The UBCP Won’t Give My Friend a Deferral

My friend Kennedy is in pre-production for The Beast of Bottomless Lake. He’s encountered some difficulty (from a union, imagine that?), and is looking for your help:

UBCP – our own union, we are both members – has decided to not grant us a deferral for our project.

I am writing to muster as much support as we can. There is no specific goal in terms of numbers, we simply want to get as many names as possible. Union and non-union members alike.

So please: Send your name and at least one of the following pieces of information for verification/validation; address, phone-number, email to provostpictures [at] telus.net.

The lead line on the petition will read: “We the undersigned believe that UBCP should grant Provost Pictures Ltd. an Ultra-Low Budget Deferral for “The Beast of Bottomless Lake” as it represents an excellent opportunity for independent Canadian talent to create a unique and original Canadian film of great potential that would not otherwise be made.” UBCP union members (and other film-union members) please include your Union number.

We promise to promptly lose all your information as soon as this blows over.

I know lots of theatre and film performers and craftspeople who run afoul of their unions all the time. Once you’re in, it’s often difficult and impossible to do work at non-union wages. This is too bad, because there are tons of worthwhile projects that simply can’t afford to pay union wages.

If you’re interested in more details about the issue, I’ve posted it after the jump:

Briefly (feel free to skip our reasoning and jump to “the bottom”):
– Our actors (many of them, and all our principal actors, are UBCP
members) – are all excited to do this project and all agreed to do it with the understanding going in that if they were to ever get paid, it would be by deferral once this film makes it’s money back.
– This film was the original idea of Keith Provost – a beloved union
member in his day – for whom we named the company after. It would be a shame to see this film made in his memory still-born at this point because of union short-sightedness.
– Canadian film is a tough business. Most productions filmed in Canada
are American. It would be wrong to call the Canadian Industry ‘young’ but it is still in great need of competitive development. This is an ambitious project, and to a greater or lesser degree, the success of this film has the potential to put Provost Pictures ‘on the map’ as a valid company with – god forbid – the ability to PAY their actors on future projects.
– Due to the nature of the system (both in general and specifically in
Canada) it is very difficult to impossible for a new director / producer to receive funding (private or government). We have only barely put the funds together to make this film at all. It will not happen if we have to pay our actors. We’ve been very fortunate to get the in-kind support of cast, crew and businesses in Kelowna and Vancouver to make this possible. Right now the only thing that is stopping us is UBCP.
– If we could pay our people we would. We’ve tried to find that money.
We are Union members ourselves. We WANT to pay our actors. The reality is we can’t – though if granted a deferral, perhaps one day we can, either on the back-end of this project or on future projects built on the foundation of this one.
– There has been a great deal of media behind this project already. We
have been on the front of the entertainment section of the Globe and Mail, featured on Global National, in newspapers across the country for various reasons, from the ingenuity of our initial eBay launch a year ago, to the excitement in Kelowna about a film about Kelowna being made there. There is a message on our company voice mail right now from Movie Television wanting to do a story on us. Some of this media is archived on our web-site
(www.provostpictures.com)
– With all the attention this film has received it is as well positioned
for further success – which in turn means a better chance of paying our actors – as a low-budget independent film can possibly be. This is an exciting project. A success for this film will be a success for the Canadian Film Industry and independent film-making in general. We look at the support we have behind it and we know that completing this film with how ambitious it is is going to be noteworthy in its own right.

1 comment

  1. Maybe there’s a reason why they won’t give you guys the referral. Check the track records for Mr. Provost or any other people in charge of the production. There ay be a past we don’t know about.

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