Pursuing growth in the film and TV industry

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City Council received an update at Monday evening’s meeting about FutureSSM, and in particular there is an important element of the report focused on the film and television industry that is reflective of the opportunities the City is hoping to address through FutureSSM.

This past summer filming for the movie, Hammer, took place in our community. Over a two-week period, activity related to the filming generated the following:

  • $1,000,000 in direct and indirect spending in Sault Ste. Marie
  • 29 Full-Time Equivalent and 20 Part Time Equivalent jobs to locals
  • Three job training opportunities to Sault College Digital Film Production students and one job training opportunity in partnership with Employment Solutions
  • 450 hotel nights were booked between August 6 to September 26.

The benefits associated with the film and television industry are significant and through FutureSSM the City is working to further development of our community as a destination for film and television production. In a recent story broadcast on Shaw Television, one of the Hammer producers discussed the attributes that made Sault Ste. Marie the ideal location for filming of the movie.

From experienced and knowledgeable crew members, to infrastructure and environmental related resources, the Sault possess many assets related to this industry, but yet we have been lagging behind Sudbury (hosted 38 film, television and web series productions, with a direct spend of almost $40 million in 2016/17) and North Bay (hosted 21 film and television productions, with a direct spend of $32 million in 2016/17).

With the significant potential for growth in this sector, FutureSSM is focused on attracting more productions by working with producers and industry experts to identify opportunities, along with supporting productions by streamlining municipal processes and acting as a ‘one stop shop’for all production needs.

Jennifer Mathewson, FutureSSM’s Film, Television and Digital Media Coordinator, is leading these efforts. To give you an example, during the filming of Hammer she served as the liaison for all City services and assisted in the following ways:

  • Coordinated internal City department notifications of permits and filming, including road closures and filming on municipal property
  • Participated in locating scouting
  • Assisted in connecting producers with local labour force

The film and television industry represents just one of the opportunities the City is working to address with our community development efforts. Through FutureSSM, we have in place a team of dedicated professionals working hard every day to help build a stronger, more resilient community.