The corner of 56 Avenue and 203 Street was transformed into a Galaxy Burger joint for filming of the movie Super Buddies on Tuesday. Film crew spent the day filming several scenes, including one with a stunt driver dressed in a pig costume driving erratically in the parking lot of Langley Plaza. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times file photo

Interested in a career in film? Insider says go for it

‘Every skill that a person has, is at some point required in the industry’

Ian Thompson of Langley was getting a little fed up with working as a long-distance trucker when he talked to a friend about working in the television and film industry.

“I got tired of driving all night, every night,” Thompson said.

Then the friend, who worked in film and TV production, showed him a pay stub.

“I have to do this,” Thompson thought.

His career path was a familiar one for people in the rapidly growing film and television production sector in B.C.

He went to a union hall to see about employment and soon began working as an on-call driver.

“I started gradually getting phone calls.”

After working the minimum number of days to become a union member, the workload increased.

The hours can be extremely long and irregular, but people who are willing to work hard will do well, Thompson said.

Eventually, he started his own company, 911 Filmcars Inc. which provides police, fire, military and other specialty vehicles to television and movie productions.

Everything from pumper trucks to big rigs, motorcycles, buses and ambulances are available at the company, which has become the largest supplier of emergency vehicles and transit buses to the film and TV production business in Western Canada.

Thompson’s advice to people considering a career in the industry is to go for it.

He said when people think about the movies and TV, they sometimes make the mistake of assuming they aren’t qualified.

“Every skill that a person has, is at some point required in the industry,” he said, everything from electricians to carpenters to bookkeepers.

And nurses.

When Langley resident Ivona Paduch isn’t working as a nurse, she can be found on the sets of various productions, sometimes as an extra and sometimes as a technical advisor, applying her medical training to help producers and directors keep scenes realistic.

“Basically making sure the set is set up properly,” Paduch said.

Sometimes she’s worked as both a technical advisor and an extra, even portraying a nurse.

Like Thompson, Paduch hadn’t given much thought to working in the industry until she learned more about about it — in her case, from a casting director she used to date.

“It’s a fun job,” she said. “You get to do things you maybe never did before.”

The most unusual job she’s had involved playing a dead body.

It required six hours of makeup to look like a corpse, and the tricky part was not shivering from the cold.

“It was freezing,” she laughed.

Black Press Extreme Education & Career Fair:

No matter what job you’re looking for, you’re likely to find potential employers at the next Black Press Extreme Education & Career Fair, happening Sept. 13 at the Cloverdale Agriplex, at 17798 62 Ave. in Surrey, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public, and is expected to be one of their largest career fairs to date.

Approximately 101 booths from businesses such as BCIT, Vancouver Career College, Camosun College, Kal Tire, Tsawwassen Mills, the RCMP and more.

Where to find out more:

Directors Guild of Canada – BC District Council website: www.dgcbc.com.

Joining the DGC as a Production Assistant is one way to experience how the industry works and get exposure to all the various departments and positions.

Look under the “Becoming a Member” tab on the DGC BC website for the entry level permittee logbook holder program.

Association of Canadian Film Craftspeople – ACFC West Local 2020 website: acfcwest.com.

Includes accounting, art, catering, construction, costume, continuity, craft services, editing, electric, greens, grip, hair and make-up, production office, props, prop building, publicity, scenic art, security, set decoration, sound, special effects, transportation, wranglers (animal).

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees: IATSE Local 891 – BC and Yukon. Website: iatse.com

Accounting, art, construction, costumes, editing, first aid/craft service, greens, grips, hair, lighting/electrics, make-up, painting, production office, props, script supervisors/continuity coordinator, set decorating, sound, special effects, visual effects. When IATSE is accepting applications, the website has online forms for each department.

International Cinematographers Guild: IATSE Local 669. Website: www.ia669.com.

Directors of photography, camera operators, camera assistants, unit publicists, unit still photographers, electronic camera people, video assist, digital engineers and technicians, data management technicians and camera trainees.

Teamsters 155: Website: www.teamsters155.org/web2009/index.php

Drivers, security, catering, animal handlers, animal wranglers, mechanics, marine personnel and miscellaneous. Application process can be found on the website.

The Union of BC Performers branch of ACTRA. Website: www.ubcp.com/become-a-member.

Responsible for performers, including Background Performers and Stunts.

Membership requirements vary, but generally applicants must have successfully completed a Motion Picture Industry Orientation course (set-etiquette) and a Motion Picture Safety Awareness course at a minimum.

Creative B.C. – Contact information from the www.creativebc.com website.

Creative B.C. is an independent non-profit society formed in 2013 to support the province’s film, television, music, interactive digital media as well as book and magazine publishing industries. Over the past three years, the provincial government has provided Creative BC with approximately $2 million in annual funding.

About the industry: B.C. is North America’s third largest motion picture hub

In the 2017-18 fiscal year, 452 productions contributed $3.4 billion to B.C.’s economy.

Direct industry jobs and labour income accounted for approximately $1.78 billion of that.

Television and film productions employ an estimated 60,000 skilled workers across technology, trades, business and the arts with higher than average incomes.

Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon do a lot of production in B.C. along with network shows like Riverdale, Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl.

Riverdale alone has created over 1,000 jobs over two seasons of production, spending over $60 million in the process.

Vancouver crews have worked on major motion pictures as well.

Recent big-ticket productions have included Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, 20th Century Fox’s War for the Planet of the Apes and Deadpool 2.

 

The corner of 56 Avenue and 203 Street was transformed into a Galaxy Burger joint for filming of the movie Super Buddies on Tuesday. Film crew spent the day filming several scenes, including one with a stunt driver dressed in a pig costume driving erratically in the parking lot of Langley Plaza. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times file photo

A made for TV movie produced by Force Four Productions starring Jennifer Finnigan, Doug Savsant and Roger Cross was shot in Langley. Langley Times file photo

Just Posted

Players Guild challenges Chilliwack residents to solve classic Agatha Christie whodunit mystery

The Chilliwack Players Guild is performing Murder on the Nile from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2

Chilliwack students learn about business and charity during entrepreneurship fair

Mt. Slesse Grade 8 kids will be donating 20 per cent of their business profits to the food bank

Work wrapping up in Chilliwack on the Valley Rail Trail expansion

The trail is envisioned as the north-south spine of a future cycling network

Chilliwack saw sub-tropical blast of warm air Wednesday

It didn’t break any official records but it was warmer than usual by several degrees

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

B.C. to fund gender-affirming surgeries for transgender people

Roughly 100 people in B.C. travel each year out of province for lower surgeries

U.S. mayor and dying dog’s roadtrip to B.C. goes viral

First vacation in three years came a month after blood cancer diagnosis

Federal fall update expected to offer more support for struggling news industry

Ottawa committed $50 million over five years for local journalism in ‘underserved communities’ last budget

UK’s May appeals to public on Brexit, braces for more blows

British Prime Minister Theresa May answered questions from callers on a radio phone-in, the day after she vowed to stay in office

VIDEO: Stan Lee leaves posthumous message for his fans

Marvel Comics’ co-creator died on Monday at the age of 95

$136M in transit funding coming to B.C.

The announcement was made at the BC Transit yard in Langford on Friday morning

Ottawa apologizes to Japanese family in B.C. after chopping historic cherry trees

Plaque installed in Prince Rupert to honour the memory of Shotaro Shimizu

Two B.C. police officers, held in Cuba for months, cleared of sex assault allegations

Port Moody Const. Jordan Long and Vancouver Const. Mark Simms have been in Cuba since March

Most Read