Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Bill C-10 has GOT TO GO!!

For those who haven't heard about this yet, Bill C-10 is a bill that will allow the Canadian government to deny tax breaks to any film not meeting their standards of decency.  Thankfully, it hasn't been passed yet, but with the amount of pressure being put upon Parliament, it just might happen.
Y'see, there's a evangelical guy working in the shadows named Charles McVety (aka this monkey) putting his grubby fingers all over this bill.  Acting on behalf of CFAC (Ann Coulter's wet dream) he and his flying monkeys will make sure that no Canadian tax dollars fund any films that he wouldn't approve.  Oh well, the CBC and the National Film Board were nice organizations we had once.  It's too bad they both depended on tax dollars for everything they did.  If only every employee had more than two kidneys to sell, they just might have lasted longer.  
Maybe he'd rather we have someone like Brian Mulroney in parliament again so that our tax dollars could be put towards things like Ronald Reagen's STAR WARS Defence Initiative.  Actually, now that I've brought it up, once these taxes are no longer going towards any films, where will they be going?

If you want to voice your opinion about this bill directly to the people who can have it stopped, send some snail mail to this address:

General mail:

Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce

The Senate of Canada

Ottawa, Ontario

Canada, K1A 0A4

"But hey!  You're just a blogger, Mr. Germain.  You just post your pictures and type out lengthy tyraids online.  Why do you care so much about this bill passing or not?"

That's a good question, hypothetical blog reader.  I care because I live in Canada and I am an animator/film maker.  I've made only one film so far but I do hope to make more.  However, that road to getting enough financial backing to make any films will be much tougher if the bill passes.  Heck, the veterans of the Canadian film and television industry are going to have tougher times ahead.  It'll be damn near impossible for upandcomers like me as well as anyone behind or slightly in front of me.

With that, I'll leave you with a copy of my film.  Do you think McVety or anyone in his corner would give any tax dollars to it?  You be the judge.

Hansel und Gretel


  1. I think ... the short ... should be considered ... not sure ... I thought I saw a nipple ... some body might think that that was pornographic ... so ...DENIED

    They are debating this now on CPAC in the House. The Senate Banking committee has voted evidently to hold public hearings.

  2. They ought to scrap this system altogether & just do away with income taxes on artists (like Ireland). They're only subsidising incompetence. A producer without a decent budget is just a bum.

  3. A producer without a decent budget is just a bum.

    Yeah, Michael Bay's $147 million Transformers movie was a masterpiece while Diablo Cody's $6 million Juno was just pure crap. ;)

  4. david:

    I'm trying to be serious here. The issue is that you're in a situation where your livelihood is threatened if you animate nipples or fart jokes.

    Six million is perfectly adequate to make a coming of age picture like "Juno". The name actors take backend participation, (to the credit of the producers). There are ten listed on IMDb, including John Malkovich.

    To me it seems pertinent that "Juno" doesn't qualify as a Canadian picture for tax puposes. It seems entirely possible that the producers made this decision in the interest of making a better movie.

    Diablo Cody is the writer.

    Michael Bay has a producer credit along with 11 others, but he's really the director. I would never imply in any way that Michael Bay is NOT a bum, but the animated effects are way better than Juno's.

    I was really thinking specifically about animation production. The current system of government subsidies is just contributing to a branch-plant mentality in Canadian film production. It's a race to the bottom to compete with South Korea, India & China.

    Producers in Toronto are always pleading poverty to anyone who'll listen, but isn't that the same as you, as an artist, complaining that your own showreel sucks? But what do they want from you, you're only a Canadian? It's unfair to hold you to international standards.

    In trying to stabilise the water level in a small pond, they've succeeded in creating a stagnant puddle.

  5. Producers in Toronto are always pleading poverty to anyone who'll listen, but isn't that the same as you, as an artist, complaining that your own showreel sucks?

    I never said my show reel sucked in any way. I asked if any senators would approve the film's content under the new (and suspiciously vague) Bill C-10 guidelines. That's the issue right there. This bill is a gateway to allowing more censorship being put upon independent artists (which is why I put some of my Censor Monkeys in that drawing above). That's what I hope the Canadian government is able to stop by defeating this bill absolutely and thoroughly.

    Whether a film "sucks" or not or if a screenplay WILL suck when it's turned into a film is certainly open to interpretation.

  6. Damn. You Canadians have my sympathy. Good luck.

  7. God, David! No, your own personal showreel is not the point (love your film, by the way). I only meant that as an animator, your talents, hard-won skills & work ethic are what you bring to the table. It's the producer's responsibility to bring adequate capital financing. Just as you are rightly judged by your reel & the qualitative assets you bring to a job, a producer's budget is the quantitative measure of his skill & talent as a producer.

    The idea came to me in an job interview with a certain Saturday-morning producer. I'd just been laid off & had a new baby at home. I knew I'd be taking about a 1/3 pay cut to work on this lousy series. Hey WTF, that was the market & I couldn't wait for something better. He was disdainfully flipping through my portfolio in preparation to making me a lowball offer & I thought: "Does he think he's going to save money by convincing me that I'm barely up to his standards? Where were his standards when he took on this job himself?"

    Most of the footage coming out of Canada under the current system has no relation to Canadian culture (Hansel & Gretel excepted, of course). The only contribution the producers are making to society in general is to keep animators off the unemployment rolls. It would be far more efficient if they subsidised the artists with a tax holiday instead of subsidising parties whose interests are best served by keeping the quality of art & artist low & keeping salaries low & uniform.

    The current polcy also lets anyone with a political constituency screw with your content. No reasonable person thinks they will improve the moral fibre of the nation by making animation blander & more predictable, but the opportunity is there. Politicians have something to run on that doesn't involve much effort for them or cost to taxpayers. A good deal all around, except for the public, the culture & us. The government sends cheques to the producers who can be counted on to self-censor beyond the wildest dreams of the wingnuts.

    If you let gravitational forces run politics, you ususally get a socialist cloud koo-koo land for the powerful & dog-eat-dog laissez-faire for the rest