ARCHIVED - Transcript - Hull, QC - 1998/09/26 - B
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1 ecology metaphor, because that seems to be the one that
2 is most prominent in my mind.
3 5390 The rules should be proportional.
4 They should definitely be proportional.
5 5391 MR. BOWIE: Perhaps it is an idea
6 that if their licence fees are set at a certain level
7 and a program does well and the producer gets a bonus
8 licence fee for that, and that comes off their spending
9 requirements, that sounds like a workable deal even for
10 small and medium sized companies, not just the largest
11 production company.
12 5392 MS COHEN: There are also certain
13 standards of business practices, where if you have a
14 very good client relationship, shall we say, then
15 chances are you are going to want to work with those
16 individuals again. That is a bonus in itself; that
17 there is a promise of future productions. There might
18 be some production deals and those kinds of things.
19 5393 Those things do exist in rather more
20 informal ways, and in some more formalized ways, even
21 though they are not supposed to, I guess, in fairness
23 5394 That is something that I could
24 imagine being a form of a bonus or reward, shall we
1 5395 Certainly telephone has its rewards
2 still in place for those who return equity on
4 5396 THE CHAIRPERSON: I have the
5 reference here.
6 5397 After suggesting the bonus to CAB,
7 said at page 66:
8 "The specifics of the bonus
9 system would be negotiated with
10 producers on a case by case
11 basis. If the show under-
12 performs, there will not be a
13 reduction in the agreed upon
14 licence fee (although there may
15 be other pre-negotiated default
17 5398 When we asked whether these default
18 points were tantamount to a penalty, it was not clear.
19 The only thing was clear was that whatever it was would
20 be negotiated ahead of time, so that I suppose some
21 type of risk would be shifted to the producer.
22 5399 MS COHEN: I would say, Madam Chair,
23 at the risk of being a bit heated about it: What kinds
24 of defaults have they paid with respect to Canadian
1 5400 THE CHAIRPERSON: Your view is that
2 the fee as negotiated always delivers the audience.
3 The program on which they took the risk by paying a fee
4 delivers the audience. So there would not be any need,
5 you are saying.
6 5401 MS COHEN: No. What I am saying is
7 that -- I a being a bit rhetorical.
8 5402 I am saying that the very issue, the
9 very question of default points should even be raised
10 by those who have been in chronic default for some time
11 is --
12 5403 THE CHAIRPERSON: I see. In the
13 licence fee level, you mean.
14 5404 MS COHEN: Well, that and also on
15 ours as well.
16 5405 THE CHAIRPERSON: I see some of your
17 colleagues nodding appreciatively at the back.
18 5406 You feel that the bonus would be to
19 bring the licence fee back up to the level that it used
20 to be?
21 5407 MS COHEN: I am a little nervous,
22 personally, about using licence fees as a --
23 5408 THE CHAIRPERSON: I was being
25 5409 MS COHEN: Yes, of course.
1 5410 THE CHAIRPERSON: But that is what
2 you are saying by default.
3 5411 MS COHEN: For the record, licence
4 fees should be --
5 5412 MR. BOWIE: Let's start off with fair
6 licence fees.
7 5413 MS COHEN: You cannot post facto --
8 5414 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand.
9 5415 MS COHEN: -- jig licence fees. You
10 are paying for something and you are getting it.
11 Especially with documentary, you may be getting more
12 than you bargained for, and in some cases maybe you do
13 get less than you bargained for.
15 5416 Hopefully, in the middle with
16 promotion and with the partnership, the kind of
17 creative partnership that often is undertaken with
18 broadcasters who see rough cuts, who see fine cuts, who
19 need to approve, you know, treatment and all that kind
20 of stuff, there's enough cushions within the system
21 itself to ensure that it's not a complete, you know,
23 5417 I have to tell you, and I am sure you
24 know this too, when there's no promotion, and we have
25 seen it with the CBC, for example, with documentaries
1 that they have programmed that have been international
2 award winning documentaries, when they got, you know,
3 figures that were below that of TV Ontario because they
4 did not promote it, and you will be hearing more about
5 that from us in the spring, I'm sure, that's a
6 considerable -- who's fault is that?
7 5418 THE CHAIRPERSON: I suspect that this
8 fits within the proposal of the CAB that we focus on a
9 model that looks at viewership as a reference point for
10 success, so I suppose that would flow generally from
11 that, that whoever manages to deliver more viewership
12 has within their model succeeded and maybe should be
13 rewarded for it.
14 5419 In light of the fact that
15 encouragingly, as far as I'm concerned, surveys and
16 viewership consistently show the extent to which
17 viewers are interested in documentaries and have an
18 appetite for learning or looking at programming that
19 engages more than just the couch potato instinct, would
20 you have any problem with the CAB proposal since
21 presumably to some extent documentaries would benefit
22 from that if you can show that they deliver audiences
23 with less money.
24 5420 MR. BOWIE: I think it's a challenge
25 we want to accept, yes. I think if we start off with,
1 you know, fair, realistic licence fees and then any
2 performance bonuses come on top of that but are allowed
3 as expenditures as --
4 5421 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, I was not
5 talking about the specifics of bonuses. I wanted your
6 comments on the more general proposal that appears to
7 be at odds with the CFPTA which says no, demand the
8 number of hours of production demanded in a particular
9 time when we know people are watching and demand a
10 certain amount of money paid, although the CAB is not
11 suggesting is not suggesting we move away completely
12 from what we have at the moment, Option A and B and
13 Option C has also been put forward.
14 5422 They are saying over and above that
15 or in forming all that structure should be a focus on
16 viewership, establish viewership levels and measure
17 success that way. Would that focus help documentary
18 makers considering the apparent popularity of it and,
19 as you said, it gives a good bang for your money.
20 5423 MS COHEN: Well, I think it's
21 something that should be definitely explored and worked
22 out in consultation with them to do that. That is a
23 partnership issue. Apart from my previous
24 facetiousness, it is something that certainly bears
25 strong thinking through.
1 5424 THE CHAIRPERSON: The other -- go
3 5425 MR. BOWIE: We do think that
4 documentaries can get made that will draw audiences.
5 What we are a little worried about is the CAB's
6 arguments about emphasizing viewership. What's behind
7 it is to reduce the amount of programming that's
8 available by focusing, you know, pinpointing on a few,
9 you know, shows that that they know are really going to
10 draw the big audience.
11 5426 I just don't think that is an
12 appropriate approach for the system. I think the
13 audience has to be able to turn on the TV and go to a
14 station many times and they are going to find Canadian
15 content. They can't just go at nine until ten and find
16 the great show. They have to be able to go more often
17 to more places and find Canadian content.
