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Firefighter unions North and south Join forces


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#1 David Allen Grove

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 12:46 PM

Link to the Online Article

Boycott puts chill on 3000 Degrees
Firefighters say no to co-operation
Movie production shuts down


DEBRA BLACK
STAFF REPORTER

Millions of dollars that were set to be pumped into Toronto's economy by a big-budget Hollywood film have gone up in smoke after Toronto firefighters warned they would not work with the producers.

Actors, caterers, talent agents, technicians and casting agents are all lamenting the loss of Ron Howard's production of 3000 Degrees, which was shut down by Warner Brothers yesterday, a month before shooting was to begin.

The movie, based on a book about the death of six firefighters in a 1999 blaze in Worcester, Mass., had attracted fierce condemnation from the dead men's families and firefighters' unions.

The families charged that the writer and the film company were making money from their loved ones' deaths.

"We just didn't want our children exposed to the film," said Michelle Lucey from her home in Massachusetts yesterday. Lucey is a widow of one of the firefighters who was killed in the blaze on Dec. 3, 1999.

Firefighters' unions added their objections, claiming parts of the book account were inaccurate.

The shutdown of 3000 Degrees, which was to star Ed Harris and Woody Harrelson, came as a fresh blow to an already SARS-struck movie industry in Toronto.

"Millions of dollars are pumped into the economy by one big-budget Hollywood film," said Rhonda Silverstone, film commissioner with the City of Toronto.

"We lose a picture and we're not too happy about it because it means a loss of jobs and a loss of new money into the Toronto economy. There are a lot of businesses that supply the industry: caterers, florists, car rental companies, dry cleaners and hotels. It's pretty widespread."

Industry insiders say they are worried. Warners' decision to stop production comes at a time when Toronto's status as Hollywood North has been threatened by a stronger Canadian dollar and a campaign in California to rein in "runaway" film production in Canada, Mexico and elsewhere.

This is the third production cancelled in Toronto in recent weeks. Both The Interpreter, which was to star Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman, and Frankenstein, a two-hour made-for-television movie starring Parker Posey, have been moved to other locations.

Toronto union president Scott Marks said local firefighters refused to provide vital co-operation with the filming of 3000 Degrees because of a call for a boycott from firefighters in Worcester.

"Four of the families were adamantly opposed to the making of the film," said Frank Raffa, president of the Worcester Fire Fighters Local 1009. "They didn't want to go back and live that nightmare."

Marks said it wasn't his union's intention to put others out of work.

"We're not shutting the production down," he said. "What we've said to our people is, don't take part in the filming of the picture. They can make the film. Hollywood has overcome bigger obstacles than this."

That's cold comfort for Silverstone and others who were counting on the work. For companies like Capers on Location, which feeds hundreds who work on a film set, the news means an end to work they were counting on.

"We're all sad to lose any movie," said Shairi Stevenson, owner of the catering firm. "It's hard enough to get them here. The loss of that picture will mean the loss of income. Hopefully, there will be a lot of other movies and rock shows this summer."

For actors, too, the film had meant the potential for jobs.

"This was a major film production. Losing the work opportunities was a major disappointment to our members, especially when the industry is just beginning to recover from the SARS crisis last year," said Brian Topp, executive director of ACTRA Toronto.

The impact of SARS on Toronto's film and TV production industry was shown by a report issued by the City of Toronto last month. According to city figures, based on movie permit applications, major film and TV production companies spent $723 million last year ? down $163 million, or 18 per cent, from the previous year.

"I think everyone is worried," said Robin Cook, a Toronto casting director. "For actors, this is how they make a living. Even though I worked on four movies, I'm doing less than I normally do. I feel we're definitely taking a hit."

"It means a loss of a lot of jobs," said Michael Oscars, senior partner in a firm that represents actors, Oscars, Abrams, Zimel and Associates. It was a substantial shoot, he added.

"It's going to deplete the economy and there's nothing to replace it. It leaves somewhat of a vacuum."

The picture isn't completely dark, though. Hollywood North is still in action on other major productions: a remake of Assault on Precinct 13 with Ethan Hawke is currently being shot, as are Cinderella Man, starring Russell Crowe, and The Pacifier, starring Vin Diesel. Scheduled shoots for The Man, with Eugene Levy and Samuel L. Jackson, and a movie starring Hilary Duff called the Perfect Man are seen as a hopeful sign.

Toronto's attractiveness as a production centre was thrown into question two weeks ago, following a complaint that red tape at the Toronto Transit Commission had put another production at risk.

The local producers of Two Kings, a pilot for the UPN network, took their case to a meeting of TTC commissioners after TTC staff turned down their request to film on TTC property because it was received one working day late.

There was a happy ending, though: The commissioners ordered staff to accommodate the request anyway, and filming took place at the Wilson subway yard on Sunday.

With files from Hicham Safieddine and Catherine Porter
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#2 Michael Stumpf

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Posted 08 April 2004 - 05:17 PM

Link to the Online Article

Boycott puts chill on 3000 Degrees
Firefighters say no to co-operation
Movie production shuts down


DEBRA BLACK
STAFF REPORTER

Millions of dollars that were set to be pumped into Toronto's economy by a big-budget Hollywood film have gone up in smoke after Toronto firefighters warned they would not work with the producers.

