Film, TV, and video game production in Quebec is booming after COVID-19 pause

In 2019, international film productions poured $360 million into the Quebec economy, and last year, it was almost half that as COVID-19 shut down sets and productions for five months.

Since reopening in July, film, tv and video game productions have been booming.

"Oeople have been consuming media so voraciously that I think we have an audience that craving new things to watch so this should all snowball into a really good summer," said ACTRA president Simon Peacock.

Various productions are ongoing such as Roland Emmerlich's end of the world epic Moonfall starring Halle Berry, which just wrapped.

Numerous productions are ongoing.

"We have a very strong start," said Quebec Film and Television Council CEO Pierre Moreau.

There is also a mega Hollywood production coming that will inject $200 million into Quebec coffers.

2021 already is projected to be a record-setting year and could crack the $400 million ceiling.

The special effects and video game sectors are also booming.

"We ended up getting a lot of overseas games coming here to have all their casting done and record voices and do motion capture so for video games it's actually been the busiest year we've ever had," said Peacock.

With proper health and safety measures, film crews can keep on working and they know it's on them to keep it that way by respecting physical distancing and using all kinds of camera and production tricks to minimize the number of people on set at one time.

The first wave would be the art department that prepares the set for the days shooting," said locations manager Anita Bensabat. "The next wave would be the technicians, lighting people, that set-up the equipment we need for the day and for the shooting of those scenes. The director would then come in with their actors."

An outbreak would mean a work stoppage, which nobody wants.

"Are we gonna stay safe on sets in Montreal? That's question number one and hopefully, the answer is yes," said Moreau. "We've been succeeding very well over the past nine months, but with the new variant and all this, let's see how it goes, but we're going to remain extremely cautious."

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