18 5427 It is a matter of increasing the
19 quantity and not just emphasizing well, let's just do
20 the shows that grab the biggest audiences.
21 5428 MS COHEN: It would have to strongly
22 take into account something that Jim Hanley said
23 earlier which was about, you know, repeat viewing and
24 the kind of building of audience really depends on how
25 audience and viewership is defined and over what time
2 5429 THE CHAIRPERSON: For you, I suspect
3 your proposal that documentaries be included in the
4 definition of under-represented categories would work
5 better both for exhibition and spending and access to
7 5430 MS COHEN: Yes.
8 5431 THE CHAIRPERSON: That would be the
9 crucial component.
10 5432 MR. BOWIE: Well, it's our
11 understanding it is already an under-represented
12 category, but it's just excluded from the entertainment
14 5433 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, which has more
15 of the fund.
16 5434 MR. BOWIE: Which is the whole of
17 Option B. Anybody that is in Option B can't select
19 5435 THE CHAIRPERSON: Otherwise you are
20 dealing with just a partial -- you are sharing part of
21 the fund, a smaller part of the fund.
22 5436 MR. BOWIE: Yes. They won't licence
23 us because they don't get it recognized as filling
24 their exhibition quotas.
25 5437 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very
1 much, Ms Cohen, Mr. Bowie.
2 5438 MR. BOWIE: Thank you.
3 5439 THE CHAIRPERSON: We will now take a
4 15 minute break, so we will be back at 20 to four.
5 --- Short recess at 1527 / Courte suspension à 1527
6 --- Upon resuming at 1541 / Reprise à 1541
7 5440 THE CHAIRPERSON: Madam Secretary,
8 would you please introduce the next presenters.
9 5441 MS BÉNARD: Thank you, Madam Chair.
10 5442 The next presentation will be by the
11 Independent Film and Video Alliance.
12 PRESENTATION / PRÉSENTATION
13 5443 MR. SANDMARK: Good afternoon. Thank
14 you for staying.
15 5444 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for
17 5445 MR. SANDMARK: I would like to first
18 of all thank you for allowing us the opportunity to
19 present our perspective at these public hearings.
20 5446 I am Peter Sandmark. I am the
21 National Co-ordinator for the Independent Film and
22 Video Alliance. To my left is Penny McCann. She is
23 our President. On her left is Sheila Urbanoski, one of
24 the members of our Board of Directors.
25 5447 I should mention Penny is a film
1 maker, lives here in Ottawa, has produced some work
2 that has been on TV, big time. Sheila is an
3 internationally acclaimed video artist and new media
4 artist. She is in Ottawa for an exhibition of her web
5 based work right now. Is that right, Sheila?
6 5448 MS URBANOSKI: That's right, yes.
7 5449 MR. SANDMARK: We represent the
8 Independent Film and Video Alliance. We are not the
9 alliance that merged with Atlantis. Some people -- we
10 get phone calls regularly for Alliance Films. In fact,
11 yesterday Lee Majors called looking for Robert Lantis.
12 I'm not joking. I gave him the right number. I always
13 forward on the calls and stuff.
14 5450 There's a certain irony. Anyway, I
15 get a few chuckles every day. He apparently made a
16 film with Robert Lantis years ago and he was looking
17 for him.
18 5451 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are just as
19 lucky as me who has a phone number very similar to a
20 very busy gynaecologist or obstetrician in Ottawa. I
21 know what the rate of the population growth is in
23 5452 MR. SANDMARK: It is our name in
24 French, Alliance de la vidéo et du cinéma indépendants.
25 It gets Alliance Video calls a lot so that's something.
1 I know how many people are trying to buy Jim Carrey
3 5453 We are an association essentially of
4 40 film co-operatives and video art centres or video
5 production centres across Canada. Each one of these
6 centres we estimate has roughly about 150 members,
7 individuals. We estimate around 6,000 people. It's a
8 large network.
9 5454 Some of the centres are more than 25
10 years old, the oldest ones. I think many talents in
11 the Canadian television and film industry have come
12 from this independent milieu. I will give as an
13 example the creators of "This Hour Has 22 Minutes",
14 Mary Walsh and Cathy Jones. They started out acting in
15 films made at the Newfoundland Independent Film Makers
16 Co-op in St. John's.
17 5455 Film makers Bruce McDonald and David
18 Cronenberg were founding members of the liaison of the
19 Independent Film Makers of Toronto. Both these
20 centres, of course, part of our membership.
21 5456 Other film makers of note coming from
22 the independent scene are obviously Atom Egoyan,
23 Patricia Rozema, Nettie Wild, John Greyson, Guy Maddin,
24 Ali Kazimi and Mina Shum. These are just a few of the
25 people who have succeeded.
1 5457 It is through the risk taking of the
2 larger players in the feature film industry that these
3 film makers have had success. We feel that television
4 should take an approach through support.
5 5458 The definition of the term
6 independent, and the organization is 17 years old I
7 might add, the definition of the term independent has
8 changed since the Commission last met to consider this
9 issue 18 years ago. The industry definition of
10 independent is a private production company who is not
11 a broadcaster or who is not owned in whole or in
12 significant part by a broadcaster.
13 5459 The Independent Film and Video
14 Alliance's definition of independent pertains to those
15 film and video makers who retain the copyright in their
16 work and have final editorial control.
17 5460 Our independent members work in all
18 genres of film and video from documentary to animation
19 to drama, feature length films to shorts. Essentially
20 when we use the term independent, we don't mean
21 Alliance Atlantis, although they are technically
23 5461 I guess we should say that our
24 independent producer members are driven by passion more
25 than anything else to create their films and videos
1 despite the obstacles they face raising financing and
2 trying to exhibit their works. There are many
4 5462 The Canadian Television Fund's
5 struggle to meet the needs of the large expensive
6 series came at a cost to many small independent
7 producers. Our members produce thousands of features,
8 documentaries, experimental work, one off, hundred per
9 cent Canadian dramas each year, yet these productions
10 are rarely seen on TV.
11 5463 There are few slots for independent
12 production. Independent work can be seen occasionally
13 on CBC. There are shows like "Canadian Reflections",
14 "Cinema Canada", "Witness", "Newsworld", "Rough Cuts",
15 "Passionate Eye", on Vision -- We certainly support
16 and applaud Vision's presentation -- Bravo!, Women's
17 Television Network and in Quebec I should mention also
18 SRC, TVA -- sorry, I should mention TéléQuébec.
19 5464 Even with the expansion of specialty
20 channels, programming such as that produced by our
21 members remains significantly under-represented on
23 5465 I would like to pass it over to Penny
24 McCann, President, to continue.
25 5466 MS McCANN: There has been a lot of
1 talk today about viewership. I just wanted to talk a
2 little bit about my own personal viewing patterns as a
3 cultural worker, as an educated not quite yet
4 middle-aged Canadian woman.
