Careers in Film and Television Productions in Canada

Posted on October 25th, 2013 - Written by: Josée Daigneault

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Film and television broadcasting is one of the most collaborative mediums, requiring the interaction of many creative people to make the magic happen that entertains us all. From the writing process to the final editing, there is a fascinating path that takes ideas to the screen and numerous career opportunities for motivated and talented individuals. Hollywood gains the most attention in this industry but Canada is a force in itself as a producer of top international quality film and television content. The Canadian broadcasting and production sectors are growth industries in the Canadian economy, providing employment for thousands of people in dozens of rewarding occupations.

Every production hinges on the quality of the story behind it all, and there are specific screenwriting skills necessary to evoke powerful reactions from audiences. Dramatic pacing and sharp dialogue combine to trace engaging character arcs, sometimes integrating multiple storylines and adapting from various sources. Careers can be found in film, television, shorts, interactive media, and even assistant directing.

The production process takes the help of many people to realize a director’s vision. Producers and production assistants organize the many moving parts to meet the budgetary limitations. Props and costume design work to prepare sets under supervision of the art director and construction manager. Grips or stagehands take care of miscellaneous errands. Set dressers, make-up and production designers ensure that everything is in place before the lighting crew and cinematographer arrive. Most movies have a cast of marquee talent, character actors and background performers or extras to give the impression of reality, and the casting director is essential to recruiting this team.

For operational roles such as camera operator, formal qualifications are not as important as experience, but skills acquired in college will help to gain that experience. Assistant camera operators check the equipment, load and position cameras and other general duties. Gaffers or lighting technicians set things up for the director of photography, who plans all lighting needs. Sound engineering technicians with skills from audio engineering schools, film recordists and boom operators record dialogue, sound, music and special effects during filming, and are very important to the overall quality of a production.

Multimedia artists and animators are increasingly used to create special effects and graphics, requiring a special knowledge of computer technology. After film has been shot, video editors select and assemble the best footage while assistant editors or dubbing editors select the soundtrack and sound effects to be used in the finished product, in collaboration with the director.

The quality of a production depends heavily on the motivation of reliable operators and the talent of the crew as a whole. Even independent productions can’t be done completely alone – it can be accomplished with the help of students in film production programs if cost is a key concern. Film school in Toronto shows the many rewarding career possibilities available in these exciting industries!

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