When Mallory Glenn packed her bags for Los Angeles in March 2015, the hair designer planned to return home later that spring to proceed her busy profession within the Nova Scotia TV and film business.
“It wasn’t a situation where I wanted to depart Nova Scotia,” said Glenn. “I used to be really successful and all the time had loads of work.
“I used to be capable of make a very good living, stay near my family.”
Those plans took a dramatic turn just weeks later when the federal government of Stephen McNeil tabled a budget that killed Nova Scotia’s film tax credit. The governing Liberals were apprehensive the $24-million cost of the credit would proceed to grow, eating into revenue needed to fund education and health care.
“We simply cannot afford to take care of the credit in its current form,” said Finance Minister Diana Whalen in 2015.
“It was heartbreaking,” recalled Glenn, who heard in regards to the move and its impact on Nova Scotia’s film and TV industry from social media posts by friends and colleagues.
“Even people in L.A., industry folk, were hearing about it as well and [saying], ‘Wow, what is going on to occur to you?'” she said.
Somewhat than come home, the 31-year-old spent the subsequent five years living and dealing in California, returning to Nova Scotia periodically to work on local productions. She moved back to the province in 2020.
“Now, there’s a lot work,” said Glenn. “For the past 12 months or so it looks as if it keeps getting busier and busier, yet we just haven’t got the numbers, we haven’t got the crews anymore because so many individuals have left.
“I have a look at the show that I’m working on after which you will have one other 4 coming to town and it’s like, oh wow, how are we going to crew up?”
Set carpenter Shawn Kilpatrick moved to Nova Scotia in 2017, after the tax credit was cut, and struggled to seek out work.
“For the primary 12 months (there) was nothing and I discovered myself working for Neptune Theatre,” he said.
Kilpatrick managed to seek out work within the film industry again three years ago, and said things have been “mainly regular, full-time, since that time.”
“From show to point out to point out to point out,” he said. “It has been implausible.”
“I definitely do see a robust future and I haven’t any immediate concerns by way of moving forward since it appears to be growing at a fairly regular rate.”
The industry has rebounded thanks, largely, to changes to the Nova Scotia Film and Television Production Incentive Fund and the creation, last 12 months, of a $15-million Nova Scotia Content Creator Fund productions. Although the budget for the motivation fund is $25 million per 12 months, the present provincial government has twice topped it as much as $41 million to satisfy growing demand.
“We are going to proceed to take that sort of approach,” said Chris Shore, executive director of Culture and Heritage Development with the Nova Scotia government. “Sooner or later we’ll have the discussion about possibly we must always permanently raise that number up, but that is a separate discussion.”
And film productions proceed to return to the province, he says.
“Three years ago, we had roughly 48 projects that were supported within the production fund. Last 12 months that number went up into the 80 range and without delay, as of this 12 months and we’re not finished this fiscal 12 months yet, we’re tracking at about 105 projects supported.”
Meantime, Screen Nova Scotia, the organization that speaks for the industry, is optimistic in regards to the coming production season.
“There’s only a tidal wave of production that is been coming across the country and now that we have now a competitive incentive, we have now infrastructure available, we have now a deep pool of incredibly talented crew and performers, persons are beginning to take notice and we’re we’re beginning to see a few of that tidal wave of production landing out here within the East.,” said Laura Mackenzie, Screen Nova Scotia’s executive director.
“The last numbers that I even have are $150 million back in 2014 and last 12 months we recorded $180 million in production volume,” said Mackenzie. “Last 12 months was one among the busiest years we have ever had and this 12 months is de facto looking like it will be the same 12 months.”
Province wanting to help
That cash helps fuel local economies which is why the province is wanting to proceed to assist the industry, whether it is a Nova Scotia film or TV series or a bigger scale production from elsewhere.
“You will see projects in Louisbourg, you will see them in Lunenburg, you will see them in Chester,” said Shore. “They’re supporting food services, they’re supporting hotels, automotive rentals, labour.
” after they’re constructing sets, [they’re buying] construction material so it’s sort of a broad investment that they are making after they’re coming here.”
For Mallory Glenn, there’s some irony in what happened to her. In the course of the 2009 provincial election, she was hired by a neighborhood production company working for the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia.
She recalled a conversation she had with then opposition leader McNeil as she was working on his hair for a public appearance.
“He asked me do you ever plan on leaving Nova Scotia or is there lots of give you the results you want here?” said Glenn. “I said. ‘No, I don’t have any reason to depart.’
“I even have all of the work I could ask for. I’m all the time busy. Skip to nevertheless a few years later, now I do have to depart.”