5 5467 My viewing patterns, I would say, are
6 distinctly Canadian. More often than not I find my
7 channels on CBC, TVO, Vision or CBC Newsworld. It's
8 because of shows like "The Passionate Eye", "The View
9 From Here", "Cinema Canada", "Through The Lens", shows
10 like that. Okay, I do watch "The Simpsons". I am
11 addicted to that. "Coronation Street", things like
12 that. I primarily watch Canadian television.
13 5468 I rarely watch Global and almost
14 never CTV. Why is that? Because if I wanted to watch
15 American programming, my cable package enables me to
16 watch the American stations. Then I get the full
17 cultural effect.
18 5469 When the Canadian specialty channels
19 were launched in the early nineties, I thought great,
20 this will be wonderful and I embraced them. I haven't
21 done the same with the new Me TV package, the new
22 launching of specialty channels. They are too
23 expensive and I am not willing to pay extra for the two
24 channels in the package that I might find interesting
25 maybe one evening.
1 5470 I suspect that I share a lot of
2 Canadians' what I would call specialty channel fatigue.
3 5471 In my imagination, interesting
4 television, would be one filled with content driven,
5 challenging programming where there are more innovative
6 broadcasters like Vision, like TVO, and with their
7 increase in their 100 per cent Canadian programming
8 now, CBC, but also where the public broadcaster runs
9 without commercials, where there is true choice, not
10 just the illusion of choice on a hundred channels that
11 will soon be on the dial.
12 5472 We believe that viewers are
13 interested in alternative visions, and I mean
14 alternative in terms of cultural diversity and in terms
15 of regional diversity, in terms of women produced
16 shows. The independent documentaries on CBC, Vision,
17 TVO are among the best in the world, high quality
18 series like "Emily of New Moon" and "Omertà" have only
19 been made possible through government support and
20 stringent Canadian content regulations.
21 5473 I would like to say that other shows
22 like "Gulages" which was on CBC that did not have a
23 strong viewership rating because CBC moved it countless
24 times in its short 12 week period. It was an excellent
25 program. I say that in reference to comments about the
1 CAB's proposal on viewership, that show never had a
2 hope anyway but it certainly wouldn't have a hope with
3 the new viewership proposal that is on the table.
4 5474 There's much more that needs to be
5 done if we hope to have dynamic content driven
6 television. For instance, Canadian feature films, we
7 see them more on CBC, very less on Global and CTV
8 except for the ones they commission themselves.
9 5475 Despite the fact that Canadian films
10 have been praised in international festivals at Cannes,
11 Venice, Berlin, only a percentage of these films are
12 seen on Canadian TV, slightly more than we see
13 obviously than we see on our screens here, on our
14 theatrical screens in Canada, but that's not saying
16 5476 To remedy that, we recommend that
17 quotas for the broadcast of Canadian features by all
18 networks be increased.
19 5477 We shouldn't compare ourselves to a
20 U.S. media industry that is ten times the domestic
21 market we have. It's far more appropriate to look
22 towards European countries for a relevant model. I
23 think that when we do look at European countries, we
24 see that we are on the right track.
25 5478 Peter's cousin faxed us Sweden's
1 viewing schedule for last Wednesday night. Just
2 looking at an overview of their viewing schedule in
3 Sweden, we see that Sweden has for a particular period
4 prime time viewing on a Wednesday night about 10 per
5 cent more Swedish content than we had Canadian content
6 last Wednesday night. That's pretty good. We are
7 right up there.
8 5479 We have made gains. We still lag
9 behind. You know, there are other channels that we can
10 compare to like Britain's innovative channel 4 in
11 England which has been responsible for launching and
12 promoting many of the most successful recent
13 independent British feature films and television
14 programming and also networks like RTAY, of course,
15 continue to lead the world in innovative programming.
16 5480 I think the success of Canadian
17 programming overseas shows that we are on the right
18 track. The steps that have been taken should be
19 continued. They are moving us in the right direction.
20 5481 Canadian content regulations continue
21 to play an important role in the maintenance of the
22 Canadian presence on our airwaves and the IFVA
23 recommends that Canadian content quotas be maintained
24 and increased. Under-represented programs of
25 documentary, drama and children's programming must be
1 given higher priority. We also support -- there have
2 been several suggestions by Vision, the CIFC of the
3 separate category for documentary. We would support
4 that. Fines must be levied against broadcasters
5 failing to meet minimum Canadian content regulations.
6 5482 It's the IFVA's opinion that private
7 broadcasters should not be allowed access to taxpayers'
8 money to underwrite the production of Canadian
9 programming. That's the purview of the independent
10 producer. If broadcasters are excluded from accessing
11 public funds, then publicly traded vertically
12 integrated production companies making profits similar
13 to broadcasters should be excluded as well.
14 5483 Neither should distribution rights be
15 tied to the acquisition of independent programming.
16 The expansion of specialty channels has seen a decrease
17 in licence fees, as we have heard many times at these
18 hearings, and independent producers need to sell
19 distribution rights in order to complete financing.
20 5484 In addition, the CRTC must have a
21 stronger hand in regulating placement of specialty
22 channels and broadcasters on the dial. The recent
23 displacement of Vision has been of particular distress
24 to the independent community because of their support,
25 ongoing support and very innovative support, of
1 independent programming.
2 5485 In order to ensure that more truly
3 independent work is seen, the IFVA urges the CRTC to
4 make a priority the establishment of an independent
5 channel, an independent film channel.
6 5486 The recent changes to the Canadian
7 Television Fund emphasizing Canadian content as a
8 criteria for accessing the fund we find heartening.
9 The fund should be expanded further to ensure access by
10 documentary producers, by more documentary producers,
11 and by emerging producers from all regions of Canada.
12 The IFVA recommends the establishment of an
13 independence fund focused on the development of high
14 quality content driven Canadian programming.
16 5487 Now, by independents' fund let's go
17 back to our definition of independents, which is a
18 creator-driven fund. It involves emerging producers.
19 It involves media artists, a whole range and, of
20 course, producers from culturally diverse and
21 regionally diverse communities.
22 5488 In our view, this will help to ensure
23 television that is dynamic, thought provoking and
24 unique. That was all I had to say for now.
