Prison Break Star Hails B.C. Film Industry, ‘On Par With the Greatest Crews Anywhere’

Prison Break Star Hails B.C. Film Industry, ‘On Par With the Greatest Crews Anywhere’

Prison Break actor Robert Knepper had complimentary words for the B.C. film industry this week, labelling local crews as some of the best in the world

Courtesy of the Vancouver Sun

The acting veteran, perhaps best known as Theodore (T-Bag) Bagwell on FOX’s Prison Break, was in Vancouver this week filming a recurring role on iZombie when he took a moment to praise the city’s film community.

“They are so overworked right now and I think a lot of understaffing is going on because there are so many film projects up here right now,” he said. “I understand that the film board said to Hollywood: ‘No more! We can’t handle anymore television shows!’”

Earlier this year, Knepper was in town shooting the fifth season of the revived Prison Break series. He’s also previously filmed in Vancouver for his role as Angus DeBeers on iZombie. Knepper’s wife, Nadine Kary, is also a Vancouver native. The couple met in B.C. four years ago.

“It’s great. I mean, people work their butts off up here and they are on par with the greatest crews anywhere — L.A., the States, in the world — and my hat’s off to them,” he said.

“Everyone’s giving it 120 per cent so it’s great to be a part of that family and that dinner party that gets together and says, ‘Hey, we’re making some film up in Vancouver.’ It’s terrific.”

Earlier this month, the Union of B.C. Performers reported a total of 53 film and television productions were either already shooting or in pre-production in B.C. At the same time last year, there were 43. The City of Vancouver has also reported a 45-per-cent increase in movie and television production so far in 2016, compared to 2015.

Just last month, the city issued 565 permits for various location shoots, compared with 283 in June 2015.Star Trek Beyond, which filmed over 78 days in B.C. last year, spent about $69 million in the province, with more than $40 million going to wages for 3,900 local cast, crew and extras.IATSE Local 891, which represents technicians and artists, has been signing an average of 150 new workers per month, and has even temporarily waived the $100 application fee in hopes of bringing in more members.

In May, B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong said the new rate for production services tax credit will be set at 28 per cent, a five-point drop from the previous rate of 33 per cent. The rate for digital animation or visual effects will also fall from 17.5 per cent to 16 per cent.

The changes will be phased in for productions shooting before Oct. 1.


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