CMPA report: Canadian production takes a breather in 2013

Higher foreign location shooting in Canada by mostly U.S. producers offset a fall in domestic TV production after two years of growth. (Motive pictured).

Canadian producers pulled back on the throttle in 2013, as the volume of domestic film and TV production fell 8.2% to $2.67 billion, according to the Canadian Media Production Association‘s latest tally.

The industry’s overall growth in recent years has been due largely to higher levels of Canadian production, as foreign location shooting rose and fell according to currency and tax credit fluctuations.

Homegrown series like Saving Hope, Rookie Blue, Motive, Lost Girl and Vikings enjoy sizable audiences in Canada and overseas.

But that growth reversed in the year to March 31, 2013, the latest period surveyed in Profile 2013: Economic Report on the Screen-based Production Industry in Canada.

Canadian television production in 2012 rose 21.3% to just under $2.6 billion, while foreign location shoots dropped 10.6% to $1.68 billion in the same period.

After that breakneck production rise, English-language production in 2013 fell 9.1% to $1.96 billion, while French-language production was off 2% to $695 million.

The total Canadian film and TV production activity came to $2.67 billion in 2013, against a year-earlier $2.91 billion.

And overall film and TV production in Canada fell 0.8% to $5.82 billion in 2013, after experiencing two years of sharp growth.

The fall in Canadian production was offset by foreign location shooting here, mostly by U.S. producers, rising 3.1% to $1.74 billion in 2013.

The decrease in Canadian production was broad-based, occurring in fiction, where production came to $1.43 billion, against a year-earlier $1.48 billion, and in kids and youth programming, documentary and variety genres.

Only Canadian animation, lifestyle and magazine-style shows saw a rise in production levels.

The fastest growth last year came from broadcaster in-house production, which rose 11.3% to a record $1.41 billion.

Canadian theatrical film production, which accounts for 6% of total production countrywide, rose to $351 million in budgets in 2013, compared to a year-earlier $340 million.

At the same time, Canadian production last year came off a high boil, and is still above a ten-year average of $2.41 billion, according to the CMPA report.