25 5489 MR. SANDMARK: As a comment, I would
1 like to thank you for allowing us to present these
2 views, but to place it in context I think it is very
3 interesting to see the line-up of groups today because
4 we are very complementary. We see ourselves as sort of
5 a related group to CIFC because they represent
6 individuals who started up their own production
8 5490 Our membership -- all our centres are
9 non-profit centres where individuals go, access
10 equipment, post-production equipment, start making
11 their films. They launch their careers in a lot of
12 ways. Once they get going, then they start their own
13 company and they find themselves in the CIFC.
14 5491 A lot of our members apply for
15 funding to the Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund
16 and a lot of members will sell their works to Vision
17 TV. So, it's sort of an ecology where each of us are
18 representing different parts of the puzzle and we are
19 mostly representing a large body of young and emerging
20 talent, I would say.
21 5492 I think our message is pretty
22 straightforward. It's not too complicated. There is
23 not enough windows and there needs to be more. If you
24 have any questions on how you think that can be done
25 then fire away.
1 5493 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner
3 5494 COMMISSIONER WILSON: I want to thank
4 you for your presentation. You said in your opening
5 remarks that you are driven by passion and I guess that
6 is a message that certainly penetrated my consciousness
7 today. It's the incredible dedication that you have to
8 your craft. I have already gone on the record as
9 saying I am a big documentary fan, so I don't have to
10 underline that fact.
11 5495 I guess the only other thing I want
12 to say before I start on the questioning is that
13 Coronation Street is on CBC. Right? So, at least you
14 are faithful to your channel. It may not be a Canadian
15 program, but it's on CBC.
16 5496 I will ask you some sort of specific
17 questions and maybe we will get into some broader
18 discussion through that, but you indicated in your
19 submission that there are very few television networks,
20 except for CBC and you also mentioned Vision that have
21 specific programming for independent films and videos.
22 Do you do any work with the educational broadcasters?
23 They seem to carry a higher percentage of documentary
24 programming as well.
25 5497 MS McCANN: Knowledge Network and SCN
1 I have forgotten to mention. TVOntario, of course,
2 with their documentary strands, but less so for other
3 kinds of independent work, whereas Knowledge and SCN
4 quite often they have at least one program devoted
5 to -- they are quite open to work that doesn't conform
6 to traditional lengths. So, they could be shorts.
7 They could be medium-length films, as opposed to half
8 hour, hour long feature length or series.
9 5498 COMMISSIONER WILSON: You said that
10 the organization, the IFVA, represents people who are
11 working in all different genres, but are the bulk of
12 them working in documentary? Does that have anything
13 to do with your suggestion that documentaries be
15 5499 MS McCANN: No. Our members work in
16 all genres. Our members include an animation co-op in
17 Calgary, for instance, to there are hundreds of dramas
18 made by our members every year, as well as documentary
19 and feature-length dramas. So, it's a whole range, as
20 well as video art and -- I mean we are artists, so we
21 sort of move. It's fairly amorphous. Our work is
22 shown in galleries, as well as on TV, so it's pretty
24 5500 MR. SANDMARK: I can't really even
25 keep up with what is going on across the country. I
1 get things in the mail every day and I am swamped, what
2 can I say.
3 5501 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Are you the
4 only person working there?
5 5502 MR. SANDMARK: Right now I am the
6 only paid staff.
7 5503 COMMISSIONER WILSON: For 6,000
9 5504 MR. SANDMARK: Those are members of
10 the groups. It's like a network, the 40 centres. It's
11 amazing. It's vibrant. There is a lot of stuff.
12 There is a lot of really interesting things going on.
13 5505 I should mention actually that we
14 think that in a sense the model of production that is
15 coming out of this sector, what I call an independent
16 production model, which is a small crew, equipment from
17 a centre, something like that, responds in a sense to
18 one of your questions in an environment of increasingly
19 fragmented audiences, what economic model would best
20 ensure the creation, acquisition and exhibition of high
21 quality Canadian programs.
22 5506 We think that a lot of
23 independents -- first of all, they are low budget, but
24 they also appeal to specific audiences and I think this
25 is sort of a natural model for the future, where you
1 are going to see more and more niche programming. We
2 are going to see people making work specifically for
3 those audiences. You can't do that on a $5 million
4 budget. It doesn't work.
5 5507 But out of necessity, independent
6 film-makers have learned how to get it done one way or
7 the other, even with small budgets.
8 5508 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Actually, the
9 previous presenter, Ms Cohen, I think made the comment
10 that sometimes there are small "p" politics involved in
11 the production sector and the broadcasting sector and
12 they tend to go with people that they know or who have
13 established a reputation already. Do you see that as a
14 real barrier to getting your productions on air?
15 5509 MS McCANN: Many of our members
16 access -- our work is put on ACCESS -- the airwaves at
17 the acquisition stage, as opposed to presale, which is
18 obviously the industry model though that changes. It
19 is as diverse as our membership is.
20 5510 I think one of the great frustrations
21 is that the work our members produce is challenging, is
22 creator driven and it does find a home on TV at the
23 acquisition stage, but because we are so independent
24 minded there is a desire to avoid compromise. But I
25 think that's a very important thing to encourage,
1 especially amongst a new generation. If you want to
2 create a vibrant and multifaceted world of Canadian
3 television, putting producers into boxes, preplanned
4 boxes is not necessarily always the way to go.
5 5511 I think Vision very much embodies
6 that kind of philosophy, which looks for content-driven
7 work and not reliant on series, but on one-offs, one-
8 off dramas, one-off documentaries, shorts. The
9 important thing is the content and the ideas in
10 provoking the audience and engaging the audience. It's
11 not -- and it's about risk taking, fundamental risk
12 taking, not just risk taking where with a producer you
13 have never worked with before. That's an easy risk.
14 The hard risks co,me with content that is engaging.
15 5512 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Thanks for that
17 5513 Do you think that the Commission
18 needs to put into place incentives or requirements,
19 specific requirements to encourage the broadcast of
20 your members' productions. You say that rarely do they
21 make it to air. I think that's -- "precious few of
22 these works have appeared on television," I think are
23 your exact words. And if we should put in place
24 incentives or requirements, what kind of incentives or
25 requirements would we put into place? Do you have any
1 idea about that?
2 5514 MR. SANDMARK: A starting point would
3 be programming that allows for one-offs, inasmuch as
4 programming schedules are dominated by a series, it
5 excludes a large amount of the production sector we
6 represent, which they are not producing in series.
7 They are producing one-offs.
8 5515 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Do you think
9 the Commission could regulate that, could instruct them
10 to do one-off programming?
