A TV show about the Man of Steel strengthened B.C.’s economy by nearly $100 million, says a movie industry trade association.
Superman & Lois, a Warner Bros. series based on DC Comics’ superhero, films regularly in Surrey, Delta and Richmond. The series sees Superman’s alter ego, Clark Kent, and Lois Lane raising their children, dealing with issues associated with modern-day parenthood, starring Tyler Hoechlin and Elizabeth Tulloch.
According to a Motion Picture Association – Canada report, production contributed $95 million in “in-province” expenditures.
In its first season of filming, 58 per cent went to pay local production crews and other labour and 42 per cent for good and services from over 1,280 B.C.-based businesses, the association said, citing a report from Oxford Economics, a global research company.
The show saw creation of 1,220 jobs within the province and contributed $137 million to B.C.’s 2020-21 gross domestic product, the report said.
Prem Gill, chief executive officer of Creative B.C., the entity the province’s film commission is a part of, referred to the impact as phenomenal, especially amid COVID-19 and the effects the pandemic had on the industry.
“The industry in 2020 certainly had one of its toughest years and yet, one of its best years, in the sense that it came back fairly strong,” Gill told Black Press Media.
“We had both the lowest number of productions and by the end of the year, the highest number of productions on record in a calendar year … I think the impacts have been productions are shut down and then they’ve come back and they continue to look to B.C. for a place where they want to come and make their films and television series.”
Warner Bros. said it was pleased to boost the provincial economy.
“Like so many of our B.C. productions, Superman & Lois is fortunate to work with some of the world’s most talented cast and crew,” said Sue Palladino, Warner Bros. Television’s executive vice-president of production, in a statement.
“Across every department, British Columbians are working at the top of their craft … We’re really proud of this production and the local team that has contributed to its success.”
Wendy Noss, Motion Picture Association – Canada president, said Superman & Lois exemplifies the effect such productions can have financially.
“Season over season, television and streaming productions stimulate jobs and growth across the economy,” Noss said.
Superman & Lois cast and crew also contributed money to local charitable causes, with over $24,500 raised for Cloverdale Community Kitchen, $14,000 for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and $5,000 to Reach Child & Youth Development Society for speech therapy for children and families, stated another press release.
Gill said reports like this are valuable.
“I think it’s really indicative of so many TV productions that are here in B.C. and the impact they have, both on jobs, but also the broader impacts on the economy, so it’s really great when the studios put together economic impact reports, like this,” said Gill. “It really helps us understand the full impact that shows like this can have on communities like ours.”