But I want more than 'more majority co-pros.' I would like to write on these goddamn shows. I would like to write on THE TUDORS. I would love to write on MERLIN or CAMELOT or whatever.
In fact I would like to propose an expansion of the Canadian cultural content rules. There is a rule that shows should be set in Canada and/or feature Canadian characters, but there's an exception for science fiction. You can set a show in the future and call it Canadian, so long as it is set offworld (Caprica, say) and not in some known country that is not Canada (future San Francisco).
Why not make an exception for history? Canada's history is not the same as the history of the North American continent. Canada's history includes British and French history. Our history includes the English Civil War, and Henry VIII, and Magna Carta, and 1066. Our history includes Madame de Pompadour and Joan of Arc. Go further back, and our history includes Caesar and Pericles and the March Up Country. Our legends include King Arthur and the Chanson de Rolond and Exodus.
Why, oh why, don't these count as Canadian cultural content? These are the people we came from, and the stories they told.
And why be Eurocentric? Canadians come from China and Africa and India. Why isn't The Pillow Book
"Canadian content"? Or The Tale of Genji
? Or the Mahabarata
The alternative is what we have. You can't make a medieval movie in Canada, not and call it Canadian, because Canada had no Middle Ages. (Otherwise we'd be shooting my medieval zombie pic here.) You couldn't make a movie out of my novel about Morgan le Fay, THE CIRCLE CAST, because King Arthur never came to Montreal. You can't make a sword-and-sandals Canadian TV show because Canada was never part of the Roman Empire.
Which, due to the nature of Canadian film and TV funding, means we can't get a sword-and-sandals show made at all.
Which means I don't get to write one.
If Britain had similar rules, MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL would have qualified for full Britcon, but MONTY PYTHON'S LIFE OF BRIAN would have been insufficiently British.
As a history fan, this drives me up a tree. (Yggdrasil, in fact.) Cancon rules cede all historical features to other countries.
And yet historical movies travel well. You can air ROME or A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM or BEN HUR in Italy, France, Romania, Morocco and South Africa and the audience will know something about Rome, and want to see more. All these countries have Rome in their history.
Some Cancon rules are necessary. Without cultural Cancon rules, the Canadian taxpayer would be funding nothing but faux-American cop shows set in Generica. But the rules also limit Canadian film and TV to the present and the future. They cut us off from our past.
I think there should be a historical exemption. Go back further than a certain historical time -- let's say 1497 -- and you're off the hook. You still have to shoot here with Canadian crew and actors, but you don't have to set your story within the geographic borders of Canada.