11 5516 MS McCANN: The Commission could
12 place Vision Television in a better spot to increase
13 their viewership. They are a strong supporter of
14 independent, and that's something that is within the
15 Commission's control to do. That's one example.
16 5517 Another example would be to approve
17 an independent channel and one that -- and ask hard
18 questions of any independent channel that comes in
19 because I know there are a couple that are standing in
20 line for whenever the next hearings are, whenever that
21 might be. That's another way of addressing our
23 5518 Another way is the whole viewership
24 model is problematic for us and we do not support the
25 Canadian Association of Broadcasters which --
1 5519 COMMISSIONER WILSON: How is it
2 problematic for you?
3 5520 MS McCANN: I have questions about
4 viewership and the way the numbers are created in the
5 first place and in whose interest is their proposal
6 finally is my real question. I don't believe it's in
7 the viewer's interest at all. I suspect it is more in
8 the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' interest.
9 That's just my cynical little self talking.
10 5521 COMMISSIONER WILSON: You and the
12 5522 MS McCANN: Me and the e-mailer, yes.
13 He was from Quyon, so we are both from the Valley.
14 5523 COMMISSIONER WILSON: And I noticed
15 that Ms Cohen said something about lacking
16 sophistication and I thought that writer's not lacking
17 in sophistication. He is quite knowledgeable.
18 5524 MS McCANN: I think the other answer
19 to your question is to increase Canadian content
20 requirements, which would help our members. Our
21 members work -- we get 150 per cent points for our
22 work. It is all made in Canada and, generally, it
24 5525 COMMISSIONER WILSON: If you are
25 doing drama. If you are doing the Category 7 to 9?
1 5526 MS McCANN: Right. Yes.
2 5527 The other point is to increase the
3 underrepresented categories. That's the key,
4 particularly drama and documentary. So, not just a
5 global maintenance and increase of Canadian content,
6 but specifically underrepresented categories.
7 5528 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Would you also
8 like to see something done about the prime time window
9 of 7:00 to 11:00 or 8:00 to 11:00 in terms of
11 5529 MS McCANN: Prime time has actually
12 been a problem. That's why our work is rarely seen in
13 prime time. Cinema Canada doesn't fit into the prime
14 time schedule, for instance, and that's one of the
15 major spots where you see independent Canadian
16 features, for instance.
17 5530 COMMISSIONER WILSON: What time does
18 that play?
19 5531 MS McCANN: It's after midnight, so
20 it is really not prime time.
21 5532 So I think a re-examination of prime
22 time would be helpful as we;ll.
23 5533 COMMISSIONER WILSON: I wonder if I
24 could ask your opinion on -- are any of your members
25 also -- I guess they wouldn't also be members of the
1 CFTPA if they are all working in non-profit co-
2 operatives and whatnot?
3 5534 MR. SANDMARK: There might be the odd
4 person. I mean some people can be a member of a co-
5 operative and have their own production company on the
6 side also. I don't know of many.
7 5535 COMMISSIONER WILSON: That was an
9 5536 What is your opinion on the notion of
10 excluding the really large producers from accessing the
11 fund? I think someone said something about Alliance
12 Atlantis doesn't really need the help of the fund any
14 5537 MR. SANDMARK: We haven't put it in
15 an official brief or anything, but I wrote an opinion
16 piece for Electronic Times Report and I suggested a
17 cap. It has been circulated that there could be a cap
18 on funds that any particular company gets and I don't
19 see any reason to not consider it seriously. If they
20 have the capitalization they ought to be able to raise
21 the financing, even if it is for 100 per cent Canadian
22 drama. If they can't take it from their distribution
23 system, then what are they doing with the money?
24 5538 MS McCANN: There is another point
25 that should be taken into perspective and that is the
1 tax credit system. When you are an independent
2 producer who may produce one program a year, you can't
3 take advantage of the tax credit system and not also
4 pay the rent. I mean that's not going to -- it's very
5 difficult to make the tax credit system have any
6 meaning within that milieu.
7 5539 Whereas a large production company
8 can do that. I think that this is very much a case of
9 the haves and the have nots. No, I don't support and I
10 said it, I presented that earlier, we don't support a
11 large capitalized production company who we do not
12 consider independent --
13 5540 COMMISSIONER WILSON: I understand.
14 I know you made the issue in your submission that you
15 don't support broadcasters having direct access, but I
16 am asking about companies like Alliance and Atlantis
17 who also access.
18 5541 MS McCANN: We don't support large
19 vertically integrated companies have access to the
21 5542 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Thank you.
22 5543 MR. SANDMARK: Let's understand of
23 course it is difficult because of the way the criteria
24 are spelled out. It would be difficult to draw the
25 line like that. So, it may have to be something like a
1 cap, as opposed to how do we define that and who is
2 going to become eligible.
3 5544 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Thank you.
4 5545 It is just that I think it is my
5 understanding, but correct me if I am wrong, but
6 Alliance Atlantis is not a vertically integrated
7 company. It is not owned by a broadcaster.
8 5546 MS McCANN: They have broadcasting
9 licences, yes.
10 5547 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Oh, but they
11 have broadcasting licences.
12 5548 MS McCANN: It's an either/or
14 5549 COMMISSIONER WILSON: You are
15 absolutely right.
16 5550 MS McCANN: I guess to be fair, there
17 is talk that they be excluded of getting funds
18 specifically for the channels that they own.
19 5551 COMMISSIONER WILSON: For the
20 channels that they have licences for.
21 5552 MS McCANN: Yes. That seems
23 5553 THE CHAIRPERSON: And there are
24 limitations in their licences in that regard as to how
25 -- indirectly minimizing the self-dealing by requiring
1 a certain percentage. I don't think it is a complete
2 prohibition, but any way there are limitations.
3 5554 MS McCANN: We do recognize the
4 difficulty in financing a large expensive series and we
5 also recognize the importance of having a large
6 expensive series like "Traders," like --
7 5555 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Like "Due
9 5556 MS McCANN: Yes, "Due South," "North
10 of 60," "Emily of New Moon," all of those. They are
11 important. They are absolutely important to be on TV
12 and they have to be capitalized somehow. The creators
13 of them shouldn't necessarily be overly penalized.
14 5557 However, are they being privileged is
15 the other question that has to be asked at the expense
16 of other smaller independent producers and medium-size
17 producers who don't have the same abilities in terms of
19 5558 MR. SANDMARK: May I make a point?
20 5559 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Absolutely.
