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Hollywood North: The Feature Film Industry in British Columbia

In 1978, British Columbia had a film industry that brought out four productions, and contributed $12 million in direct spending to the provincial economy. Fast forward to 2000: the 192 productions filmed here – of which 56 were feature films – brought over $1.18 billion to the province. In just over two decades, BC has emerged has the third largest centre of audiovisual production in North America – surpassed only by Los Angeles and New York. This book recounts the story of British Columbia’s rapid rise from relative obscurity in the film world to its current status as “Hollywood North.” Mike Gasher positions the industry as a model for commercial film production in the twenty-first century — one strongly shaped by a perception of cinema as a medium, not of culture, but of regional industrial development. Addressing the specific economic and geographic factors that contribute to the province’s success, such as the low Canadian dollar and BC’s proximity to Los Angeles, Gasher also considers the broader implications of the increasingly widespread trend towards location service production on national cinema and cultural production. Has BC’s film industry become simply another Hollywood backlot, or are more complex forces of place, culture, and national identity at work? Hollywood North is an important book that brings these questions into focus and addresses the tension between globalization and localization in the film industry.

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