Actors, caterers, talent agents, technicians and casting agents are all lamenting the loss of Ron Howard's production of 3000 Degrees, which was shut down by Warner Brothers yesterday, a month before shooting was to begin.

The movie, based on a book about the death of six firefighters in a 1999 blaze in Worcester, Mass., had attracted fierce condemnation from the dead men's families and firefighters' unions.

The families charged that the writer and the film company were making money from their loved ones' deaths.

"We just didn't want our children exposed to the film," said Michelle Lucey from her home in Massachusetts yesterday. Lucey is a widow of one of the firefighters who was killed in the blaze on Dec. 3, 1999.

Firefighters' unions added their objections, claiming parts of the book account were inaccurate.

The shutdown of 3000 Degrees, which was to star Ed Harris and Woody Harrelson, came as a fresh blow to an already SARS-struck movie industry in Toronto.

"Millions of dollars are pumped into the economy by one big-budget Hollywood film," said Rhonda Silverstone, film commissioner with the City of Toronto.

"We lose a picture and we're not too happy about it because it means a loss of jobs and a loss of new money into the Toronto economy. There are a lot of businesses that supply the industry: caterers, florists, car rental companies, dry cleaners and hotels. It's pretty widespread."

LOL

Do you think Ms. Silverstone sees the irony and hypocrisy of that statement?

I guess she sees it as okay for them to take OUR (United States) jobs away, but not for anybody else to take "their" cough cough, jobs away!

Good for the firefighters banning together.
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#3 RonBaldwin

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 01:36 AM

I'm not sure "they" are taking our jobs away, it's not their fault that their dollar sucks. I'd blame the studios here in LA. The execs and ceo's are the ones saving all the $$ by shooting elsewhere. The IA doesn't give a shit either...it's the same IATSE here and in Canada, just different locals. Our own are selling us short, it's not the fault of the Canadians, the Irish, the Aussies, the Kiwis. It's the bean counters cutting corners here in LA. If the whole world was under the same currency most movies would be made here. Until then we are boned.

Ron B
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#4 David Allen Grove

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 10:47 AM

I think it would be nice if the big hollywood stars would give producers a financial incentive (haha) to shoot in the states.

Jim Carey: "Shoot the movie in the states and I'll knock off a couple of million from my salary. Shoot in other countries, I'll charge you a couple of million MORE."

(that would be a differecnce of ... $4 million for one person!)

It will most likely never happen but it might be a great and simple solution.
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#5 Brad Hruboska

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 11:02 AM

Probably not, considering Jim Carey is a Canadian by birth, his family still lives here , in fact he went to my high school in Burlington Ontario....my personal disappaointment is in the lack of indiginous production for the world market, and how our own point of view is not widley expressed in the cinema marketplace. But thats perhaps jaded by growiing up literally in the shadow the worlds most influential superpower.
:huh:
We did however lose another film with Sean Penn , probably going to shoot in New York proper.....
:blink:
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#6 David Allen Grove

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 01:15 PM

Carey was a bad example.. how bout Tom Cruise? He was born in the states. :)
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#7 guillermo nespolo

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Posted 12 April 2004 - 05:20 PM

hahahahahah i love the jim carrey joke :P :P :P :P
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#8 David Allen Grove

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 03:41 PM

hahahahahah i love the jim carrey joke :P :P :P :P

You can see my act at the improv! :)
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#9 David Allen Grove

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Posted 15 April 2004 - 10:34 PM

Maybe it's not such a crazy idea after all :-)


The link to the entire article http://www.hollywood...t_id=1000489917


"Schwarzenegger, noting that show business generated $33.9 billion for the state's economy last year, said he hopes to double the number of entertainment-related jobs from 250,000 to 500,000 and offered one possible remedy to thwart runaway production. Citing his own efforts on "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," Schwarzenegger called on actors and sundry parties to consider shifting portions of their upfront fees to the back-end to alleviate budgetary pressures, which can mean the difference between shooting abroad or remaining in California. The governor also has initiated a state-by-state analysis of incentives offered outside of California.

"Up until now, no one really paid attention in Washington to the entertainment industry, even though it is such a hugely successful export business and the industry contributes so much to our economy; but people brushed it aside and never took it seriously," he said. "Now I will make sure it is taken seriously, and there will be tax incentives in the near future."

Appointed to the film commission were a high-profile yet bipartisan lot. Democrats Danny DeVito and Bill Duke were appointed as were Republicans Clint Eastwood and Lili Fini Zanuck. Rounding out the appointments was Tom Werner, who declined to state an affiliation on his voter registration."
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#10 PeterAbraham

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 03:45 PM

Carey was a bad example.. how bout Tom Cruise? He was born in the states. :)

He's from New Jersey.

Does that............count?

:D
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#11 David Allen Grove

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 05:51 PM

Hmm. I'm not sure Peter. I mean, I COULD create another poll..... ;)
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