6 comments so far

  1. Amanda on

    I came across your blog and I think your job is so incredibly cool.
    I actually live in Toronto, and I’m hoping to get into university for Media Production. Eventually I’d like to be a screenwriter.
    Do you think going to school for that program would be of good help?
    Once I’m done school, do you think the move to Vancouver would be a good start?
    Thanks for taking the time to read. I love your blog posts, from what I’ve read so far.

    Thanks again,

    • vfxvagabond on

      Hi Amanda!

      Thanks for your kind words 🙂 Film making is a great job; if you’re passionate about making movies, you should definitely pursue it.

      As to whether you should go to school for it.. that’s an interesting question. I didn’t, but a lot of my friends an colleagues did. For many of them, the best thing that came out of film school was having a network of connections that helped them get their foot in the door.

      With that in mind, you’re planning on working in Vancouver, you might be better off attending school here. I’ve never been to the Vancouver Film School, but a lot of companies around town have close ties to them and often recruit entry level positions from there.

      Of course, if you really want to be a screen writer, the best thing you can do is write. Find other people who share your passion, and make films. See what works and what doesn’t. Write more. Shoot more. Apply for funding and enter film festivals. Get rejected. Go through the seven stages of grief, then write even more. Making movies and getting them out there has never been so accessible as it is now, so if that’s what you want to do – go do it.

      Whatever you end up deciding, best of luck! It’s definitely a job like no other!


  2. Jacob Slovak on

    Hi Sarah,

    I stumbled across your blog when researching working in film in Vancouver. Enjoyed the wit mixed with wisdom in your article about this topic. I’m a second AC from the motherland (NZ). I’m planning on coming over later in the year on a working holiday visa. And recently discovered that to join the union, you’ve got to be a permanent resident. It’s left me pretty frustrated & wondering if I should even be coming over.

    Do you know if there are many non union jobs? Do you have to be in the union to work on commercials? Are there ways around the residency rule?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • vfxvagabond on

      Hey Jacob

      Thank you for the kind words about my blog!

      Unfortunately, I don’t know that much about unions, as I work in the still non-unionised field of VFX, where union efforts are about as successful as getting alley cats into synchronised swimming.

      My understanding is that there is a fair amount of non-union on-set work, but it’s more indie work.

      Having said that, permanent residency is a really odd requirement, given how quickly the BC film industry has grown in the last two years. I find it hard to believe that they’re able to fill all unionised positions with PR / Canadians.

      One thing to note – it’s not uncommon for people to need to be residents of BC for tax purposes (ie, have to have filed a tax return here) as that opens up the whole treasure trove of tax rebates for the production company, but even that is relaxed if the film needs crew badly enough. My first job here I wasn’t a resident for tax purposes, and it wasn’t a deal breaker.

      My suggestion would be to reach out to the union and confirm that that is a Real Thing.

      Another person who might be able to help you with how much non-union work there is is Peter Carr, he runs a local Facebook job page and seems to know a lot about what’s going on here:

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help 😦 Good luck with whatever you decide!


  3. james on

    Hey Sarah,

    Great posts. Humorous and informative! I’m are currently living in Vancouver and my fiancé is desperately wanting to be in involved in the film industry…specifically film scoring, music selection – basically anything to do with the combination of music and movies. She truly has a passion for it and the artistic merit. This move is quite new for her as she has chosen to give up her previous career path and follow her gut. I’ve been helping where I can. We are not financially in a place to make schooling a viable option, plus we’ve heard exactly what you said above – regarding school vs. no school – echoed from several other sources. From what we understand it’s really about working as hard as you can and making friends/contacts and hopefully finding your place from there. What I would like to know with the utmost sincerity (and admitted naivety), is whether you would have any opportunities for that “first step” into the industry?(sometimes you just gotta ask) 🙂

    Best Regards.

  4. salt on

    Why are there no blog posts in 2018

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