I came across a CBC article that was dated last year titled B.C. visual effects artists say work being sent overseas:
Movie visual effects (VFX) artists working in B.C. say post-production companies are taking advantage of the province’s tax credits, then subcontracting out work to China and India.
The page on my viewing had 0 shares for Facebook, Twitter, and only one share on Google+. I found that odd as I know either me or others would have immediately shared the hell out of this. Then again it’s known that facilities in BC get subsidies and farm work out to India and China but producers aren’t claiming a rebate on that work.
What would really be news is if someone was committing some sort of fraud as some readers have pointed out. The article above seems to have been based on this CBC interview with Tinderbox VFX owner Greg Vernon:
What was not included in the article above was some pretty substantial information revealed by Mr. Vernon in the recording. Last year Greg Vernon closed his VFX facility Tinderbox in British Columbia and left for Seattle. In the interview he talks about the challenges he was facing with work going to China. Mr. Vernon claims that because of a lack of oversight and auditing there are very shady practices exercised such as shell companies being opened in BC specifically for subsidies but sending all the work to China.
However it gets even more interesting to hear what else was left out of the article. When asked what BC should do he initially supports an increase to the already 45% subsidies on BC resident salaries for regular production workers. However he then points out that over the long term that is not sustainable so he recommends eradicating subsidies and slapping taxes on anyone who sends work out of British Columbia, even the cheap labor locations like India and China. Now I’m in the middle of a legal effort to slap duties on subsidized VFX because it distorts the market but I’ve always said if a place like India and China can compete on quality and price I saw more power to them.
However this latest claim certainly supports what I’ve heard by contacts in the industry that fraud is occuring with BC’s subsidy system. You live by the subsidy, you die by the subsidy.