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One of the main initiatives by IMAGO is to further the principle of authorship rights for cinematographers over the images they shoot. This concept puts cinematographers on the same footings as producers, directors and writers as originators of a production and opens the door to residual payments. There are at least 15 European countries that have some form of authorship rights. Canada has no such laws and for good reason. The Canadian film and television industry is far too intertwined with that of our neighbours south of the border. Authorship rights would need to take hold in the United States before it could make any headway in Canada. For us to go alone would present a major roadblock for any U.S. production work coming to Canada. That would greatly diminish our industry if not kill off “Hollywood North” outright. While the CSC supports authorship rights, we also recognize the reality of our situation here in North America. This is a hot button issue for our industry, and I’d very much like to hear your thoughts on it. So, please drop me a line to let me know what you’re thinking.
What I discovered during my conversations with other society reps in Paris was that no matter where one lives, cinematographers share many of the same concerns and problems. This is particularly highlighted in IMAGO’s recently released survey, Living and Working Conditions of Cinematographers. With 344 cinematographers from around the world participating, the survey provides us with a most comprehensive picture of our profession to date and is well worth reading. Most poignant in the survey are the comments by the cinematographers themselves. While these heartfelt comments address dark issues that ail our modern industry and craft, interestingly, 66 per cent said despite the hardships, that if they had to do it all over again, they’d choose cinematography. If nothing else, we are a dedicated lot! Selected statistics and where one can find the entire survey are in the article I’ve written on the IMAGO meeting for this issue.
To all our readers of Canadian Cinematographer: good shooting!