their regular economic development missions.
  • Mayor’s office should create a “welcome” letter to producers of new projects considering coming to the Vancouver to film, expressing Council support for the industry.
  • City and Film Commission staff educate the public about filming benefits, impacts and processes used by the City to manage filming.
  • The film industry ensure that B.C. Film Commission’s Code of Conduct is distributed to all production personnel to remind them of the expectations of the public production about their activities, both film related and personal, while working in both business and residential neighbourhoods. Conduct regarding parking, smoking, garbage removal, noise and adherence to permits are all covered in the Code.