Reel Career Profile Series: Joshua Hood

Joshua Hood is a Writer and Producer based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He first picked up a camera at three years old and has never put one down since.

Joshua began his writing career at the age of 13, self-publishing a series of three children’s books entitled Teddy the Tour Boat. The series was a quick success and became a bestseller at the Winnipeg bookstore McNally Robinson.

At the age of 15, he began working in television with Shaw TV Winnipeg as a Producer/Editor, creating content with the channel for three years. Joshua has edited hundreds of hours of local television, produced dozens of news-style stories, short and full-length documentaries, and acted as Showrunner for three seasons of his award-winning comedy series, Millworth.

Currently a Script Supervisor in the Manitoba Film Industry, Joshua is also focused on creating and writing original series, with a primary focus on Children’s content.

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

I’ve always loved filmmaking. I remember using my parents’ video camera when I was very, very young to make videos of my toys! It just kind of grew from there. By the time I was fifteen, I wanted nothing more than to make television. I discovered the Community Access Program at Shaw TV Winnipeg (now Shaw Spotlight) and started volunteering. That became paid freelancing, which was the best summer job ever! Eventually, I approached them with a series idea – a scripted comedy called ‘Millworth’. I was the Showrunner of that series, writing and producing every episode for its three-year run.

When I graduated high school, I moved to Vancouver to attend the Vancouver Film School’s Film Production program. I specialized in Producing and Post-Production. After that, I moved back to Winnipeg and became a Script Supervisor!

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

Most of the work I do now is Script Supervising on productions that come through Winnipeg. It has been an amazing experience so far. I’ve met so many incredible people who have become friends and mentors. As a Script Supervisor, you get to see so much of what happens on a set, and understand the logistical challenges of taking a scene from Script, to screen, to edit. It’s invaluable for a writer.

And yes, I still write, too! Writing is where my heart is. I’m out and about, pitching projects, largely Children’s TV. I have an animated series with Juliette Hagopian in the works. She has been such an amazing and supportive producing partner. I also freelance as a Videographer and Editor for a local company called Hue. It’s run by Tracy Koga, who I used to work with at Shaw TV!

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

I think there’s a much larger awareness of the Film Industry in Winnipeg now. When I was in high school, everyone around me was saying I had to go somewhere else to work in film. Of course, none of the people saying this had ever worked in the film industry! It was like a discovery when I realized there was a large, sustainable film community in Winnipeg. When I moved back from Vancouver, it raised a few eyebrows, but it’s very clear to me now that it was the right move.

I think there’s now so much publicity around our industry, people are now much more aware of it. And fewer people are leaving Winnipeg! I went to Vancouver Film School with five or six other Manitobans. All of us ended up back in Manitoba. I think that’s a positive thing. Up-and-coming artists and technicians don’t have to leave home to pursue their dreams. And people outside of the film industry are noticing, too!

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

Ask questions! I never turn away someone who has questions. Even if I’m in the middle of something, I always make time when I have a moment. I have worked with so many incredible people over the years. It’s my favourite part of my job, meeting the people I do. There is so much you can take away from listening to others’ experiences. We get to work with people from all over the world, from so many different walks of life. I forget sometimes that people pay at Comic Cons to talk to the individuals I work with! But some of the most interesting and influential people I’ve met live right here in our community. While every production we work on has an end date, the relationships you can make on set may last far beyond it!

Why is learning and training important?

Anyone who’s good at what they do will admit they are always learning. Even the longest-serving members of our film community still take courses and read new things. Our industry is changing so often, in terms of where the content we make is being distributed, and the equipment and software we use to make that content. We have to keep up with it, or we get left behind. And sometimes, hearing something from someone else’s perspective can change your perspective, too.

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

Doctor Who! Oh, I’m such a fan of Doctor Who. My bedroom door at my parents’ place still has a big, vinyl TARDIS sticker covering it!

Home décor aside, that is one intelligent show. No other series has made me cry like Doctor Who. The character development is masterful. And it’s a cultural icon in the UK. I love a show that makes you think. A TV series allows you to go so much deeper into a story and its characters than a feature film. ‘The White Lotus’ is a perfect example. Another show I adore is called ‘Episodes’. It’s such an honest, sarcastic, and funny perspective into how television is made in North America.

And, because I’m developing Children’s series, I have to talk about shows I grew up with. ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ and ‘Theodore Tugboat’ are probably two of the most influential shows in my life. I’m a Co-Producer on a documentary called ‘An Unlikely Fandom: The Impact of Thomas the Tank Engine’. It explores how a show like ‘Thomas’ can affect a child so much that it influences the person they become. It definitely applies to me!

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

Steven Moffat. No question in my mind. Even just to talk to him. What an amazing, brilliant writer. Aside from Doctor Who, his adaptation of “The Time Traveller’s Wife” was incredible. I would have to try very hard to contain myself if we ever met!

Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?

I hope to be writing a show of my own! That’s really my dream, is to be a Showrunner. I’ve got some projects floating around, and you never know what will stick and when. I just hope that I’ll have had the opportunity to make something, and some people will watch it and find enjoyment out of it!

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.