We’ve put together a list of some initial questions you may have regarding FTM and its services. We hope this list will be helpful for those interested in learning more about FTM and the local Film & Television industry.
Can Film Training Manitoba help me get a job on a film production?
Film Training Manitoba does not hire people to work on a production. We are not a placement agency. We do act as a resource for those who are interested in developing their skills for a career in film.
FTM also partners with local production companies to offer work experience opportunities. We work closely with IATSE 856 and DGC Manitoba to assess candidates applying to our work experience training programs and determine the level of training needed. All work experience opportunities occur within active film work environments such as film sets, production offices or related facilities. For more information on this program, please visit this section of our website.
How do I find out about films and television productions that are considering shooting in Manitoba?
Even when a production announces their intention to shoot in Manitoba through a press release, the productions may ask us not to list their contact information; therefore, we cannot give it out to the public.
If you are a union member, your union may have additional information on upcoming productions.
How do I become an extra? Where do I find out about casting calls?
You can contact Extras Casting Directors or talent agencies in Manitoba. Productions often list cast and crew calls in the local papers and through radio and television announcements.
Will I be able to work continually in this industry?
The majority of the work in the film and television industry is based on term contracts. Several production companies in the course of a year may employ you, but your career in the industry is self-guided. It’s up to you to market your skills to the production companies for each project. You may have periods of unemployment between projects; therefore some crewmembers may supplement their income through a business or an additional job, particularly when transitioning into this industry.
Can I work part-time on a film?
Although productions may occasionally require daily workers, it is difficult to be employed in the industry when you have time constraints or other obligations.
What is a Production Assistant (P.A.)?
A Production Assistant is an entry-level job but it is extremely important! It may include a wide range of tasks from clerical work, getting coffee, driving producers, wrangling extras to tracking talent. It is widely seen as a stepping-stone to other positions; however, you must do this job well in order to move on. The keys to being a good P.A. are listening and taking direction. Be reliable, aware, efficient and resourceful. Becoming a production assistant may expose you to the various career paths available in film. You will start gaining experience and meeting people, including union members, in higher positions within the departments that interest you.
Is it easy to get a job as a Production Assistant (P.A.)?
Like many positions in the film industry it starts with a catch 22; you can’t t get a job without experience, and you can’t get experience without a job. Be persistent but not annoying. Many employers do not expect those applying for this position to have extensive experience. With all the interest in the film industry, it’s not only about getting your name out there, but it’s sometimes about giving a person a good reason to give you a chance which may include attitude, reliability and transferable skills.
How do I become a union member?
Each union/guild has different requirements. Please contact the union/guild that covers the film job or department of most interest to you and/or in which you have the most experience. You can find out how by visiting our Resources section of the website.
What if I do not have enough experience to join a union?
There are a few options if you do not have enough experience. It may depend upon what department you are pursuing. For instance, Local 856 has a “non-member” or “overflow” file of resumes, primarily of those with transferable skills or minimal film experience. This file is reviewed when either members are not available or all members are working. Please contact the applicable union for details.
What does “Above-the-Line” and “Below-the-Line” mean?
These terms evolved in reference to the budget line of a production. “Above-the-line” is a film and television industry term derived from where the money is budgeted for creative talent, writers, directors and producers. This term means job positions that are associated with the creative or financial control of a film or multimedia project, not the technical aspects. “Below-the-line” is a film and television industry term derived from where the money is budgeted for technical crew working on a film or multimedia project as well as for costs related to the studio, equipment, travel, and location. In regards to job positions, this term means technical crew working in temporary positions and these individuals do not have creative or financial control of the project nor receive residuals. (Post-production crew is typically a separate budget and includes different crew positions.)
I want to work in the film industry, where do I start?
The following organizations can help you get your start in the film industry:
Winnipeg Film Group:
If you don’t have experience working in the film industry, consider volunteering with the Film Group or other independent filmmakers. The Film Group is non-profit arts organization “committed to enhancing the art of film by providing equal opportunities to make, view and discuss film within a greater artistic and social community.” Independent productions, like those made by Film Group members, offer great opportunities for you to network and to experience the world of filmmaking. They also offer very affordable workshops for entry level filmmakers. Contact The Winnipeg Film Group by calling (204) 925-3456 or visit their website: www.winnipegfilmgroup.com.
Another local arts group you can find opportunities to learn and gain volunteer experience with is Video Pool. Video Pool has a mandate to “encourage the use of video, multimedia and electronic technologies as an artistic and educational practice for the advancement and enrichment of the community.” They provide access to professional video and media equipment and training opportunities. Like the Film Group, Video Pool’s workshops and services are offered to people of all skill levels from beginner to professional. Contact Video Pool by calling: (204) 949-9134 or visit their site: www.videopool.org.
National Screen Institute – Canada:
The NSI focuses on providing professional development for experienced writers, directors and producers and aspiring filmmakers. Contact the Winnipeg office by calling (204) 956-7800 or visit their site: www.nsi-canada.ca
On Screen Manitoba:
On Screen Manitoba is an innovative membership-driven association that leads, builds and represents the Manitoba motion picture industry. The association has grown and evolved over its 21 years into a vital force in the industry. Their membership represents the full spectrum of individuals and organizations (production companies, labour groups, distributors, broadcasters, suppliers and supporting organizations) that make up the motion picture industry in Manitoba. On Screen Manitoba membership totals nearly 300 but reaches more that 1,500 individuals. For more details on membership benefits or to become a member please call (204) 927-5898. You can also visit them online at www.onscreenmanitoba.com.
I’ve completed a workshop with FTM, can I get a “certificate of participation/completion”?
We issue certificates only for our online courses (as they are required by the unions). Participants of FTM’s non-required workshops do not receive certificates.
What if I have an idea for a workshop that I would like to instruct?
For industry professionals who would like to instruct for FTM, a written proposal is required.
For more information, please contact us at:
Film Training Manitoba
100 – 62 Albert Street
Winnipeg, MB R3B 1E9