21 5560 MR. SANDMARK: While we are talking
22 about the fund, one of the things we asked for last
23 year when the CTCPF at the time was doing hearings was
24 that they allow application to funding after the film
25 was made, at the point of what Penny was referring to
2 5561 COMMISSIONER WILSON: At the
3 acquisition stage.
4 5562 MR. SANDMARK: The acquisition,
5 right, because it otherwise excludes a lot of
6 independent production that do not have the contacts or
7 do not have the -- I don't know how else to put it, but
8 the connections to make a presale, for example, or
9 reputation perhaps to make a presale.
10 5563 The other thing, all we were doing is
11 trying to find a shift in the funding regulations, but
12 they said they were willing to consider it, but nothing
13 came of that and they are sort of sticking to the
14 regulations. We will see the new criteria when it
15 comes up.
16 5564 The other side of the fund at
17 Telefilm, again we asked for funding, a portion, a
18 fraction. We were talking about a percentage of
19 funding that goes to independent productions based on
20 the criteria we were talking about, independent
21 production where the creator retains creator control,
22 which is different. They require the producer to have
23 the copyright. It is part of their criteria, so it
24 makes it a problem. You have to be a director/producer
25 if you are going to access their funding.
1 5565 So, we are just seeking an entry, a
2 foot in the door, if you will, an opening. So that's
3 what we have doing in terms of those funds.
4 5566 COMMISSIONER WILSON: I wonder if I
5 could ask you a question now about infomercials because
6 one of the CAB proposals is that we legalize
7 infomercials, in the sense that they would be
8 considered Canadian content. I made the statement when
9 I was questioning one of the intervenors that I could
10 understand from an industrial strategy, for industrial
11 objectives to create Canadian jobs, like let's produce
12 them here. If they are going to be on TV, let's
13 produce them here, but from the cultural perspective I
14 wasn't quite so sure I understood how they would fit
15 in. I wonder if you could just share your views, if
16 you have any, on that topic.
17 5567 MR. SANDMARK: Did they want
18 commercials too, like regular commercials included?
19 5568 I don't know. That was a serious
20 request on their part?
21 5569 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Yes, it was. I
22 guess that's my answer.
23 5570 THE CHAIRPERSON: In defence of
24 infomercials, I don't think that the proposal was that
25 they would be considered on the same level as Canadian
1 programming, neither as an advertising, but that
2 possibly some category would be created that wouldn't
3 put them into advertising all together, depending on
4 what kind of criteria you could determine if they are
5 Canadian and so on.
6 5571 MR. SANDMARK: It is my understanding
7 infomercials pay for themselves, don't they? Isn't
8 that the whole idea? I don't see that. It seems like
9 an end run around the concept of Canadian content. I'm
10 sorry, but that's all I have to say.
12 5572 COMMISSIONER WILSON: I guess that's
13 about all I have for you. I do want to thank you for
14 making the distinction for us with respect to the word
15 "independent" in the phrase "independent producer",
16 because I think that that is a useful thing for us to
17 keep in mind as we sort of look at the whole issue of
18 the independent production sector in Canada in relation
19 to the broadcasting system and some of the proposals
20 that have been put forward.
21 5573 I guess there is only one other thing
22 that I wanted to ask and that is: What is a new media
24 5574 MR. SANDMARK: Take it away Sheila.
25 5575 MS URBANOSKI: How opportune that you
1 should ask that. I was just thinking of how I could
2 butt in. What is a new media artist? Fabulous. I
3 work in video, but also web-based work and a lot of the
4 work that I do and my colleagues do deal with issues of
5 the Internet and LED-based telecommunications. I was
6 also hoping to throw out to the CRTC a concern that I
7 have and my colleagues have and the members of the
8 Alliance have as well in what is the future and our
9 role, and I mean our role collectively, in the Internet
10 and Internet-based work.
11 5576 I refer to, for example, things like
12 the fact that the independents are having such a hard
13 time getting on broadcast. What's going to happen when
14 we have Internet-based broadcasts, what sort of
15 Canadian content issues are we going to be able to
16 address and also payment issues, copyright issues,
17 censorship, and so on.
18 5577 COMMISSIONER WILSON: I am sure you
19 know we have a new media process coming up and I would
20 encourage you to participate.
21 5578 MS URBANOSKI: Yes, we would really
22 like to be involved in that.
23 5579 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Well, we
24 invite you to be involved.
25 5580 MS URBANOSKI: So, basically I am
1 here to just make the point that the Alliance is, in
2 addition to representing film and video artists, also
3 working with new media, and by that I mean primarily
4 Internet-based artists and producers of content for the
6 5581 COMMISSIONER WILSON: Thank you for
7 that explanation.
8 5582 Those are all my questions, Madam
10 5583 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner
12 5584 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: A couple
13 of questions. I noticed you used the term "specialty
14 channel fatigue" in your personal review of viewing and
15 I grant it was a personal review, but it's an
16 interesting point and it worried me because, as you
17 know, the numbers show us that specialty channels are
18 in fact putting money into Canadian programming and you
19 have also proposed an independent channel.
20 5585 Those two facts and your proposal
21 tend to make me think that, yes, we are looking at the
22 full system and we are looking at where Canadian
23 programming fits and we are looking at where your works
24 fit within that, but if there is a specialty channel
25 fatigue, isn't that a little worrisome? Can you
1 explain that a little more?
2 5586 MS McCANN: I think personally a lot
3 of the fatigue comes from the endless calls from Rogers
4 asking me to subscribe to MeTV and I think it has a lot
5 to do with economics and also the way in which the
6 channels are packaged. It's primarily economics.
7 5587 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: I think
8 it's an interesting point to expand on and you have
9 eloquently made the point about what kind of works we
10 are talking about -- and we can pursue this in the new
11 media discussion as well -- that perhaps one of the
12 concerns is the formatting, the packaging. I think one
13 of our film producers in the Vision group also made
14 this point that even that can become a little
15 restrictive in terms of the receptivity for the kind of
16 works that you are bringing to even the specialty
18 5588 If you look at what's happening, we
19 are talking about a system in which we may be becoming
20 more and more reliant on these specialty channels for
21 Canadian content. So, I think it's something worth
22 pursuing in terms of your own consideration of what
23 comment you want to make on the future of specialty
25 5589 MS McCANN: I do think that an
1 independent channel is in part a solution for our
2 members getting their work on the air. So, I agree
3 that it is a bit of a contradiction to be both
4 personally fatigued and want something further down the
5 line, but I think part of the fatigue comes in not
6 seeing any images that have anything of meaning for me
7 personally --
8 5590 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: No, I
9 understood the other point.
10 5591 MS McCANN: -- as a woman, as a non-
11 golfer, all of those things.
