Careers in Culture – Careers in Film and Broadcasting

> Many career choices for you

Move Into Moving Pictures

Film, television and video production are the world's fastest growing cultural industry, with hundreds of different kinds of career paths for interested people. There are millions of Internet podcasts streaming content from every corner of the globe – a viewer has control of what he/she watches from his/her home computer, media phone or notebook. All this consumer thirst for information creates opportunities in website development, the video gaming field and other areas of video production.

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Many people want to work in film, television and video production – so how can you get a foot in the door? Build your knowledge and skills by completing high school and taking specialized training programs in acting, film/video and digital media. With a high level of know-how, you better your chances of finding a career path in this exciting global field.

Radio, A Digital Revolution!

Digital technologies that allow sound to be recorded, mixed and transmitted by computer are changing radio. Many radio stations have downsized because of stiff competition, but don’t let that discourage you. Traditional broadcasters are supplying plenty of innovations. Satellite radio broadcasts are available as you travel, in your car or through a personal listening device. High definition (HD) radio technology offers better sound quality and can simultaneously deliver a range of text information – titles, artists, weather or traffic alerts – broadcasted directly to your receiver’s display screen. More innovations such as a “buy” button, will allow a radio to be used for instant purchases of everything from concert tickets to advertised products. Get in on this entrepreneurial opportunity. You could be a freelance journalist and use technology to create and sell in different radio markets. Or move into audio technology and multimedia web design and get involved in indie podcasting.

Specialty Channels – Special Markets

Specialty channels are pay television channels that focus their programming on a single theme such as news, sports, shopping, movies, or children's programming. The number of these types of channels is growing steadily, both in Canada and elsewhere. New digital and high definition (HD) channels offer better picture and sound quality, and options for multiple feeds of other data, including news and weather. Cable and satellite television deliver on-demand television along with interactive programming guides. Various cable and satellite television providers and telephone companies provide video-on-demand (VOD), delivering a movie, sports event or other video program to a TV set whenever the customer requests it. More specialty channels mean more programming demand. If you are a filmmaker, you might have a modest live-screen release of your work, but the work might have a “long tail”: that same film, documentary or television show may sell to an ever-increasing global specialty market over time.

Opportunities in a Multi-platform Universe

The convergence between the linear film and television world and the non-linear world of gaming and internet is happening now. Each sector brings valuable skills to the table. Non-linear is new, exciting, and effervescent and its revenues have far out-paced linear’s, but the human need for simple linear storytelling is as fundamental as Aristotle.

Everyone wonders, how will it all play out? Is conventional TV dead? How will Cancon survive in an unregulatable age? As the converged world unfolds, it will be driven first by creativity, then by market, and lastly by our ability to realize the product technologically. Canada has great talent in both linear and non-linear worlds, but both also have distinct skills gaps and training needs which the other can help fill.

Source: Fast Forward:National Training Strategy for the Film and Television Industry, 2006

Internet Opportunities

More and more individuals are reaching global audiences by broadcasting from their home computers. For very little money, and little technical know-how, they can produce and host their own Internet radio station or podcast or upload self-produced digital music, videos and more to a web space designed to allow and encourage sharing of independent audio and video productions (such as www.youtube.com). The Internet has become a way to build and link communities of interest, regardless of geographic location, and technological innovations have provided both web space and tools that allow individuals and communities to redefine both the medium and the message. New opportunities to develop programming space and more tools for indie creation, editing and compilation are opening up, for managers, as well as presenters and organizers of this creative content.

All these changes bring new career opportunities. Be a freelance journalist and use technology to create and package stories you can sell in different markets. Or move into audio technology, build your skills in new media, and get involved in Internet radio and podcasting.

Entertain Canada and the World

Canada has a small population, and our artists and performance companies have to develop international audiences to survive economically. Distribution of Canadian films and television programs into other markets is crucial for financial success, and for building the reputations of Canadian producers, directors, actors and production companies. Canadian producers can obtain government support for international market development. It's up to you to tap into available government programs that support your marketing goals.

The Co-production’s the Thing!

Canada had become a major producer in international markets. Co-productions have become a significant component of that success. A vast number of co-production treaties have been signed with many countries – notably not including the United States – allowing for artistic and financial collaboration on movies and television programs that would otherwise not be produced. Co-productions have been particularly important for the Montreal film and broadcasting industry, which had suffered greatly in the mid-1980s until the rise of co-productions, which are allowing producers to recover and continue making important new films. However, protectionism in the European Union and increased emphasis on Canadian content when seeking federal government support has made it somewhat harder to undertake co-productions. Partnerships are another option for expanding into international markets, in particular because of the quality and success of local productions. For example, Canadian and U.S. animators are collaborating on some unique, innovative and world-class films.

International Trade Shows

It takes work and a financial investment to reach international markets. Many Canadian film companies attend international film and broadcast tradeshows or are represented by Telefilm Canada (see www.telefilm.gc.ca) which promotes their works and keeps them abreast of new and emerging gadgets and marketing tools. Some important international tradeshows include:

Do you enjoy talking to people from other cultures? Do you like to learn other languages? If you're in a film or broadcasting career, you could find yourself jetting to other countries or working the telephones with your peers around the world.