Movies Made In Canada leads to Rights in other Countries.
by Pat Gulley
Cable television has brought us a slew of stations showing movies that will never be seen in theaters. They are made for TV, and they all seem to be made in Canada. I can’t remember when I first noticed this, but when I did I started paying closer attention to the credits to see where the movie was made. (And believe me, this isn’t an easy thing to do! Have you noticed how much faster TV credits roll, and inevitably they are shrunk down so the station can do previews or advertising.)
Anyway, it made me wonder. I already knew that film makers from Hollywood moved production to Canada to take advantage of the better buy the US dollar had against the Canadian dollar, and because of this there are many big productions studios in British Columbia and Quebec producing for Hollywood. When the dollar weakened, there was one big article about moving a lot of that production back to California, however I never found anymore scuttle on that idea. Do you remember when David Duchovny demanded that X-Files production move back to California when his wife became pregnant?
But it wasn’t production that got me cogitating, rather why all these movies had to be about things that go on in the USA. What’s wrong with things that go on in Canada? Canadians have love lives, love triangles, deceases, mayhem and murder, right? I mean, that TV show, Da Vinci Files was very good, and the police and forensic procedures in Canada were as interesting as those in the US. And when something happened that required comparisons between our procedures and laws and theirs, then the show became even more interesting.
So, why don’t we get more stories that take place in Canada? Is there an assumption that we have no interest in the lives of our near neighbor or other countries? Then why are foreign crime stories from France, Italy, British Isles and Australia, oh yeah and Russia, so popular? Maybe it’s because all the shows are ordered by Hollywood, and I’m sure we all know what they think of the herd out here. Oh well.
All this different country stuff then brought my thinking around to the only times I ever give writing a nonfiction book any consideration. It’s usually when I’m watching a police show that takes place in foreign lands. It would be a comparison of the laws and rights we American take for granted. As an agent for a world travel company, I was always surprised to hear how many Americans believed that these rights were theirs no matter where they traveled on the planet. The book, or pamphlet, would compare such things as ‘reading you your rights before being arrested’ ‘search and seizure’ ‘right to a lawyer’ and a few others with those of countries Americans travel to frequently: Mexico, Canada, Great Britain, France, Italy, The Bahamas and China or Japan.
If you get BBC America you may have watched the original, British version of Life on Mars? The cop that finds himself back in 1972 keeps getting his Caution to criminals mixed up? He always wanted to give them the 2006 version, which was changed sometime in the 90s. Our Miranda is more like their 1972 version, and most Americans would be surprised by the difference.
My biggest fear would be not getting all the details correct, but some brief comparisons would raise a lot of American eyebrows. How many people who went off to the Chinese Olympics would have been shocked to find out how many rights they’d given up just by stepping off the airplane and on to Chinese soil?
Do you think it would sell?