‘So happy for our local crew’: Vancouver Island film industry celebrates end of Hollywood strike

File photo.

On Wednesday, the longest strike ever for film and TV actors came to an end, after 60,000 SAG-AFTRA members started a months-long strike on July 14.

It’s great news for your favourite series, and even better news for the thousands of people who make a living in the industry on Vancouver Island.

While a final deal hasn’t been voted on between major studios and the actors union, the two sides have agreed to terms, essentially ending the longest ever Hollywood strike.

“Pop the champagne, the strike is over,” said Kathleen Gilbert, Vancouver Island South Film and Media commissioner.

“I’m just so happy for our local crew,” she said. “Some of them were getting very desperate, and of course our concern was they’d leave the industry and we’d be struggling again to build up our crew base.”


Despite 118 days off the job, Gilbert says the South Island workforce remains strong.

A few non-union productions did keep some Island crews busy, but the return of major productions is cause for celebration.

“The people that worked on the really big shows and went back and forth from Vancouver had a really hard struggle,” said Gilbert.

Vancouver Island resident Shamess Shute works as a first assistant director.

He was hired to shoot a new Fox series in Hawaii, just days before the strike in July.

“It was like a cruel joke to have something super exciting that was actually going to go,” he told CHEK News on Thursday.

Thankfully, that project is now moving forward once again.

The new deal between Hollywood actors and major studios is valued at more than $1-billion over three years, and includes protection against the use of AI body doubles.

SEE MORE: Hollywood’s strikes are both now over as actors reach deal with studios, return to work with writers

On the Island, that means you’ll see more signs warning of films shooting in our neighbourhoods.

“I made a joke the other day before they finally settled that was like, ‘This last act of this last strike episode is way too long,” said Shute.

With files from the Canadian Press.

Jordan Cunningham

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