Good Afternoon Andrew,
Thank you for facilitating what was a very constructive meeting with members of the film community, Mr. Malloy of Daniels’ Jewellers who has raised issues with filming in Leslieville and Tina Panagiotou of YAYA. Members of the film community in attendance were: Anne Richardson, Location Manager of The Handmaid’s Tale, Jeremy Pinard, Asst Location Manager on The Handmaid’s Tale, Andrew Gainor – Director’s Guild of Canada, Ontario Locations Department, Caucus Rep, Jim Mirkopolous, Owner, Cinespace, Sarah Ker-Hornell, Consultant and Member of the Toronto Film, Television and Digital Media Board and Eric Jensen, Film Office Manager, City of Toronto.
Councillor Fletcher was attending the Toronto East York Community Council meeting which was still in progress and as a result, I attended on her behalf.
Thank you to Ara Mamourian for providing the meeting space and to Sarah Ker-Hornell for providing the following notes from the meeting:
The ‘go-forward” suggestions:
Film Permit Office City of Toronto
– each permit could have area sensitivities added
– each permit could have BIA contact info (email and phone)
– each permit could be sent to City’s BIA office for sending to relevant BIA, as well as relevant Councillor
– each permit could make mandatory that locations team meets with BIA in advance of paper notices, to discuss parking and sidewalk uses
– meet with each locations team in advance of shooting to discuss parking and sidewalk uses, and share intel with BIA members
– each written locations notice be sent via email to all BIA members, reiterating that members should contact either the location, the permit office, or the BIA office with any complaints or concerns.
– when setting up cones the night before, clear, large signage indicating short term parking still possible
– explore valet parking opportunity, when parking taken by production vehicles
– additional memo to crew on the location specific to the location sensitivities, including security folks
– memo to crew to encourage using local business for shopping, food, etc
– ensure that sidewalks clear for pedestrians/customers, with no crew clusters
– no bbq/cooking/heating meals on the sidewalk; use local restaurant suppliers
Prior to this meeting the Director’s Guild of Canada (DGC) ran the following item in their newsletter and at Andrew Sherbin’s request I am including it here:
WHEN YOU’RE WORKING ON LOCATION, YOU’RE A GUEST
When filming on location, we occupy other people’s space, and as ambassadors for the film and television industry, we need to represent it in a more positive way to ensure that our current production levels are not threatened.
Here are some pointers for more positive interaction in location neighbourhoods:
– Limit smoking and loitering to designated areas only, or try to step away from areas with public pedestrian traffic.
– Communications should be spoken, not yelled, and walkie headsets should be worn to limit the volume of noise pollution around set. If you are on an open handset, please keep the volume down, and be mindful of people within earshot if ‘private’ conversations are being held on the air.
– Eliminate all use of foul language and raised voices.
– Do not block access to properties other than contracted locations. Ask your Locations Dept. where you can sit, put gear, smoke, park, etc., but don’t just help yourself to the neighbour’s yard, driveway or porch.
– If a property owner or neighbor approaches you regarding an issue, be respectful and polite, and listen to them rather than just calling Locations and walking away. They might have a very small simple problem that’s easily attended to and/or fixed, and they just want to be heard. If a problem is more complicated, tell them that you will call the Locations Department for them. Try to give the Locations team a heads-up on the issue rather than just letting them come in cold.
– Notify Production and Locations immediately if something is broken or damaged on location.
– Treat everyone you encounter on location as you would like to be treated if your roles were reversed.
Please be aware that the City of Toronto publicly publishes a Code of Conduct (https://www1.toronto.ca/City%20Of%20Toronto/Economic%20Development%20&%20Culture/Business%20Pages/Filming%20in%20Toronto/PDF%20s/code_conduct_cast_crew.pdf ) for film crews, and it is regularly provided to city residents for reference. Please take a minute to review it, and please be kind to our neighbours out there!
In summary, this meeting provided a great opportunity to begin a constructive dialogue between business owners and members of the film community. There was a genuine openness on the part of the film reps to take steps to improve communication both internally with their crews and also with local businesses. Similarly, ensuring the information provided to the BIA regarding filming activities was passed on to the members in a timely fashion was viewed by all as an important component of improving communication. Unless, a particular business or enterprise is being used as part of the film shoot or their business is actually not able to function as a result of the film shoot it is not feasible to offer financial compensation.
There was general consensus that Leslieville is a popular area for film shoots. It is also home to many people who work in the industry. Finding a way to work together respectfully is in everyone’s best interests and these protocols provide the groundwork for moving forward.
Once again – thank you to everyone who participated in the meeting. I ask that this communication be shared with your members.
Councillor Paula Fletcher
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