Reel Career Profile: Pina Robinson

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

I started in film in the early 90s on a few two-minute shorts from the Winnipeg film group. I was working in the salon at the time but always was intrigued by film and stage hair.

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

I work in the hair department. I generally work as a department head, but I occasionally assist in a full-time or part-time capacity. I love to take on projects that stretch my knowledge and encourage growth and creativity. I tend to be drawn to those projects regardless of position.

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

Many things have changed since I started. For example, we did not have cell phones when I started.  I do have to say I feel the calibre of work has been affected because of the greatness of demand. I do believe Winnipeg has a great crew, and I am a huge advocate of education and an encourager of growing in our craft.

If you could give yourself advice today to yourself in the past, what would it be?

I would tell myself not to be afraid to take risks. Also, not to worry too much about what other people say and think about you.

What advice you would give to someone starting in the media production industry?

Pay attention. I think a lot of young people come in and think that because they know how to do hair that they also know how to interact with the cast or what proper etiquette would be on set, essentially the film part. There’s so much for us to learn in our department not only about what we do but about the process of filmmaking. The more you listen and pay attention the more complete that knowledge becomes.

Why is learning and training important?

It is the only way to stay current!! It’s also really fun to not know how you’re going to pull something off and then, through collaboration and/or creativity, actually, pull it off. It lifts your confidence and the level of enjoyment in what you do.

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

Honestly any period work. It’s usually more challenging and difficult but also, in my opinion, more rewarding. Grease was one of the first movies I watched in the theatre!! I’ve been hooked since then.

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

I truly believe there is an outside force that helps me do hair.

I also have travelled a fair bit with work, I love that about what we do!

Is there someone within the film industry you would like to work with and why?

There are definitely hair people around the world whom I admire and would love to work with. The opportunity to learn and just to have that experience would be amazing.

Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

I hope to take on more of a designer role in the hair department. As well, I would like to actually direct.

FTM is a non-for-profit charity and member of the Province of Manitoba’s sector council program (through the Department of Economic Development and Jobs). FTM conducts workforce development and training to build a highly skilled and adaptable film industry to support the activities of Manitoba production companies. FTM collaborates with members of the film and television industry to identify the training needs within the community.