The Hollywood writers strike reached its 100th day Thursday, and film industry players on Vancouver Island are eager to get back to work.
“It is affecting people,” said North Island Film Commission production services manager Brandon Lepine.
But, Lepine points to an uptick in non-union independent features on the North Island that is helping keep local crews busy.
“Whether that’s from the strike or not I can’t comment, but it’s nice,” he said.
The Screen Actors Guild has made waivers available, and smaller productions have begun on southern Vancouver Island.
Local actress Darlene Tait says in a regular year, she does four or five auditions per week.
“[Now], if I get three or four auditions in a month that’s considered good,” said Tait from her Victoria Chinatown studio on Thursday.
Other Island actors are also feeling the pinch. Denis and Yolanda Corbett are background actors and haven’t worked since January.
“This time of year we should be busy, busy, busy working on Christmas movies,” said Denis, a 30-year veteran of the industry. “Sometimes there are two or three of them in town and you’re busy jumping from one set to another.”
Lepine is optimistic for a resolution before the end of summer.
“We have a number of productions that were looking at filming in spring and summer that have pushed to the fall,” she said. “We are looking at a really good year when things start back up again. I think we’ll be busy on the North Island, South Island and all over the province. Everybody’s eager to get back to work.”
Main issues between the major studios and the unions include revenue distribution from streaming services, and regulating the use of artificial intelligence.