M’Guphynn Media, a Fort McMurray-based production company, says their latest Marvel fan film shows how the film industry is growing at all levels locally and across Alberta.
The fan movie is called Miles Behind and follows Miles Morales, one of many different versions of Spider-Man inside the Spider-Verse. Morales saves Peter (not Parker) from a mugging. But the situation quickly spirals out of control and Morales must peacefully defuse a tense situation before it turns violent.
The production crew is entirely from Fort McMurray but was shot in Calgary to simulate New York. Matt Salem, Marketing Director of M’Guphynn Media, said the local film scene is small but vibrant and growing. There are also more people working on their own projects and planning to film bigger projects in the area.
“Alberta as a whole is becoming the next nexus for cinema in Canada,” Salem said. “Because, as we know, a lot of people are filming in Vancouver. It’s called Hollywood North. But in recent years a new tax credit has been introduced to allow many larger film projects to come here. ”
Salem said he was helping a production company scout filming locations in the area for a big upcoming project in Fort McMurray. He could not give any details.
Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo Economic and Tourism Development (FMWBEDT) said in a previous interview that it hopes to begin attracting film and television productions to the area. The group has listed filming locations in trade publications, such as Winter Road, Athabasca Sand Dunes, Boreal Forest, Empty Warehouses and the Old Airport Terminal.
A film based on a Stephen King novel will be filmed in Fort McMurray, but FMWBEDT could not provide further details. All the band could confirm was that the production company is Indigenous-owned, features a well-known actress who is American and Indigenous, and was going to be filming in the Northwest Territories.
In January 2020, the provincial government introduced the Alberta Film and Television Tax Credit. This program covers 22%, or 30% for Alberta-owned productions, of eligible expenditures for production and labor costs.
It was announced last August that Alberta’s Film and TV Tax Credit has brought in nearly $1 billion to the province, generating approximately 9,000 direct and indirect jobs in the province since January 2020. .
The big-budget HBO series Last of Us was recently filmed in Fort MacLeod, which is also where scenes from Interstellar and Ghostbusters: Afterlife were filmed. The HBO series is the biggest production to be shot in Canada.
HBO said the province’s improved incentive for film and television production makes it a particularly attractive destination for the company.
Salem said the team plans to produce more films in Fort McMurray in order to advocate for the community.
“I really hope this helps get more people – not just within our community, but in Alberta in general – to film here and work in film,” he said.
Miles Behind can be viewed on M’Guphynn Media’s YouTube channel.
-With files by Vincent McDermott
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