Manitoba Film Technicians Receive Camera Crane & Jib Skills Development

Last week, FTM, William F. White, and IATSE 856 partnered on a camera crane tech course for IATSE 856 members. 

The group of experienced technicians had the chance to learn the fundamentals of camera cranes and jibs while assembling and operating three different cranes systems.

This included assembling and operating White’s Giraffe Classic Crane in four different sizes up the maximum length of 31.5 feet. They operated it outdoors with both a camera attachment and seating bucket attachment.

Francois Balcaen, one of the province’s most experienced grip and department heads (as well as an acclaimed filmmaker) led the course with help and contributions from White’s camera specialist Andrew Schauer.

“There’s always been this great partnership between the unions, production managers and Film Training Manitoba,” said Balcaen “We’re really lucky to have FTM.”

He said that FTM has been instrumental in helping get trainees on set so they can obtain the experience they need to become full-fledged professionals. 

Balcaen said that in his time on set in Manitoba, the provinces crew set themselves apart with their own creativity. Many crew members from grip to electric were also writer-directors in their spare time.

“They’re not just lunchbox technicians, they’re also invested in their own projects,” said Balcaen. “So they’ll also be more interested and invested in the shots and the blocking and actually realizing the script.”

The participants of last week’s course felt like they were better prepared to help bring stories to life after the workshop.

“François is an amazing grip and an amazing teacher and I thought the course was very handy in all its aspects,” said Joe Dodd, who’s worked as a grip for over four years.

“Being hands on and being able to use the equipment is always great.” Dodd added. “I’d feel very confident using this equipment in the future.”

Keep your eye on our postings to learn more about career development opportunities and hands-on courses hosted by FTM.

About FTM

FTM is a member of the Province of Manitoba’s sector council program funded through the Department of Economic Development and Training. FTM builds a highly skilled and adaptable film industry workforce to support the activities of Manitoba production companies. FTM collaborates and partners with members of the film and television industry to identify training needs to support workforce development output.

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