“The best advice I can give is to just be a good person” – Scott Carnegie

Scott Carnegie is a veteran filmmaker with over 20 years of experience. He’s been involved with Film Training Manitoba as student, mentor, and instructor since 2007.

Scott’s experience includes producing, directing, editing, photographing, live streaming, camera operation, and professional instructing. 

He practices his passion for storytelling across many areas of communication, from promotional films to short graphic comics to documentaries, the latest of which appears on CBC, Amazon Prime, and iTunes. 

When and how did you start in the media production industry? 

I started in 1997 when I was taking the media production program at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon. At the time, Global Television contacted the college looking for students who wanted to go to Virden to cover curling. I was hired to be a cable puller and that was my first paying gig in media. 

When I was in college, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do for a career, all I knew was that I wanted to tell inspiring and uplifting stories.   

After college I became an Avid Editor at A-Channel (now Citytv) and then spent 13 years at APTN as an Avid Editor/Producer/Director/Camera Operator. After leaving APTN, I started my own production company in 2017, Sugar Cube Entertainment.

What area of the film industry do you work in now and why? 

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of editing on television series. I’m known as the “Avid” guy since I’ve been using the Avid editing platforms for a long time.

I’m often brought on to productions with multiple editors when they need someone who understands how Avid functions when you’re working with a team of editors.

Otherwise, I work primarily in documentary production as a producer, often also as the editor and director of photography depending on the budget. 

What has been a substantial change in the industry since you started?

The barrier to entry in terms of cost of equipment has dropped significantly — and I love it. Edit suites used to cost as much as a house! Now they are so affordable, same with cameras. 

If you could give your past self some advice, what would it be?

If I had a time machine, I would definitely tell my past self to take some business and marketing classes. Getting that knowledge would have helped me over some of the hurdles that come with launching your own business.  

What’s some advice you’d give to someone starting off in the media production industry?

Learn as many roles as you can. Later on you’ll be able to specialize while still being knowledgable about many different positions.

That know-how can serve you well when you’re in charge of other people. But the most important advice I can give is to just be a good person. I hire people I like being around… you might be very skilled at a certain role, but if you’re a jerk I’m not bringing you on my crew!

Why is learning and training important?

It’s very important in this business because our industry uses modern-technology that’s constantly evolving. That means you have to be up to date with new workflows and different ways of expressing creativity.  

What are some of the films, TV series or even books that have inspired you? How about anything new you’ve been into?

I love contrast and characters with many layers. Thanos of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a favourite of mine. He has a mission he’s dedicated to and is willing to make personal sacrifices for it — it’s almost admirable. But of course his mission is to kill half of the population of the universe, so there is that contrast.

The imagery from The Crow graphic novel series had a big impact on me when I first saw it in the early 90s, I’ve always been drawn to anti-heroes.  

Is there something about you or an interesting past experience that you’d like to share with your colleagues?

Something I love about being in the media industry in general is the access you get to people and places that many folks don’t.

I’ve been a life-long Pro-Wrestling fan and a few years ago I went on the road to shoot a documentary for the CBC. I got to follow a Pro-Wrestling company during their Western Canadian Tour, which included spending time with and interviewing the legendary Jake “The Snake” Roberts.

I don’t get star struck very often, but I had a moment when we sat down to interview him that I said to myself “I’m making a documentary about pro wrestling for CBC… this is definitely a career highlight!”

Who’s someone in the film industry you would like to work with and why?

There isn’t anyone specific, but in general I’d like to do more co-productions with other Manitoba-based producers to keep the industry here thriving.  

Where do you see yourself in ten years? 

I’d like to be overseeing a team producing and directing an ongoing documentary series, something riveting and socially relevant.   

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