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THE BIZ : Hollywooer

June 11, 1995|Ashley Jude Collie

If Richard Nixon were running the Entertainment Industry Development Corp., the joint city-county project established last month to keep movie and TV productions in the L.A. area, Alison Emilio would surely be high on his enemies list.

Emilio is the L.A.-based marketing agent for the Ontario Film Development Corp., one of the most effective of the film commissions courting Hollywood's production companies. Her efforts, aided by a cheap Canadian dollar, lower labor costs and financial aid packages to producers, have helped make Toronto the TV industry's No. 2 production center. Several series and TV movies have been shot there, including "Due South,""Kung Fu"and "TekWar." More and more feature films are heading north as well. "The Santa Clause,""Johnny Mnemonic" and the upcoming "Getting Away With Murder," starring Dan Aykroyd and Lily Tomlin, were all shot there.

"In the last five years, Hollywood has received a wake-up call in terms of escalating production costs," says Emilio, a form er senior VP for marketing and publicity for New Line Cinema. Noting that there are more than 250 domestic and foreign film commissions all trying to take business away from Hollywood, she says that "while all of us are trying to cash in on this new economic reality, it feels good to solve production problems and help get films made in Ontario."

Producer Tarquin Gotch credits Emilio for swaying his Fox miniseries "Love and Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story" to Ontario. "She pitched us that Toronto had a better range of locations and that we could be on schedule and on budget. We were. You make films wherever you can do it most efficiently in creative and financial terms. Until economic factors change here, we're all going to be back up in Toronto."

But Emilio isn't just wooing productions away from Hollywood: "Alison and the OFDC," Gotch says, "swung us around from shooting in North Carolina."

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