The Deakins on Film Industry Training

L to R: James Ellis Deakins, Sir Roger Deakins, and Adam Smoluk

Film Training Manitoba’s Executive Director Adam Smoluk recently connected with legendary cinematographer Sir Roger Deakins and his veteran continuity supervisor wife James Ellis Deakins at an informal film industry event. 

The group’s discussion was requested by Smoluk to address how to deliver effective training within the film industry. 

Sir Roger Deakins has collaborated multiple times with directors such as the Coen brothers, Sam Mendes, and Denis Villeneuve. Deakins’ remarkable track record includes two Academy Awards for Best Cinematography from 16 nominations. He also served as the Cinematographer for the Manitoba lensed, The Assassination of Jesse James, which shot in Winnipeg’s Exchange District in 2005.

When discussing training strategies, Roger Deakins imparted,  “You want hands-on training where the learner gets equipment and gear in their hands.” He then emphasized, “You need to go beyond theory for learners to understand practical approaches to build their knowledge base.”

Roger Deakins’ best-known works include The Shawshank Redemption (1994)Fargo (1996)O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)A Beautiful Mind (2001)Skyfall (2012)Sicario (2015)Blade Runner 2049 (2017), and 1917 (2019), the last two of which earned him Academy Awards.

James Ellis Deakins stated, “Never forget that film is a trades-based industry, plan for the learner to be put in real-world experiences to stretch their skills.”

In addition to FTM’s industry-led board of directors and staff, the organization has extensive industry contacts and committees to design and calibrate industry leading training. “As a non-for-profit charity and workforce development organization, Film Training Manitoba seeks a wide range of film industry intel to provide leading programming for Manitoba’s world-class industry. We really appreciated this sound advice.” Said Smoluk.

FTM is a non-for-profit charity and member of the Province of Manitoba’s Sector Council program funded through the Economic Development, Investment, Trade and Natural Resources. 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 industry to identify training needs to support workforce development.