North Bay on pace to set film­ing record

North Bay Nugget - - NEWS - BY CINDY MALES

Chris re­naud is a well-known mu­si­cian.

“I’ve been a mu­si­cian and singer in North bay now for over 26 years and that was al­ways my pas­sion,” says re­naud, 43.

“The in­dus­try slowed down for me so I de­cided to ven­ture into act­ing since per­form­ing is my love.”

Re­naud has been in 23 pro­duc­tions since 2015. he’s played a po­lice of­fi­cer, a de­tec­tive, a cow­boy and a gui­tar player.

North bay has been a busy place as far as film and tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tions are con­cerned. There are two pro­duc­tions un­der­way at this time - one film and one tel- evi­sion se­ries.

“Two si­mul­ta­ne­ous pro­duc­tions oc­curs of­ten enough,” says eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Tanya be­dard. “how­ever, the record for the most con­cur­rent pro­duc­tions (film and tele­vi­sion) that we’ve had in the city is five.”

That hap­pened last win­ter, while 2016 set records in other ar­eas, as well.

Be­dard says there were nine pro­duc­tions and 127 film­ing days at 145 lo­ca­tions. That re­sulted in al­most $9 mil­lion in di­rect­ing spend­ing.

The in­flux of North­ern film pro­duc­tions means a big de­mand for lo­cal ac­tors as back­ground per­form­ers, says Jim Calarco, ac­tor, writer/pro­ducer and talent agent with North star Talent.

“Ad­di­tion­ally, lo­cal pro­fes­sional ac­tors are be­ing hired for ev­ery pro­duc­tion,” says Calarco. “usu­ally we can count on any­where from one to five ac­tors be­ing cast. The ex­cep­tion to that is the hard rock med­i­cal se­ries (which) hired 37 lo­cal ac­tors in both lead and sup­port­ing roles.

“Eighty per cent of the cast in that se­ries is from the North.”

An ac­tor can earn up to $765 a day when cast in a speak­ing role and they qual­ify for a buy-out - a pay­ment in lieu of roy­al­ties - which can in­crease that amount.

“I re­turned home from Toronto af­ter 9/11 and never thought that we would have a North­ern film in­dus­try,” Calarco says, pleas­antly sur­prised it has be­come such a suc­cess.

Calarco says it all be­gan with the shoot­ing of bill Plum­stead’s That beau­ti­ful some­where in 2006.

“The in­dus­try took off. This is due in part to the NOHFC (north­ern On­tario Her­itage Fund) grant process set up by the province both to build a North­ern film in­dus­try and pro­vide em­ploy­ment for both North­ern cast and crew.”

And it shows no sign of slow­ing. “2017 has al­ready seen 11 pro­duc­tions and will be a new record,” says be­dard. “To­tal im­pact fig­ures have yet to be fi­nal­ized. We are work­ing with new and ex­ist­ing pro­duc­tions and look for­ward to the mo­men­tum con­tin­u­ing in 2018.”

CINDY MALES Photo

Chippewa Street is the lat­est North Bay film set. The TV se­ries Car­di­nal is one of 11 pro­duc­tions to shoot in the city this year.

Chris Re­naud

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