The North Vancouver Island Film Commission Commissioner Joan Miller

The North Vancouver Island Film Commission Commissioner Joan Miller

Film commission promotes North Island

What do the new reality series Last Survivor and the feature film Into the Forest have in common?

What do the new reality series Last Survivor and the feature film Into the Forest have in common?

They will both include footage from the North Island.

Representatives from the North Vancouver Island Film Commission, which has been around about 20 years, gave a presentation on their organization to the Regional District of Mount Waddington board at their regular meeting Feb. 17.

The Commission provides liaison and location scouting services to the film, television, commercial and new media industry representatives interested in filming on northern Vancouver Island, from Nanaimo to Cape Scott, including the Powell River Regional District. Their region covers 22,000 square miles.

The organization attends numerous trade shows, international cineposiums and federal trade missions. They develop and maintain an online location library database accessible to production companies world-wide. The database includes a huge collection of photographs of locations from all of Northern Vancouver Island.

The commission provides information on local crew, equipment, and services and represents the interests of local communities.

“We’re the initial contact for the film industry,” said Film Commissioner Joan Miller. ‚ÄúWe are always getting UK (United Kingdom) companies coming, she said, adding the film industry “has a huge economic impact” on the area.

Last year, the organization fielded about 80 real requests, said Miller.

They are so busy “we’ve run out of crew.”

The commission is a not-for-profit society that receives core funding of $30,000 each year from the BC Creative. However, last year their total working budget was $127,500.

“We are not allowed to charge anyone for our services,” she said, as a result they apply to numerous funders.

“We’ve come to you for some funding,” said President Stephanie Tipple. “What I see is the economic development factor of these (productions) coming to the region,” said Vice-President Lillian Hunt.

This not only occurs when filming is taking place; but after when the shows are aired on television or in theatres and people decide to come see the location for themselves.

Council did not address the funding request.