What a difference a month makes!
Since our last column, the Northern Ontario Film Studios (NOFS) have seen a sharp increase in film production for the immediate future and into this fall. By the end of 2012, Sudbury will have been visited this year by at least five feature films and one television series.
The booming film industry in Sudbury has created a huge demand for local crew base. The need for grips, gaffers, camera assistants, production managers and set decorators is insatiable. The more qualified crew members we have in the North will only make the area more desirable for producers.
However, more needs to be done to raise skill levels of northerners. The ability of our developing industry to provide a qualified crew base will be key to the continued success of film and television production in the north.
School is almost back in session and if you are still having a hard time figuring out what path you want to take, look into training to become a working member of the film and television industry right here at home.
The booming film industry in Sudbury has created a huge demand for local crew base.
Currently, there are many post-secondary institutions providing film and television skills training in the North: Collège Boréal here in Sudbury, Confederation College in Thunder Bay, Canadore College in North Bay and Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie. Also, there is the Weengushk Film Institute (WFI) on Manitoulin Island that provides training to Native youth – a segment of our northern population that faces many employment challenges.
Also there are still opportunities for those who have finished school. The NOHFC realizes the extent of our crew needs and has taken steps to meet the demands of film and television production in the North through their Deeming Provision. Deeming allows a production to hire a non-Northern Ontario crew member in 58 designated positions. The deemed person acts as a mentor, training Northern Ontario residents in roles where skills deficiencies currently exist.
Addressing the training needs of the industry in its early stages of development will pay dividends in many areas. As the number of qualified northerners increases, the number of crew brought in from outside the region will decrease. This will result in the film and television industry having a greater impact on the economy of Northern Ontario.
With a larger northern talent pool, a larger percentage of salaries on each produc))tion will flow directly into Northern communities, which will result in the film and television industry having a greater impact on the economy of Northern Ontario.
This will also help the North retain young people who would like a career in film and television production. A healthy film industry will provide jobs for this key sector of our population and help them live and work in the North.
This is NOFS vision. In 10 years, there will be a strong and vibrant film and television industry in the North, which will benefit all communities and a wide range of people and businesses.
What can you do? Get the word out and email us at [email protected]
If you are interested in being part of this new industry in Northern Ontario, there are many places you can go to get more information.
Visit thinknorth.ca, weengushk.com, facebook.com/hideawaypictures, facebook.com/groups/NOTFF, collegeboreal.ca or canadorec.on.ca.
David Anselmo and Pierre Bonhomme are the business partners behind Hideaway Pictures and the Northern Ontario Film Studios.