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Making a movie - Martha Carr

There is magic in the air again. Investors are beginning to open their purse strings and pour money back into mid-size businesses. That's very good news for the U.S. employment rate, and supports the near-giddiness of all the financial reports that are touting an expected uptick in new, non-farm hires in the first quarter of 2011.

Although the Great Recession officially ended well over a year ago, it hasn't resulted in job increases. That's been very slow to happen and has made consumers hesitant to open their own pocketbooks

However, the times appear to be changing and good news is here at last.

Economists are all betting that new hires are opening back up for the average worker who was laid off sometime in the last three years. They know that it's the mid-size businesses that employ most of America and will get us back on track to a healthy economy.

New investment money equals more jobs, which equals a rising tide of economic health for everyone.

Already, the urban areas like Chicago and New York City have shown increases in salaries and jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, which is a good bellwether for the rest of us.

No industry was left unaffected by the Great Recession. Even the movie industry slowed down for awhile as the technical support, which are the guys who make the regular salaries and have to worry about paying the dentist and putting gas in the used car, got laid off in droves.

Very talented people who'd been making at least a living suddenly couldn't find a gig.

However, Hollywood North in Vancouver, Canada, which offers a lot of tax incentives to movie makers is already picking up a good head of steam and hiring, including a few of their North American cousins.

One of the hottest new production companies in Vancouver is Triton Films, www.TritonFilms.net, run by 37-year-old, Gabriel Napora, who made a big splash at the recent Winter Olympics with a private cutting-edge 3D screening that got big wows from the Olympic committee members.

Next, Triton has a sci-fi film coming out in April called, "Give Me One Reason," starring Kevin Sorbo, Patricia Richardson and Ray Park. The film was shot for under two million dollars, but looked like it cost a lot more. "The fact is that in the world today, not a lot of producers can do what I can do," said Napora. "Make films with a lower budget that look great."

There are some big names in the film industry who agree with him and have stepped in to be a part of upcoming projects.

Neill Blomkamp, the acclaimed director and writer of the award winning film, "District 9," has noticed Napora's work and is opening doors for the next venture, the $30 million dollar film, "Somnolence." A short proof of concept made by Napora and the film's director, Patrick Kalyn, can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4aC1S3-wuY, and was used to show investors what was possible. A wide-release is expected in 2013. Blomkamp is currently working on a sci-fi film with Jodi Foster and Matt Damon called "Elysium," for release in 2013 as well.

Triton Films also noticed "Wired," a thriller based on my first book and have optioned that as well. "I'm excited to be producing 'Wired,'" said Napora. "We're known for our sci-fi work and 'Wired' is a thriller/drama that gives us the chance to expand. The script showed the idea that the tension could be built. It's not a mindless thriller," he said. Needless to say, I'm glad to know that I'm part of the new, optimistic statistic.

Napora is looking for U.S. locations to shoot the film, which means more new jobs for others. I'll keep you posted on how things progress this year and will post photos at my web site when the films begin shooting. To those who are still looking for gainful employment, hang in there and keep believing for better days. The tide is coming in and it's going to eventually lift all of us up onto a new path of opportunities. It will take awhile, but eventually all of our Great Recession stories will become fish tales we tell each other. Go to the movies, everyone.

Martha's column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc., newspaper syndicate. Her latest book is the memoir, "A Place to Call Home." www.MarthaRandolphCarr.com. E-mail Martha at: Martha@caglecartoons.com.