12 5592 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: We all
13 have one or two we use as examples.
14 5593 Particularly with works that are, as
15 you describe, independently visionary, they sometimes
16 have difficulty. The independent fund you referred to,
17 was that a rearrangement of existing funding envelopes
18 or is this something new?
19 5594 MR. SANDMARK: We have been talking
20 of Telefilm since the four years I have been working at
21 the Alliance and they are receptive. They understand
22 the situation. It's just a question of they don't want
23 to create a fund, a separate program.
24 5595 We did lobby in Quebec successfully
25 with SODEC for the creation of a fund. They created a
1 separate section specifically for what they call the
2 independent sector. It comes down to a question of
3 definition and eligibility, and so on. But we managed
4 to work it out with them and it's off and running. It
5 has only been out for about two years, so people are
6 starting to access it, and it's not a lot of funding.
7 5596 Unfortunately, usually provincially,
8 projects are funded by both provincial and Telefilm,
9 like SODEC and Telefilm, and since there is no
10 equivalent to Telefilm, there is no equivalent funding.
11 Some projects get through, but it's totally ad hoc and
12 it's a totally random basis.
13 5597 But there is certainly a will.
14 Telefilm people have told us, "Go to Heritage." So, we
15 went to Heritage and wrote letters and met with
16 Heritage agents. They say it's in progress. You still
17 don't know how it's going to turn out.
18 5598 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Have you
19 explored other funding sources? I have seen you
20 already have the Canada Council in mind. I am talking
21 about the up-front funding into a project, not the
22 acquisition which you mentioned is the standard for
23 your kind of work, but are there other avenues for
25 5599 MS McCANN: Funding sources have
1 actually dwindled with the demise of the
2 multiculturalism fund, for instance, and the very
3 precarious situation of the Canadian Independent Film
4 and Video Fund. So, it hasn't gotten easier over the
5 years, though. Our members do get funding from all
6 sorts of sources, including the arts agencies and the
7 councils, but for television in terms of -- as I said,
8 it's not blossoming out there.
9 5600 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: So, you
10 are taking this case to these funding agencies, to
11 broadcasters. We have talked a lot today about how to
12 really make clear what it is you need and push the
13 system a bit to do that. What other steps are you
14 taking to make it clear that the funding resources and
15 the accessability to your product is under duress?
16 5601 MR. SANDMARK: We are trying to do
17 all we can. We are trying to make the case. I think
18 one issue I forgot to mention earlier is that it is the
19 content. I think that we will find audiences with
20 these works if they can get out there and reach an
21 audience and it's also a question of appropriate size.
22 5602 We are talking about different
23 economic models and I think it's a mistake to -- we
24 looked at the recent Canadian film policy review and
25 one of the issues they were talking about there was:
1 Do we need larger budgets in order to have higher
2 production values to reach larger audiences? Is the
3 road to success for Canadian films? We are saying not
4 necessarily. There is a wide range. Yes, you can have
5 that, but a larger budget doesn't mean more success.
6 If anything, personally I believe and I think a lot of
7 our members agree, that it's a unique vision that
8 interests and will draw an audience.
9 5603 I think the success of films overseas
10 -- you only have to point at Atom Egoyan or any of the
11 filmmakers that have gone to Cannes recently from
12 Canada. Their films have been very unique and the way
13 you get a film with a unique style or a unique vision
14 is when the creator has total final control over that.
15 It's not made by a committee, it's not preplanned by an
16 international marketing committee.
17 5604 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Well,
18 that's an interesting example and it's a point which
19 goes back to another whole question of talent
20 development. Somebody like Atom, yes, has creative
21 control, but he is backed, as you know, by the largest
22 producer in this country who has the money to put into
23 the promotion and the distribution of those works that,
24 from the beginning, have built slowly to build him to
25 the reputation he has. He is an artist with a
1 particular vision, but it still is a fact that that
2 came equipped with some other points.
3 5605 So, I am sure that you are also
4 concerned about promotion and the knowledge that you
5 are there and that your products are there. Have you
6 any comments on some of the proposals made to us
7 regarding promotion of Canadian films? I use "films"
8 in the broadest sense, films, new media projects and so
9 on made by Canadian artists.
10 5606 MR. SANDMARK: Could you maybe narrow
11 it down?
12 5607 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: We have
13 had a few proposals for promotion and the importance of
14 promotion and the allowance of promotion expenditures
15 in Canadian expenditure requirements.
16 5608 MR. SANDMARK: Things like including
17 promotion in with the Canadian content?
18 5609 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Yes, the
19 CFTPA's proposals, for example.
20 5610 MR. SANDMARK: I can't speak on
21 behalf of -- as a representative, only my personal
22 opinion. I totally agree promotion is paramount. We
23 have spoken to the CFTPA and they see our perspective
24 and see our point of view and they want to try and have
25 a global approach and so on. I defer to Penny. I
1 don't have any objection to that as being included in
2 Canadian content. We have to take a vote. We are very
3 democratic. I'm afraid to speak without
5 5611 MS McCANN: I actually haven't read
6 that particular proposal, so I can't comment on it.
7 Obviously the larger the producer, and particularly if
8 they are vertically integrated, if they are also a
9 distributor, has certain advantages over a smaller
10 independent producer trying to promote their work in
11 order to increase viewership. When I see something
12 like -- let me give you an example. Something like the
13 CBC's promotion of Nettie Wild's recently documentary
14 "A Place Called Chiapas", they did a great job of
15 promoting that and it seems to me it's beholding to the
16 broadcaster to do that, but that doesn't always happen.
17 5612 So, an independent producer does what
18 they may through the community to disseminate
19 information about their upcoming programming, maybe to
20 a particular community that might be interested or
21 whatever, and that's a very hard thing. If that's what
22 it's about, if it's an attempt by the independent
23 producer to have more presence prior to a screening, a
24 broadcast of their show, then that's a fair expense,
1 5613 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: My final
2 question. Nettie's film had -- we had a case study
3 regarding that film and it had a long list of financial
4 contributors. Typically, how many partners in a film
5 that one of your groups would make, the artists you
6 represent -- and it's a particularly interesting
7 question considering your concern about control of the
8 product. Typically, how many partners, how many
9 players are at the table in trying to pull the
10 financing together?
11 5614 MR. SANDMARK: The film used to only
12 get developed at the NFB, so we would start there, and
13 then there would be provincial, maybe some city and
14 municipal arts funding, some Canada Council funding.
