Ever imagine yourself in front of a movie or TV camera? If so, your chances of appearing on screen right now are pretty good thanks to a stronger American dollar.
We are often referred to as Hollywood North, and rightly so. From four productions in 1978, with expenditures of $12 million, BC’s TV and film industry grew to 292 productions in 2012, with production spending of over $1.7 billion. Almost $1.2 billion of that was spent in BC.
The Vancouver Economic Commission also tracks the industry, noting on its site that Vancouver is North America’s third-largest film and TV production centre. The site adds that over 34,000 direct and indirect jobs are generated by film and TV production in BC, with more than 80% located in Metro Vancouver.
At a municipal level, television and film activity is also a strong revenue booster. Business in Vancouver reports that the 189 permits the North Vancouver district issued in 2014 added $714,000 to the municipality’s coffers.
BC’s strong film and TV industry is due to several factors, including a beneficial exchange rate for foreign production companies, our skilled and varied workforce and attractive tax credits and development funds.
What about me?
How can you parlay your interest into a gig that pays? A good place to start is the “education + careers” page of Creative BC. It has a wide range of “getting started” information (keep in mind most extras earn minimum wage). Still interested? You can find out more, such as the do’s and don’ts of registering with a talent agency and some agency contacts, employment standards for young people and related courses and programs.
If appearing in front of the camera isn’t your thing, consider other opportunities such as catering to make up and wardrobe to production support. Whichever aspect you explore, good luck – or as they say in the trade, “Break a leg!”
Just for fun
Think you know that famous movie quote off by heart? Chances are what has become a well-known quip is actually a distortion of the character’s original line: Greatest Film Mis-quotes