15 Often projects like Mina Shum's films started at the
16 Canada Council and then got finishing money at
17 Telefilm. I don't know. Would you say four, five,
19 5615 MS URBANOSKI: A lot of people do
20 rely on angel money as well, on money from their
21 families and --
22 5616 THE CHAIRPERSON: What money?
23 5617 MR. SANDMARK: Angel money from
25 5618 MS URBANOSKI: I'm sure we all know
1 people who work like dogs at really shitty jobs in
2 order to complete their films.
3 5619 COMMISSIONER PENNEFATHER: Thank you
4 very much.
5 5620 Thank you, Madam Chair.
6 5621 THE CHAIRPERSON: Commissioner
8 5622 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you,
9 Madam Chair.
10 5623 It seems to me you should be making a
11 film about making a film. I think it would be a very
12 passionate subject.
13 5624 A question first about just helping
14 me understand the lay of the land. How does the
15 membership and the mandate of the Alliance differ from
16 the Canadian Independent Film caucus and that of the
18 5625 MS McCANN: The CIFC represents
19 individual producers and their primary focus is on
20 documentaries. The Independent Film and Video Alliance
21 represents co-ops -- non-profit film and video co-ops,
22 and that's production distribution exhibition centres
23 across the country, who, in turn, have a membership.
24 So, they are filmmakers, videomakers who access those
25 co-ops to shoot their production and edit their
1 production and distribute their production. The CFTPA
2 represents companies, independent film and video
3 production companies.
4 5626 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: It's actually
5 very logical.
6 5627 What is your argument as to why the
7 CTF funding should remain the way it is inasmuch as it
8 doesn't fund broadcasters? Why should it fund
9 independent producers only? Why can't a broadcaster do
10 just as good a job as you can, an in-house producer
11 under a broadcaster?
12 5628 MS McCANN: Something just went
13 through my mind about the old: You should never feed
14 chickens chickens. That is related because the money
15 from the CTF comes from the broadcasters themselves.
16 So, it's like a loop. Or from the cable companies, to
17 be specific, so that's not the same thing. Okay, fine.
18 5629 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: They are
19 feeding chickens ducks or something like that.
20 5630 MS McCANN: Something like that, yes.
21 They are feeding chickens beef. There isn't enough
22 money in the fund. There isn't enough money to fund
23 what they have now. We all went through that horrible
24 scenario last year.
25 5631 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: But what is
1 your argument about when there is not enough, who
2 should get priority? Why should the independent
3 producers get priority?
4 5632 MS McCANN: I think the independent
5 producers are the life blood of the Canadian television
6 industry. If it wasn't for their ideas and their
7 programming, we wouldn't have the television we have
8 now. Obviously, the broadcasters have -- obviously the
9 independent producers wouldn't be producing if it
10 wasn't for the broadcasters, but the broadcasters have
11 access to capitalization. They have advertising
13 5633 Independent producers don't have
14 advertising revenue and I think it's abhorrent that CBC
15 makes independent producers go out there and sell
16 advertising spots for some of their programs. I think
17 that's a terrible practice. They don't have the
18 ability to go out there and haul in Labatts or a car
19 dealership. It's a bizarre, bizarre concept and one
20 that certainly excludes many smaller independent
21 companies or independent producers. Have you heard of
22 that practice?
23 5634 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: I haven't, no.
24 Is it very common?
25 5635 MS McCANN: It happens. It happens
1 in regions and I think it's just -- they are just
2 giving up their -- it's too difficult. It needs to be
3 clear. The fund isn't big enough and that's the other
4 point. If they are going to increase it five times
5 over and separate it into different funds, one for
6 broadcasters, one for independent production, fine, but
7 if you change it now and send it all over to the
8 broadcasters, the independent producers might as well
9 just pack up and go home.
10 5636 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Let me throw
11 one more phrase to you. It's not that I am taking a
12 position, I just want to sort of understand how you
13 respond to some of these issues.
14 5637 Jim Macdonald from WIC said yesterday
15 that "do more" proposals you have heard is simply not
16 consistent with the economic viability of the engine
17 that pulls the system. So, the "do more" was more
18 Canadian content and more specificity in where that
19 should go, peak viewing hours and things like that.
21 5638 Do you think that the economic
22 viability of the engine can sustain more Canadian
23 content requirement?
24 5639 MR. SANDMARK: It seems like a clash
25 of different world views almost.
1 5640 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: It is.
2 5641 MR. SANDMARK: We are talking about
3 producing works or ideas that filmmakers are passionate
4 about and want to express. Economic viability is a
5 question of meeting the 20 percent profit target at the
6 end of the year.
7 5642 It is, to some degree, incumbent on
8 you to determine the mandate of how to regulate this.
9 5643 We represent people who are trying to
10 express themselves. To me, it is sort of a free speech
11 issue. This is cultural expression that we are talking
13 5644 Maybe it is not always profitable.
14 But I think we have faith in the idea that honest and
15 clear and innovative works will attract an audience and
16 will become economically viable on a different model.
17 It is maybe just not the same scale. It is maybe not
18 going to return the same profit margin as infomercials.
19 5645 It is apples and oranges. I find it
20 difficult to compare that.
21 5646 COMMISSIONER CARDOZO: Thank you.
22 5647 Those are my questions, Madam Chair.
23 5648 THE CHAIRPERSON: You operate out of
25 5649 MR. SANDMARK: Yes.
1 5650 THE CHAIRPERSON: You represent all
2 of Canada in the two languages. You would represent
3 French language producers, as well?
4 5651 MR. SANDMARK: Oui, madam. I have
5 people who help me with translation and written French.
6 5652 THE CHAIRPERSON: That is part of
7 your membership?
8 5653 MR. SANDMARK: Yes. We publish our
9 newsletter in English and French. Our website is in
10 English and French.
11 5654 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you have
12 contact with French language producers as well?
13 5655 MR. SANDMARK: Yes.
14 5656 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very
15 much. I hope you have a nice end of weekend.
16 5657 MR. SANDMARK: Yes. And we wish you
17 good luck with a very difficult job.
18 5658 Thank you.
19 5659 THE CHAIRPERSON: That will end the
20 day now. We are adjourned until 1:00 p.m. on Monday.
21 5660 I remind interested parties that we
22 will not be sitting on Wednesday next week.
23 5661 Alors, nous reprendrons lundi à
24 1 h 00 de l'après midi. Je rappelle à ceux qui sont
25 intéressés que nous ne siégerons pas mercredi prochain.
1 5662 Au revoir.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1645,
3 to resume on Monday, September 27th, 1998 at 1300 /
4 L'audience est ajournée à 1645, pour reprendre
5 le lundi 27 septembre 1998 à 1300
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